Ernest Hill, MMwBar
|The newspaper articles below
explain the circumstances around his death
PETERBOROUGH EXAMINER, January 5, 1927
CITIZENS MOURN SHERMAN E. HILL
Soldiers and Civilians Attend Funeral of Hero of Great War
LAKEFIELD, Jan. 5. – The funeral of Sherman Ernest Hill was held on Thursday
afternoon from the family residence, Clementi street, where a brief service was held and
then proceeding to St. John’s church, and was attended by hundreds of people from the
village and countryside, including a large number of returned men, and also a good
representation of fellow employees of the Trent Canal Service. The church was packed to
capacity and nearly as many more were unable to get in but remained on the street. The
procession was led into the church by St. John’s vested choir followed by the casket
covered with the Union Jack surmounted by his cap bearing the regimental badge of the 21st
battalion to which the deceased was attached in France, and a wreath of maple leaves and
poppies from the 93rd battalion with which he joined up in 1915. Following the
casket were the pall-bearers, three from the 93rd and three from the 21st
battalion. They were Comrades David Tucker, Reginald Murduff, J. Roy Robinson, Walter
Chappell, John J. McFadden, and Earl Orr. The family, the firing party, and a large number
of men of the Canadian Legion, each wearing a scarlet poppy “in rememberance”,
followed, and the simple, impressive burial service of the Church of England was read by
Rev. A. W. Mackenzie, who also said a few words of comfort to the friends. The speaker had
known the deceased for many years as a fine type of Canadian manhood who gave his life in
the service of his country as surely as he risked it many times in France or Flanders.
“God is our great Judge and He knows our hearts, and it is He who must make the
judgment of our lives and works knowing all our feelings and our motives and it is well
that it is so. As we live and do our duty in this world are we judged. God wants us to
make the world better for our having been in it, and it will be well for us if God finds
us doing our duty faithfully as did Sherman Hill,” he said.
The hymn “Oh God Our Help In Ages Past” was sung and also the Nunc Dimittis as the procession slowly passed down the aisle.
The procession re-formed for the march to the Lakefield cemetery, The Citizen’s Band, which led the procession from the house, led it also to the cemetery and their music added to the impressive character of the cortege which included besides the firing party a long procession of ex-service men, including Col. T. J. Johnston of the 93rd battalion, and Sidney Whatley, secretary of the Canadian Legion in Peterboro, and scores of citizens in motor cars and cutters. The street were lined with pedestrians who watched reverently the long procession pass down Queen street where the blinds on every store were lowered to pay a token of respect to the man, he had lived here as man and boy as his father had before him.
The service at the cemetery was short and impressive, the Last Post was sounded by Bugler Thirnbeck of Peterboro, and the poppies were cast into the grave as an emblem of rememberance to the dead man.
Among those in the firing party were; Sergeant Stenner Comrades E. Robertshaw, Alfred Hudson, A. Barker, Wilbert Webster, S. Grylls, Laurence Charlton, E. Tighe, W. Robinson, Elmer Johnston, and W. Doherty.
The funeral was in charge of the Lakefield branch of the Canadian Legion and was excellently managed throughout. Decorations were worn by the men.
Sherman Ernest Hill was born in Lakefield 36 years and 8 months ago, the second son
of Mr. and Mrs. Wellington Hill, and lived in and about the village all his life with the
exception of about four years when he was absent in his country’s service in war
time. More than ten years ago he married Miss Maude Udy of Lakefield, who with four
children, Sherman, Denise, Gordon, and Jean survive him. His parents also survive and six
brothers, Roland of Port Hope, and Frank, Percy, D’Arcy, and Harry, all of Lakefield,
and one sister, Miss Eva Helen Hill of the staff of the Lakefield Public School.
Sherman Hill also took an active part in athletics and was prominent and popular in hockey circles as were all the Hill brothers. He enlisted in C company of the 93rd battalion in the winter of 1915 – 1916, and was an excellent soldier, a favorite with officers and men. When the battalion was broken up in England, he was attached to the 21st battalion of which battalion his brother, Joseph was one of the original members. Sherman and Joe were awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery in the field (a distinction rarely won by two members of the same family) and it is understood that Sherman was recommended for the V.C. After his return to Canada he received the appointment of lockmaster at Lock 23 on the Trent Canal, a position which he held till his death and where he gave his life in pursuit of his duty as the supreme sacrifice of service.
The floral offerings in memory of this brave soldier and faithful civil servant were many and beautiful and contributed both by military and civilian friends, with affectionate regard for a splendid Canadian, whose devotion to duty should be an ever continuing lesson to all those whose human endeavor is still incomplete.
|Above articles researched by Sheryl
Transcription by Brian Paudash, November 25, 2007