Ralph Hill was one of six brothers who answered the call to enlist from Lord Kitchener in the autumn of 1914. Their father received a letter from the King on hearing that all six had joined up in the space of a few months, congratulating him on the family's service. Ralph, aged just 19, Robert and Harold were all killed, the other three returned home safely. Ralph was born at Morcott on 10 February 1896, and then the family moved to Manor Farm in Pilton when he was just two years old and lived there for the next 15 years. Ralph was a draper's assistant at Furley and Hassan in Oakham. He enlisted in September 1914 and went to France early in July 1915 with the 1st/5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. He took part in the fight for the Hohenzollern Redoubt during the Battle of Loos, where he was killed on 13 October 1915, reportedly by machine gun fire. Ralph Hill kept a diary which began on 11 June 1915, with the last entry dated 20 September the same year as his battalion came out of the trenches near Ypres. "We went in Fifty Trench where we lived in hell for three days owing to the shelling and aerial torpedoes which we received. Several casualties resulted, including two officers, Captain Griffiths, and Lieutenant Farrow [Farrer], both slightly wounded. We were very pleased to be relieved by the 4th Lincolns [this happened on 14 September. The battalion had suffered 11 men killed and 34 wounded]. We went to some new huts (Dickebusch), which were very much better than the others. Oh! what a march and how I felt! A glorious time was spent at the huts only too short. Now for the trenches again, tonight!!!." During the battalion's next stint in the trenches near Ypres one officer and 14 men including Ralph were killed and another 40 men were wounded. Ralph is buried in Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, grave XXIX C 36. Most of the Hill family had moved to Skegness in 1913, just before the war and as a result the Hill brothers are all remembered on the Skegness war memorial but not on any memorial in Rutland. The Pilton house the Hill brothers grew up in became the home of the Harris family including Joe Harris who also died in the First World War.
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