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The Airmen's Stories - P/O A E Hill


Archibald Edmund Hill married Edna Ivy Sutton in July 1940 in Chippenham, Wiltshire.

Because she was recorded as next-of-kin it was assumed that he was British and he was listed as such on the London Monument name plaques.

It was subsequently thought that an error had been made as it was discovered that he had arrived in England from South Africa on 17th February 1939 at Southampton aboard the RMMV Capetown Castle from Durban. The manifest gave his age as 20 and his profession Engineer.

Also 248 Squadron's 'Line Book' had become available and Hill is referred to therein as '...the Big Man from Johannesburg..'.

It is now (2023) known that he was born in the first quarter of 1918 in Farnham, Surrey. His parents were Archibald Ernest Hill (1888-??) and Gladys Hill (nee Stagg 1898-1979). His father was born in England and his mother in Cardiff, Wales. It would seem that his name was after all correctly allocated.

An unsigned account by a relative records:

Edmund was born when the Great war was still raging over Europe. His father fought with the 15th Hussars at the front, and Edmund was born in Aldershot. After the war the family emigrated to South Africa, and his sister Norma was born there. She was only 17 months younger than Edmund. More family members followed, and the family moved on to Australia, where they remained until the mid-1930s. When the depression hit Australia, they found reason to move back to South Africa. His father, who had worked as a pastry chef in England, worked in the Bank of South Africa. His mother, who originally was Welsh, worked as an office employee.


Hill joined the RAF on a short service commission in March 1939 and began training at 10 E&RFTS Yatesbury, going on to 5 FTS Sealand on 30th May. His first posting was 248 Squadron at Hendon on 6th November 1939.


Above - 248 Squadron 'B' Flight

P/O R Haviland, P/O AE Hill, F/Lt. JB Holderness, F/Lt. REG Morewood, P/O FRC Elger, Sgt. JH Fripp, Sgt. EL Holmes

P/O GB Atkinson, P/O CJ Arthur, P/O GM Baird




He served with the squadron throughout the Battle before being posted to 254 Squadron.

He was killed flying in Blenheim IV L8840 QY-P which was shot down by an enemy fighter near the island of Huftaroy, south of Bergen on 15th April 1941.



Also lost were P/O RHL Cressy and Sgt. GJW Webb.

All are buried at Rossebo cemetery, Haugesund, Norway. It is thought that nearly 1500 people attended the funeral.

His wife gave birth to a daughter, Ann, in November 1941.


Above images courtesy of Rickard Storebø.



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Battle of Britain Monument