Hill, Ernest Ludgate (Ernest)
No. 5048, 26th Battalion, Australian Infantry, AIF
Killed in action on Tuesday 14 November 1916 (aged 18)
No known grave
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France
Greyabbey and District War Memorial located on the outside wall of
Greyabbey Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Saviour’s)
Family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor
Family grave headstone in Greyabbey Old Graveyard
Ernest Ludgate Hill was born on 25 December 1897 in Greyabbey and he was the second son of Marshall and Sarah Louisa Hill (nee Ludgate) who were married on 24 December 1894 in Greyabbey Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Saviour’s). Marshall Hill was a son of Marshall Hill, a farmer. Sarah Louisa Ludgate was a daughter of Thomas Ludgate, a teacher.
Both Marshall and Sarah Louisa Hill were National School Teachers in Greyabbey.
Marshall and Sarah Hill had at least seven children:
Arthur (born 22 January 1896 in Greyabbey)
Ernest (born 25 December 1897 in Greyabbey)
Edgar (born 8 May 1899 in Greyabbey)
Thomas Jeffrey (born 3 April 1900 in Greyabbey)
Evelyn Mary (born 23 February 1901 in Greyabbey)
Vera Kathleen (born 6 October 1902 in Greyabbey)
Doris Ellinor Louisa (born 25 May 1915 in Greyabbey)
At least six of these children were baptised in Greyabbey Parish Church of Ireland Church.
Ernest Ludgate Hill moved to New South Wales in Australia where he worked on a sheep station. He enlisted on 2 February 1916 at Lismore, New South Wales and it was recorded in his attestation papers that he was 21 years 1 month old, he was 5 feet 9⅞ inches tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes and brown hair and he weighed 147 lbs. Ernest Ludgate Hill had exaggerated his age; he was 18 when he enlisted.
After initial training, Private Ernest Ludgate Hill proceeded with his unit to England and was granted a short period of home leave. He arrived in Belfast late one night, walked to Greyabbey and had to be back on board ship early the following day. That was the last time his family saw him.
Private Ernest Ludgate Hill was posted to France and he went to the Front on 3 October 1916. On 18 November 1916, Private Ernest Ludgate Hill was posted as missing in action and it was noted on his service record that it was thought he might be being held as a Prisoner-of-War at Limburg. Later this note was amended and it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action on or after 14 November 1916.
Sometime later his family received a few of Ernest’s personal effects from a German soldier who forwarded them after Ernest died. The German soldier whose forename was Ernst had come upon Ernest’s body on the battlefield and had recovered the items from the pockets of Ernest’s uniform.
Private Ernest Ludgate Hill was 18 when he died and he has no known grave.
Private Ernest Ludgate Hill is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in France; on Greyabbey and District War Memorial located on the outside wall of Greyabbey Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Saviour’s) and on family grave headstones in both Bangor Cemetery and Greyabbey Old Graveyard.