Drummer Thomas Hill (13207)

3rd Worcestershire Regiment, 7th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Division, B.E.F.

Malvern Commemoration: Holy Trinity North Malvern,

Burial/Commemoration: Le Touret Memorial

Nature of Death: Killed in action in defence of Neuve Chapelle, France 29/10/1914

Age: 21

Next of Kin: Son of Henry Hill of 1 Anchor Cottage, Upper Howsell, Malvern and the late Matilda Louisa Hill

Previous Employment: Blacksmith; later regular soldier

Cap badge of the Worcestershire Regiment

Early years

Thomas Hill was born on 24th September 1894, the son of Henry and Matilda Hill of Upper Howsell.  He was christened at St Matthias, Malvern Link on 23rd November 1894 by the Vicar, Rev Archibald Day.  On the 1901 Census the Henry and Matilda, with their three children, George, Elizabeth, Thomas and Henry were living at Meek’s Cottage, Upper Howell Road, next to the Anchor Inn. 

Sadly, however just over a year later Thomas’ mother, Matilda died.  On the 1911 Census, Thomas is shown living with his widowed father at Brompton Cottage, Crumpton Hill, Storridge, near Malvern.  This is not far from North Malvern, and it reasonable to assume that Henry Hill moved into the parish just before or during the Great War.

A regular soldier

Thomas Hill enlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment on 12th November 1912.  His trade on enlistment was recorded as blacksmith.  He landed with the France with the 3rd Worcestershire Regiment at the very beginning of the war, on 12th August 1914 and took part in the Battles of Mons, the Marne and the Aisne.

He received the Mons Star and Clasp, making him on of the original Old Contemptibles. In October 1914, II Corps of the British Expeditionary Force moved north from Picardy and took up positions in French Flanders where they were immediately engaged in the series of attacks and counter attacks that would become known as the ‘race to the sea’. 

The Battle of La Bassée

In October, the 3rd Worcestershire Regiment, part of the 5th Division were involved in this fighting.  British forces were driven back and the German army occupied La Bassée and Neuve Chapelle. Around 15th October, the British recaptured Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée but failed to recover La Bassée.

The ruins of the town of La Bassee, lost by British forces in October 1914.

The ruins of the town of La Bassee, lost by British forces in October 1914.

Towards the end of the month, the 3rd Worcestershire Regiment occupied the new British line.  They endured fierce counter attacks between 23rd and 30th October.  On the morning of 29th October, while holding positions around Rue La Quenque, the 3rd Worcesters resisted an enemy attack through thick mist.  This attack was checked and the battalion were relieved on 31st October. 

However this period had been costly; 17 men were killed, 47 wounded and 3 posted as missing.  Dmr Hill was killed in action on this day.  It is likely that he was buried where he fell.


After the war Thomas’ body was not recovered and today he is commemorated on the Le Touret Memoiral.  This memorial commemorates over 13,400 British soldiers who have no known grave and were killed in the Le Touret sector of the Western Front; from Estaires in the north to Grenay in the south. It covers the period from the beginning of October 1914 to the eve of the Battle of Loos in late September 1915.

Le Touret Memorial and Cemetery.

Le Touret Memorial and Cemetery.

Army Registers of Soldiers Effects
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923
Medal Index Card
1901 Census
1911 Census
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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