Edward Hills was born in 1885 at Glebe.
His parents were Edward & Elizabeth.
Edward was the 2nd of 4 children. He had 1 sister & 3 brothers. He did not marry.
He was educated at Stanmore Public School.
Edward enlisted on 28 Feb 1916.
He stated occupation as plumber and address as Second Avenue, Campsie.
He was of average build being 5ft 6¾in (170cm) tall; weighed 148lb (67kg); chest 34-36in (86-91cm). He had no distinguishing marks; a dark complexion, brown eyes, brown hair; and was Church of England.
Edward’s father was deceased and he named his mother Elizabeth as his next of kin.
He was assigned Service Number 2189 and attached to 4th Reinforcements for the 45th Battalion which was part of the 12th Brigade of the 4th Division.
War Service: Western Front
Edward and the 4th Reinforcements departed Sydney on HMAT Wiltshire on 22 Aug 1916 for England, arriving at Plymouth on 13 Oct.
After training in England, he departed for France on 8 Jan 1917 and eventually joined the 45th Battalion on 18 Jan at Gueudecourt, 5 km south of Bapaume on the Somme.
On the following day 19 Jan, Edward was in that part of the Battalion was in Gap Trench near Flers on fatigue duties, digging a sap behind the front line. They were coming back at about 9 pm to the Fatigue Trench about three miles behind the front line when a shell came over and struck him and 4 others. He was conscious and eventually admitted to the 36th Casualty Clearing Station (field hospital) with a compound fracture of the right leg and other wounds.
He died 3 days later on 24 Jan 1917 and was buried in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L’Abbe, France.
There was no death notice in the SMH however on the anniversary of his death 24 Jan 1918 & 1919 SMH In Memoriam notices stated:
“HILLS.-In loving memory of my dear son and our brother, Edward Hills, who died of wounds in France, January 24, 1917. Inserted by his loving mother, brothers, and sister.”
Edward’s mother Elizabeth was his next of kin and she received a pension of £2 per fortnight.
In July 1917 Elizabeth received his personal effects including identity discs, pocket book, knife, cigarette case, cigarette holder, belt, sewing kit, steel mirror, combs, badges, & 2 coins.
His mother Elizabeth died in 1937.
Edward is also commemorated on the Berowra Memorial just off Berowra Waters Road.