Albert Hill was born in Manchester on 24th May 1895, his family moved to Wimblebury, Staffordshire when he was two but in 1907 he returned to the Manchester area living in Denton with his grandmother. According to the 1911 census prior to the First World War Albert was employed as a Felt Hatter Machine Hand.
Albert was a private for the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during the war and won his Victoria Cross for his deeds on the 20th July 1916 at Delville Wood, part of the Battle of the Somme. Here is a description of his courageous acts from the London Gazette October 24 1916:
‘For most conspicuous bravery. When his battalion had deployed under very heavy fire for an attack on the enemy in a wood, he dashed forward, when the order to charge was given, and, meeting two of the enemy suddenly, bayonetted them both. He was sent later by his Platoon Sergeant to get into touch with the Company, and, finding himself cut off and almost surrounded by some twenty of the enemy, attacked them with bombs, killing and wounding many and scattering the remainder.
He then joined a Sergeant of his Company and helped him to fight the way back to the lines.
When he got back, hearing that his Company Officer and a scout were lying out wounded, he went out and assisted to bring in the wounded officer, two other men bringing in the scout.
Finally, he himself captured and brought in as prisoners two of the enemy. His conduct throughout was magnificent.’
This shows Albert was a very brave and fiercely loyal soldier who fought with distinction. Albert also received the French Croix de Guerre and the Russian Cross of St George of the First Class during his service. Albert later tried to enlist for the US Army during WWII at the age of 46 but was advised to do defence work within the country instead.
After the war he emigrated to the United States where he became a naturalised citizen in 1944. According to his draft registration card for the Second World War he was living in Pawtucket, Providence, Rhode Island and was employed by the H&B Machine Company in the same town. Albert died on February 17th 1971 at the Pawtucket Memorial Hospital and is buried at the Highland Memorial Park, Johnston, Rhode Island. There is a plaque in his honour on the gate of the Memorial Gardens in Denton.
London Gazette October 24 1916
Image of plaque courtesy of Blue Plaque Places
Image of Albert Hill courtesy of Mark Green of Victoria Cross Online