Hill, Sherman Roger

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MILITARY HISTORY

Sergeant Sherman Roger Hill – C 53954 — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War II)

Sherman Roger Hill was 24 years, 7 months old when, as a married man, he enlisted in Peterborough, Ontario on November 20, 1940 and was taken-on-strength with the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders (SD&GH), Canadian Active Service Force (CASF) in Ottawa, Ontario for the duration of the War. Sherman Roger’s entry medical had been done in Peterborough Ontario, November 15, 1940. He stated that he was born in Lakefield, Ontario on April 3, 1916; that he is 5′ 8″ tall, has dark brown hair, hazel eyes, chest 39″ and weighs 149 pounds. Sherman Roger indicated that he had no previous military experience. His previous employment was listed as a labourer. Sherman Roger lived in Lakefield, Ontario and his next-of-kin was listed as his wife, Madeline Jane Hill, also of Lakefield, Ontario. He was insured with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Sherman Roger had two sons and both of his parents were living. Sherman Roger Hill was assigned the rank of Private (Pte) and the Service Number C 53954.

Pte Hill’s records don’t show details for training for the period from enlisting (November 20, 1940) to July 31, 1941 when he arrived in England. These eight months would have been used for Basic & Advanced Training as would the time he spent in the United Kingdom (UK).

On January 18, 1941 Pte Hill was posted to No 1 Company (Coy) SD&GH. February 26, 1941 a son, Brydon Norman was born; at that time Pte Hill was located in Debert, Nova Scotia. On May 16, 1941 he was granted a 14-day Furlough to May 29, 1941. Then July 21, 1941 Pte Hill was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army (Canada) and embarked at Halifax, Nova Scotia for the UK. On July 22, 1941 he was taken-on-strength with the Canadian Army (Overseas); he disembarked at Avonmouth, England July 31, 1941.

On November 26, 1941 Pte Hill was granted 9 days Privileged Leave with a Travel Warrant to December 3, 1941. December 9, 1941 he was promoted to Acting Lance Corporal (A/L/Cpl). February 26, 1942 A/L/Cpl Hill was granted 7 days Privileged Leave with Rations and Travel Warrant to March 4, 1942. On March 12, 1942 Pte Hill was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal (L/Cpl). On May 31 he was admitted to 14th Field Ambulance and discharged that day. Then, on June 1, 1942 he was reduced in rank to Private for being absent without leave. June 5, 1942, again Pte Hill, was granted 7 days Privileged Leave to June 12, 1942. Although it is not indicated in his Military Records Pte Hill was reinstated to the rank of L/Cpl sometime before June 14, 1942. On June 14, 1942 L/Cpl was transferred to the 3rd Canadian Division Infantry Reinforcement Unit (3 CDIRU) while attending a small arms Infantry course. June 15, 1942 L/Cpl Hill was taken-on-strength with 3 CDIRU from the SD&GH. July 11, 1942 he qualified Q2 as per certificate.

On July 14, 1942 L/Cpl Hill was transferred to the SD&GH on completion of the small arms Infantry course and the taken-on-strength from the 3 CD1RU, July 15, 1942. August 6, 1942 L/Cpl Hill was appointed to the rank of an Acting Corporal (A/Cpl) and then on August 13, 1942 he was admitted to the 23rd Field Ambulance and one week later, August 20, 1942 L/Cpl Hill reverts to the permanent rank of Private on being struck-off-strength to the CDI Reinforcement Unit (RU). The same day, Pte Hill transferred from the 23rd Field Ambulance to No 1 General Hospital and then struck off strength to 3 CDIRU from the SD&GH. August 21, 1942 Pte Hill was attached to No 1 General Hospital. On September 14, 1942 Pte Hill was discharged from No 1 General Hospital and attachment ceased and he was transferred to the SD&GH September 16, 1942. On October 2, 1942 Pte Hill was taken-on-strength with the SD&GH and appointed A/Cpl the next day, October 3, 1942. A/Cpl Hill was confirmed in the rank of Corporal (Cpl) January 3, 1943 and also awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp.
On March 22, 1943 Cpl Hill was granted 7 days Privileged Leave to March 28, 1943. On April 19, 1944 Cpl Hill was appointed Acting Lance Sergeant (A/L/Sgt). The gaps of no data for up to 3 months at a time would have been utilized with advanced training and duties in their Base. On June 4, 1944 A/L/Sgt Hill embarked in the UK and June 6, 1944, on D-Day, he disembarked in France (and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant (Sgt) before June 13, 1944).

Sgt Hill, being a member of the SD&GH would have been in the 9th Canadian Infantry group who landed at Juno Beach on D-Day. The following is an explanation of the Normandy invasion.

NORMANDY LANDINGS

The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, in Operation Overlord, during World War II. The landings commenced on Tuesday, 6 June 1944
(D-Day), beginning at 6:30 am British Double Summer Time (GMT+2). In planning, as for most Allied operations, the term D-Day was used for the day of the actual landing, which was dependent on final approval.

The landings were conducted in two phases: an airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France starting at 6:30 am. Surprise was achieved thanks to inclement weather and a comprehensive deception plan implemented in the months before the landings, Operation Bodyguard, to distract German attention from the possibility of landings in Normandy. A key success was to convince Adolf Hitler that the landings would actually occur to the north at the Pas-de-Calais. There were also decoy operations taking place simultaneously with the landings under the codenames Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable to distract the German forces from the real landing areas.

The Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces was General Dwight Eisenhower while overall command of ground forces (21st Army Group) was given to General Bernard Montgomery. The operation, planned by a team under Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan, was the largest amphibious invasion in world history and was executed by land, sea and air elements under direct British-American command with over 160,000 soldiers landing on 6 June 1944: 73,000 Americans, 61,715 British and 21,400 Canadians. 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were also involved. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and materiel from the United Kingdom by troop-laden aircraft and ships, the assault landings, air support, naval interdiction of the English Channel and naval fire-support. The landings took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.

Juno Beach — 3rd Canadian Division
[A Division usually consists of 10,000 to 30,000 troops; about 21,000 in this case]
Commanding Officer – Major-General Rodney Frederick Leopold Keller

D-Day — Order of Battle
Units of the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
7th Canadian Infantry Brigade
8th Canadian Infantry Brigade
9th Canadian Infantry Brigade Includes the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders
Commanded by Lt. Colonel G. H. Christiansen

Additional Units
2nd Canadian Armoured
Royal Canadian Artillery
Royal Canadian Engineers
102 Beach Sub-Area
4th Special Service Brigade

(see JUNO BEACH – OPERATION OVERLORD which follows) The Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders landed in Normandy on D-Day and was the first Regiment to enter Caen, reaching the centre of the city at 1300 hours, July 9, 1944.

Sgt Hill was wounded, probably on June 12, 1944; on June 13, 1944 at 6:15 a.m. he was admitted to a Canadian Field Ambulance facility. The wound was diagnosed as a small puncture wound from a Sten Gun (9mm) round in his right loin area (opposite his 10th rib). His condition was good and the wound required immediate exploration. Sgt Hill reverted back to the rank of Cpl on being struck-off-strength from the SD&GH to X-3 List SD&GH. June 16, 1944 Cpl Hill was evacuated to No 20 Canadian General Hospital and on July 11, 1944 he was transferred to Roman Way Convalescent Hospital {It is believed that the Roman Way Convalescent Hospital is located in England as Cpl Hill left the England for France September 5, 1944 arriving in France September 6, 1944. His records don’t indicate when he traveled back to the England from France.} July 28, 1944 he was discharged from the Roman Way Convalescent Hospital and July 29, 1944 he was transferred to the Y-3 List, 4th Canadian Infantry Reinforcement Unit (4 CIRU) from the X-3 List SD&GH. August 4, 1944 Cpl Hill was taken-on-strength to the SD&GH from 4 CIRU. The next move had Cpl Hill transfer to X-4 List, 2nd Canadian Base Reinforcement Group (2 CBRG) from 4 CIRU on September 5, 1944, the same day he embarked at the UK. Cpl Hill disembarked at France and was taken-on-strength to the X-4 List September 6, 1944. On September 7, 1944 Cpl Hill transferred to the SD&GH X List from the X-4 List.

September 15, 1944 Cpl Hill was transferred from the X-4 List to the SD&GH and taken-on-strength the next day, September 16, 1944. On September 19, 1944 he was promoted to L/Sgt and a month later he was promoted to A/Sgt. On January 19, 1945 A/Sgt Hill became Sgt Hill. On February 12, 1945 Sergeant Sherman Roger Hill was killed in action in Germany. His section had a group of German soldiers held-up in a building; when Sergeant Hill lead the assault to oust the Germans he received a mortal gun-shot wound. Sergeant Sherman Roger Hill was temporarily interred in the German Waldscholochen Yard of Rest – Cemetery. Sergeant Sherman Roger Hill was re-interred at the Nijmegen Canadian Military Cemetery the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands. [Grave 3, Row F, Plot 20]
Sergeant Hill was awarded the following medals:
1939 – 45 Star;
France & Germany Star;
Defence Medal;
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Bar; and
War Medal 1939 – 45.

He also qualified for War Service Badge A.
Sherman Roger Hill served for 4 years, 3 months; 8 months in Canada, 2 years 11 months in the United Kingdom and 8 months in France – Germany. During his time in the Service he would have allotted about $20.00 per month of his pay to his wife.
An excerpt from an article in McLean’s magazine by Barbara Amiel, September 1996:

The military is the single calling in the world with job specifications that include a commitment to die for your nation. What could be more honorable?

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JUNO BEACH — OPERATION OVERLORD June 6, 1944

Juno beach was five miles wide and stretched on either side of Courseulles-sur-Mer.

The Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders is a Primary Reserve Infantry Regiment of the Canadian Army. It is part of 33 Canadian Brigade Group, 4th Canadian Division and is headquartered in Cornwall, Ontario
Land — Canadian Army
3rd Canadian Infantry Division
Mike Sector – 7th CANADIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE
1st Battalion, The Royal Winnipeg Rifles
1st Battalion, The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Victoria)
6th Armoured Regiment (1St Hussars) (London, Ontario) (Sherman DD)
1st Battalion, The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (Machine Gun)
7 Canadian Infantry Brigade Ground Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots)
Nan Sector – 8th CANADIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE
1st Battalion, The Regina Rifle Regiment
1st Battalion, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada (Toronto)
1st Battalion, The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment
1st Battalion, Le Regiment de la Chaudière (LCvis, Québec)
10th Armoured Regiment (The Fort Garry Horse) (Winnipeg) (Sherman DD)
8 Canadian Infantry Brigade Ground Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots)
Follow-up forces landed in Nan Sector – 9th CANADIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE
1st Battalion, The Highland Light Infantry of Canada (Galt, Ontario)
1st Battalion, The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders (Cornwall, Ontario)
1st Battalion, The North Nova Scotia Highlanders
27th Armoured Regiment (The Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment) (Québec)
1st Battalion, The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (Machine Gun)
9 Canadian Infantry Brigade Ground Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots)
Juno or Juno Beach was one of five beaches of the Allied invasion of German occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during the Second World War. The beach spanned from Courseulles-sur-Mer, a village just east of the British beach Gold, to Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, just west of the British beach Sword. The objectives of the 3rd Division on D-Day were to cut the Caen-Bayeux road, seize the Carpiquet airport west of Caen, and form a link between the two British beaches of Gold and Sword on either side of Juno Beach. Taking Juno was the responsibility of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and commandos of the Royal Marines, all under the command of British I Corps, with support from Naval Force J, the Juno contingent of the invasion fleet, including the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). The beach was defended by two Battalions of the German 716th Infantry Division, with elements of the 21st Panzer Division held in reserve near Caen.
The invasion plan called for two Brigades of the 3rd Canadian Division to land on two beach sectors—Mike and Nan—focusing on Courseulles, Bernières and Saint-Aubin. It was hoped that the preliminary Naval and Air bombardments would soften up the beach defences and destroy coastal strong points. Close support on the beaches was to be provided by amphibious tanks of the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade. Once the landing zones were secured, the plan called for the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade to land reserve Battalions and deploy inland, the Royal Marine commandos to establish contact with the British 3rd Infantry Division on Sword Beach and the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade to link up with the British 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division on Gold Beach. The 3rd Canadian Division’s D-Day objectives were to capture Carpiquet Airfield and reach the Caen–Bayeux railway line by nightfall.
The 3rd Canadian Infantry Division with the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade under command landed in two Brigade Groups, the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade and the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade. Each Brigade had three Infantry Battalions and an Armoured Regiment in support, 2 Artillery Field Regiments, Combat Engineer Companies and extra Units from the 79th Armoured Division. The Fort Garry Horse tanks (10th Armoured Regiment) supported the 7th Brigade landing on the left and the 1st Hussars tanks (6th Armoured Regiment) supported the landing on the right.
The 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade was kept in reserve and landed later that day and advanced through the lead Brigades. The Sherbrooke Fusiliers tanks (27th Armoured Regiment) provided tank support.
The initial assault was carried out by:
North Shore Regiment on the left at St. Aubin (Nan Red beach)
Queen’s Own Rifles in the centre at Bemières (Nan White beach)
Regina Rifles at Courseulles (Nan Green beach)
Royal Winnipeg Rifles on the western edge of Courseulles (Mike Red and Mike Green beaches)
Canadian Air, Land and Sea Forces suffered approximately 950 casualties on D-Day, the majority being soldiers of the 3rd Canadian Division. By noon, the entire Division was ashore and leading elements had pushed several kilometres inland to seize bridges over the Seulles River. By 6:00 pm they had captured the town of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer. A 1st Hussars Armoured Troop reached its objective along with men of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada before nightfall, when both Units moved 15 km inland and crossed the Caen- Bayeux highway. However, this Troop was forced to pull back because they had passed the supporting Infantry. By the end of D-Day the Division had penetrated farther into France than any other Allied force, though counter-attacks by elements of two German Armoured Divisions prevented further major gains for four weeks.
None of the assault Divisions, including 3rd Canadian Division, had managed to secure their D-Day objectives, which lay inland, although the Canadians came closer than any other Allied formation.
By the end of the next day, the Canadian Forces had linked up with the British Forces that had landed at Sword Beach.

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From the Peterborough Examiner; February 22, 1945:

LAKEFIELD BOY KILLED OVERSEAS

LAKEFIELD, Feb. 22 — (ENS) —

Word was received today by Mrs. Madge Hill that her husband, Sgt. Sherman (Roger) Hill who enlisted with the S.D. and G. Highlanders, has been the killed in action in *Holland.
Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Sherman (Ernest) Hill, Lakefield he was born and educated there prior to enlisting in 1940 and was employed at the Quaker Oats. He and a brother, Cpl. Gordon Hill, enlisted in the same unit the same day, and there was only one digit difference in their numbers.
His death was particularly tragic at this time because he had just been granted compassionate leave, owing to his wife’s illness and his papers were all in order to return to Canada. Mrs. Hill received a letter from her husband Wednesday telling her that he would be home in a short time.
The young soldier was wounded June 13 (1944), shortly after the invasion began. He received a rifle bullet in the **groin and only got back into action in September.
Surviving are his wife, formerly Madge Abrams; three sons, Wayne, Lance and Bryden***; four sisters, Denise of Toronto, Jean of Orillia, Mrs. Warren Northey (Helen) of Mount Julian, and Shirley of Kinmount; and one brother Cp1. Gordon Hill, overseas.

* — Sherman Roger Hill died in Germany       ** — wounded in the right loin        *** Brydon

 

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PERSONAL HISTORY

SHERMAN ROGER HILL

Sherman Roger was born April 3, 1916 in Lakefield Ontario to Sherman Ernest Hill and Maude Margaret Udey. He was called Sherman, never his middle name but most always called ‘Jock’, by the Lakefield people who knew him. Sherman Roger married Madeline Jane Abrams, daughter of Morgan Abrams, about 1936 (place) Lakefield. They had three children; Sherman Wayne, born April 21, 1937, he died February 21, 1981 due to cancer. Wayne was interred in Lakefield Cemetery, Lance Gordon, born March 5, 1939, married Lynn Beverley Blackstock and Brydon Norman, born February 26, 1941, married Sandra Marguerite Wiles, daughter of Sandy Wiles and Isobel Jacobs.

In 1931, at the age of 15 years, after completing grade IX in Lakefield Sherman Roger left school to go to work. Prior to enlisting with his brother Gordon Arthur “Jiggs” he was employed at the Quaker Oats Company in Peterborough Ontario. He also worked at the Canadian Nephaline Company, Lakefield as a Powder Man for 4 years. Just prior to enlisting he was employed as a labourer at the Quaker Oats Company in Peterborough Ontario. Sherman and his brother Gordon both enlisted with the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders; their service numbers were different by only one digit. Sherman died February 12, 1945 – killed in action in Germany. Sherman was initially interred in Germany but subsequently re-interred at the Nijmegen Canadian Military Cemetery; the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands.

After Sherman (Jock’s) demise, Madeline Jane Hill (Abrams) married Melville Orville Kingdon born November 28, 1906, a partner in Kingdon Lumber up until his brother, Arthur, bought him out. Melville’s wife, Eva Helen Hill (Sherman Roger’s aunt) had died September 25, 1945 leaving him a widower with two children, Ronald and Cheri.

Sherman Roger “Jock” enlisted in the Canadian Army in Peterborough, Ontario on November 20, 1940 with the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders at the same time as his brother Gordon Arthur “Jiggs” enlisted. They embarked from Halifax, Nova Scotia on the same ship and went into the D-Day Battle the same day. It is most likely that their paths crossed more than once during the War.

THE SHERMAN ROGER HILL FAMILY OF LAKEFIELD

Sherman Roger’s great-grandfather, Richard Hill, born about 1820 in England, died February 7, 1902 at 7 S. Bridge St., Lakefield. Richard married Elizabeth Langstaff, born about 1823, in England, died December 17, 1902 at 7 S. Bridge St., Lakefield. They married about 1842 in Canada, possibly in Dummer Township, Peterborough County, Ontario. Richard and Elizabeth had 10 children, 6 boys and 4 girls; Thomas Richard – born February 14, 1843, George Ulysses – born about 1852, Sarah – born about 1855, Samuel Alexander born about 1857, Jane T. – born about 1858, Annie – born about 1860, Roland – born about 1862, Wellington John – born April 15, 1864, Albert – born about 1868, and Ellen – born about 1874. Both Richard & Elizabeth are interred in Hillside Cemetery, Lakefield.

Sherman Roger’s grandfather, Wellington John Hill, born April 15, 1864 in Dummer Township, Peterborough County married Rachel Ellen (Nellie) Crowe, born August 4, 1864, in Dummer Township, Peterborough County on October 1, 1886 in Lakefield Ontario. Wellington died March 12, 1942 in Lakefield Ontario, buried in Lakefield Cemetery. Nellie died June 25, 1940, in Lakefield Ontario, buried in Lakefield Cemetery.

Wellington John Hill and Rachel Ellen “Nellie” Crowe had 8 children, seven boys and one girl;

Roland Wellington was born on May 28, 1886 in Lakefield Ontario and he married Florence Lillian Sanderson on October 14, 1914 in Peterborough Ontario. Roland died March 7, 1961 in Lakefield Ontario and Florence died July 4, 1987 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Peterborough Ontario, both are buried in Lakefield Cemetery.
Sherman Ernest was born on September 13, 1890 in Lakefield Ontario and he married Maude Margaret Udey* on August 14, 1915. Sherman died on December 24, 1926 and is buried in Lakefield Cemetery.
Francis Bruce “Frank” was born on September 11, 1893 and he married Lucinda Freeburn on November 8, 1916 in Young’s Point Ontario. She was born on June 25, 1897 in Smith Township.
Joseph Richard was born on March 31, 1895 in Lakefield Ontario and died June 18, 1955 in Peterborough Ontario, buried in Lakefield Cemetery.
Percivale “Percy” Claude, born June 6, 1897 in Lakefield Ontario and married Esther Ann Marsden who was born on December 2, 1902 in Alnwick Township, Ontario. He died July 14, 1971 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Peterborough Ontario and is buried in Lakefield Cemetery.
Darcy Deyncourt was born on June 3, 1902 in Lakefield Ontario.
Eva Helen was born September 25, 1904 in Lakefield Ontario and married Melville Orville Kingdon about 1946. He was born November 28, 1906 in Peterborough Ontario. Eva died September 25, 1945 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Peterborough Ontario and Melville died November 17, 1972 in Peterborough Ontario, both are buried in Lakefield Cemetery.
Harry Traverse was born November 6, 1906 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Peterborough Ontario and married Eva Violeta Hendren in 1948 and she was born on December 9, 1913. Harry died May 5, 1975 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Peterborough Ontario and Eva died October 30, 2008 in Extendicare Lakefield; both are buried in Lakefield Cemetery.

Sherman Roger’s father, Sherman Ernest married Maude Margaret Udey*, daughter of William Udey and Laura Billings, on August 14, 1915; Maude was born in Neligh Nebraska – USA about 1891 and they made their home in Lakefield.

* Maude Margaret Udey married a “Connelly after Sherman Ernest Hill’s demise since Sherman Roger’s Military File indicates a “Shirley Patricia Connelly”, born about 1932, as a step-child.

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