Pte. Charles Hilton

Left to Right - Charles (Charles' oldest son), wife Alice, Walter (baby), Charles,
and in the front is Doris (Charles' second oldest)
Photo above and below courtesy of James Marshall


Charles was born in London, England on June 25th 1874- A   boy with striking features- dark complexion with blue eyes.. In his early 40s, he emigrated to Canada.  Charles, and his wife, Alice Annie lived at 48 Yeoman Street, Belleville, Ontario (He spent 12 years in the Royal Navy- and when he emigrated to Canada- to Belleville- it was only for a brief time; long enough to father my Grandmother.   He enlisted 44 years of age. (Why the Army after being in the Navy? Maybe the food...) Charles enlisted with the 155th overseas Btn, but was eager to see the front.  After getting his Sergeant stripes, he asked for a transfer to the 21st- (at least this is what I am told...) His wish was granted- reduction to Private, but he didn't care- he was off to shoot some Germans! On April 17, 1918, Charles met his fate during the German advance. He had almost made it.

Below is a postcard Charles sent home while he was training with the 155th Battalion prior to sailing overseas.

Pte C Hilton

Pte C Hilton



Jan 24, 1916

Attested into the 155th Battalion at Belleville Ontario 

Ø      Number 636430

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs. Alice A Hilton (wife) of 48 Yeomans St Belleville Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Polisher

Ø      Previous military experience given as 12 years in Royal Navy

Ø      Religion given as Church of England


May 8, 1916

Promoted to rank of Sgt 

Promotions in Canada had to be confirmed in England


Oct 10, 1916

Will made out leaving estate to his wife at 23 Charlotte St, Belleville Ontario.


Oct 18, 1916

Appointed to rank of Acting Sgt 

Embarked the SS Northland at Halifax Nova Scotia



Oct 28, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to the Bramshott Camp


Dec 8, 1916

Transferred to the 154th Battalion at East Sandling Camp


Jan 31, 1917

Transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion at Seaford


Apr 30, 1917

Reverts to rank of Pte at own request in order to proceed to France


May 3, 1917

Transferred to 21st Battalion


May 4, 1917

Arrived at CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at Havre France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


May 7, 1917

Left CBD to join unit in the field 

Although not mentioned in the file, he most likely proceeded to the 2nd Entrenching Battalion for 3 weeks prior to actually joining the 21st Battalion.


May 15, 1917

Placed under stoppage of pay to the extent of 6/3 for willfully injuring public property, viz 1 undershirt 

The pay records show that his pay was deducted $1.52 for damage to public property


May 31, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in the field 

The 21st Battalion was in the front line trench at Thelus France, near Vimy Ridge.  It is most likely that he joined the rear party behind the front line to wait for the battalion to be relieved.


Jun 17, 1917

Admitted to #3 Canadian Field Ambulance with Impetigo


Jun 26, 1917

Discharged to duty


Aug 17, 1917

Proceeded on course


Sep 20, 1917

Returned to duty from course


Jan 19, 1918

Attached to 1st Canadian Tunneling Company


Jan 27, 1918

Ceases to be attached to Tunneling Company


Jan 29, 1918

Granted 14 days leave


Feb 13, 1918

Returned to duty from leave


Apr 17, 1918

Admitted to 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, France and died of wounds (shrapnel wounds to face, legs and left arm) the same day 

The actual date of him receiving his wounds is not mentioned in the file, but the battalion was involved in action for the week leading up to this date.  Also, there is no mention of which Field Ambulance he was initially treated at.

 Pte C Hilton 

Doullens Communal Cemetery France


Sep 30, 1920

Under various dates the Plaque, Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his wife, Mrs. Alice A Hilton at 357 Front St, Belleville Ontario.


May 20, 1922

British War Medal and Victory Medal sent to wife at 357 Front St, Belleville Ontario



During the Remembrance Day ceremonies in 2008, Veteran's Affairs Canada conducted a vigil each night for the week leading up to November 11.  This vigil consisted of projecting the names of every Canadian soldier who is listed with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on various buildings and monuments across Canada, and in London England.  The photo below shows Charles Hilton's name being projected on the outside wall of Canada House in London England.



For the 7 nights leading up to November 11, 2010, the names of all Canadian soldiers were projected onto the Belgian War Memorial in Ypres.  At the same time, the same names were being broadcast via the internet to schools across Belgium and Canada.  The image above shows the opening ceremonies at the Belgian War Memorial on November 4, 2010. 

Below on the left is the name of Charles Hilton being projected on that wall.  Below right shows the name being broadcast to the schools.  Each name appeared for 25 seconds and each night 9,700 names were shown.


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