Allan Hill is remembered in Bill Cheall's war diary. He was killed tragically during the D-Day landings at Normandy, on Gold Beach, whilst getting off the landing craft. As he jumped off, he landed in a shell hole and at the same time a wave caused the boat to surge forward on top of him to crush and drown him.
Dad referred to him as Rufty and said he was a good scrapper and that he would have given a good account of himself if he had survived. The above photo was kindly provided by Mike Smith, Rufty's nephew.
Mike wrote in to say:
"I was looking for information about Allan Hill and came across your pages. My name is Mike Smith, and I am the son of Freda Smith (nee Hill) who was Allan's sister. Freda died recently, on the 8th September 2010. I was born in 1954, so did not know Allan, but there was a photograph of him on mother's windowsill.
Allan lived at Coral Street, Lingdale (Near Redcar) and had several brothers and a sister, Freda, who was my mother. Aubrey is the last remaining sibling. Norman, another brother, had a daughter Maureen."
Bill Vickers was a best pal of Rufty's and in a poignant comment, Mike added:
"I've not met Bill Vickers, but he was a name spoken about when I was a boy. I understand that he went back to look for Rufty after the landings on D-Day, but could not find him."
Bill and Ida Hill, Allan's parents, c 1959
The young Allan.
'He would have given a very good account of himself had he lived to go into the assault. He was a great scrapper and a good, tough soldier. It was a very sad loss to us all as he had always been a young man so full of energy, well known in the battalion and very popular with everybody; nothing was too much trouble for him - he was ‘one of the lads’
Allan's sister, Freda Hill c 1948 - She is Mike's mother.
Copy of Records Office notification to Allan's family.
Allan and an unknown pal, taken at Marsden Hall, May 1941. "To Freda with love from Allan"
Copy of War Office notification to Allan's family.
Allan and sister Freda.
"To Norman with love from Allan and Freda, Taken June 1940"
Allan's original grave in Bayeux
NEW: Photo of Rufty with pals and Winston Churchill, as published in the book.