Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 7, 1883
Place of BirthStrathroy, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinFather: John James Hill, Clavering, Ontario
Trade / CallingCooper
Service Details
Regimental Number1066183
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion4th Regiment Canadian Mounted Rifles
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Mounted Rifles
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentShallow Lake, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 10, 1917
Age at Enlistment33
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 8, 1932
Age at Death48
Buried AtWoodland Cemetery, Kitchener, Ontario
PlotSection A

Hill, Louis John

Louis John Hill was born December 7, 1883 in Strathroy, Bruce County, Ontario (birth registered as John Lewis Hill). His parents were John James Hill and Anna Bella Doman. John James, a cooper (barrel maker) by trade, had been born in Ontario in 1854 to Irish immigrant parents, and Anna Bella was born in Ireland in 1860.

Louis’ father moved the family, including children Edna Maud (1879), Louis (1883), Sarah (Sadie) (1885) and Harkey (1887), to the town of Keewatin in northwestern Ontario in the 1890s. Daughter Anna May was born in northwestern Ontario in 1897.

Anna Bella Hill passed away February 10, 1899 and by 1906 Louis, Harkey and their father had gone west to Saskatchewan to try their hand at farming in the Lipton area of the Qu’Appelle Valley.

Edna Maud married William Reynolds of Keewatin in 1902, and Sarah wed Walter Bury, a local butcher, in 1907. Anna May (aka Anne Marie) lived with the Reynolds family.

John James remarried while in the west but farming didn’t prove successful for the men. John James and Louis moved to the Owen Sound area of Ontario and were living there when war was declared.

Louis joined the war effort in 1917, enlisting in the 248th Battalion at Owen Sound on February 10, 1917. He was living in Shallow Lake at the time and gave his occupation as cooper. The 248th Battalion was one of four infantry battalions raised in Grey County during the war. Louis sailed for England with the battalion on June 2, 1917 aboard the S.S. Olympic. Like many of the infantry battalions shipped overseas from 1916 onward, the 248th was broken up to provide replacement troops for battalions already in the field. Louis was assigned to the 4th CMR (Canadian Mounted Rifles) effective December 7, 1917, and he arrived in France three days later. Wounded slightly in May 1918, he incurred a much more serious injury in August. He was admitted to hospital suffering from gas effects and throat burns on August 25 and spent the rest of the war in hospitals in France and England.

Following his discharge from hospital in February 1919 he was returned to Canada, arriving at the Toronto depot on April 1, 1919, and he was officially discharged from service effective April 11. His brother Harkey Merlin Hill had enlisted on December 25, 1914 and he was killed in action June 6, 1916.

Louis returned to Shallow Lake and married Gertrude Ritchie on June 25, 1919. They later moved to Waterloo, Ontario where Louis worked as a street car cashier. They had three daughters, Alice, Ila Jean and Joyce.

When Louis’ father, John James Hill, died in 1928 in Palmerston, his body was returned to Keewatin, to be interred with his first wife Anna Bella at the Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

Louis Hill’s war service extracted a price as he suffered from poor health on his return.

He died July 8, 1932 in Waterloo, Ontario of myocarditis (heart inflammation), with long term bronchitis listed as the contributing cause. The doctor signing the certificate noted he had been treating Louis since January for the bronchitis and added the notation that war service was a contributing factor to his poor health.

Sadly, Gertrude gave birth to a stillborn son four weeks later, on August 3, 1932. He was named Louis John Hill after his father. Their daughter Ila Jean died in 1939, at age 12, and Gertrude passed away in 1977, at age 90. Louis, Gertrude, their son Louis and daughter Jean are all buried at Woodland Cemetery in Kitchener, Ontario.

By Bob Stewart and Becky Johnson

Hill-Louis-John-90 Hill-Louis-John-91

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