People - Anthony Dinny Hill
Born: 6 December 1900 Aldershot, England. Died: 1 July 1942.
Enlisted at Royal Park on 17 June 1940 and transferred to 4th AIF Depot, Geelong, for training. Transferred to 23rd Anti Tank Company at Seymour, 19 July 1940, later moved to Bonegilla, Victoria and then to Bathurst New South Wales on 26 April 1941. Embarked on the Zealandia 9 September 1941 and disembarked at Rabaul on 30 September 1941. Reported missing on 25 January 1942 and on 4 January 1946 was noted as "Became missing and is for official purposes presumed dead".
George Hill, his son, writes:-
'I was a tad young when Dad left. He was born at Aldershot England on the 6 December 1900 and by all accounts died at sea on 1 July 1942. He travelled to Australia around 1920 and married Evelyn Malins in 1924 and fathered a family of six children, five boys and one girl.
Dad was working at the Kraft Cheese Factory and one day came home in a brown uniform as a soldier - that was a surprise - and myself being only eight at the time cannot remember much. I know he barracked for Collingwood Football Club (as most Victorians do) and we lived in Abbotsford, the garden suburb.I clearly remember the 1939 bushfires. Dad would take us to the local pub round the corner from Charles Street, sit us on the bar and get us a rasie and lemonade. I can still see the sawdust on the floor and smell the beer after all this time.
Mum took us to Tallarook to see Dad and that is where the photos were taken. I remember the hill side and the white stones picking out the 2/22. I also remember seeing men washing their socks in a tin helmet - quite a surprise.
We, that is my brothers and sisters, have often wondered what or where we all would be if Dad had come back. Maybe the whole of our lives would have been completely different and we may not have met our wonderful wives. Still that is in the past and as we get older we try to be better fathers to our kin as our dad did not get the chance to be. One of my beefs about the government is that our father is not entitled to the Australian Defence Medal even though he gave his life!
I clearly remember the Salvos leading the battalion to Spencer Street Station to embark on their great adventure, not knowing that the brass had sent them on a one way trip, never ever to know why. But then that is a politician's way to do as I say not as I do. No one in the army brass seemed to ever care or wonder why this was done. Maybe I sound a little bitter - but after all this time we still care about what happened to our fathers and knowing where they died and where they lay is very important to us all.
I hope this will help to understand a little more about one of the forgotten.
George Hill for the Hill family - in remembrance of a great man and soldier.'
© George Hill 2003
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