Once A Marine Always A Marine

40 COMMANDO VETERANS STORIES

Sgt Harry Hill mid

Sgt Henry William Hill RM

40 Commando Royal Marines


EX 5515

 

Derby Man Hid Behind German Lines

For 10 days

 

He was always a lad for adventure remarked his wife when she first heard of his exploits in Italy.

Sgt Harry Hill of 40 Commando Royal Marines was out on patrol, he escaped in the confusion caused by our artillery fire and living on beans and figs and made his way back to the allied lines.

Just as Sgt Hill was being led away by his captors the allied guns opened fire. Both he and the Germans sheltered from the flying shrapnel. Sgt Hill crawled round some boulders, and as soon as he was out of sight he ran.


First, he took refuge in a cave and the he took shelter in a house on two or three occasions Germans entered the house he was hiding in, Sgt Hill managed to conceal himself behind a side board each time.


At night he slept in a stable. Finding a civilian suit, he wore this suit but carefully and carriage his British Uniform in a bundle until he reached his own lines.

Unfortunately, he set out under darkness towards the British positions. He made his way over some hills, crossed a narrow plain and found some British soldiers making tea near a tank.

It was a grand cup of tea he told his mates, later he told them about deadly nature of British Artillery.

Sergeant Hill volunteered for the Royal Marines in the early part of 1940 and took part in the Crete Campaign.

After joining the Commando’s in January 1942, he narrowly escaped death in the Dieppe Raid, being slightly wounded as his landing craft was hit during the landing.

On that occasion he spent three hours in the water with bullets splattering all around him after the assault landing craft which took him to the beach at Dieppe had been set on fire.

He went to Sicily in June; Mrs Hill showed no surprise when a telegraph representative told her of her husband’s escape.


Sgt Hill had not mentioned his adventure in his letters home, but referred once to a surprise that he had in store for when he got home, his wife thought it referred to his recent promotion to Sergeant

 

Following this Sgt Hill move on through Italy, but sadly he was killed in action in the area of Lake Comacchio on the 11th April 1945 at the age of 34


During his service he was awarded the Italy Star He also received the 1939 – 45 Star the Defence Medal and the War Medal


His resting place is at the Argenta Gap War Cemetery close to Comacchio one of the Corps memorable dates.

He was awarded a Mention in Despatches for gallant and distinguished service whilst serving in Italy


Awarded


1939-45 Star

Italy Star + Mention in Dispatches and Awarded at Battle of Comacchio

Defence Medal

War Medal

 

Once A Marine Always A Marine