Hills, John

He was the third son of Robert Savi Hills, who had played for Rugby in the first match against Marlborough in 1855, and also made eighty-three at Lord’s against a strong MCC team. His mother was Agnes Leonore Hills (daughter of James Hay).

He came from Cargilfield to College in September 1918. At school he was more prominent as an athlete than as a scholar, but was in Senior Division of Sixth Book and won a Heath Harrison Exhibition at Brasenose College, Oxford. He was a good footballer, was in College XV in 1920, and in VI for the next two years, being captain in 1922. In 1923 he was in Soccer XI and in 2nd XI at cricket. At Oxford he took a Second Class in Jurisprudence, and played rugby football for a strong Brasenose XV. Like his father, he went into business in India, and after a few years with the Bombay Burma Company became a merchant with Messrs. Vernon & Co., in Madras.

On the outbreak of war he joined the RAFVR in India. He held some administrative posts there, for which his business training made him specially suitable. On March 7th 1942 he married the daughter of C.J. Hayward, of the Goorghully Estates, Mysore. His wife Audrey, nick-named ‘Wuzz’, bore him a daughter, but their child predeceased him.

Hills was promoted to Squadron Leader in 1943 and sent to Europe. He was serving on the Allied Control Commission in Italy when he died suddenly, in Rome, of blood poisoning, on July 5th 1945. He was forty years old.

He lies in grave I.C.30 of the Rome War Cemetery.



War: World War 2

  • Surname: Hills
  • Forenames or initials: John
  • House: College
  • Years in School: 1918-1923
  • Rank: Squadron Leader
  • Regiment: RAF Volunteer Reserve
  • Date of Birth: 16th November 1904
  • Date of Death: 4th July 1945
  • How Died: Died of Blood Poisoning
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner D2
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Rome War Cemetery: Grave I.C.30