109393 Pte. Walter "John" Hill was born in Plumstead, County of Kent, England, on October 16th, 1883. On the June 23rd, 1902, John enlisted in 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars at Woolwich. This enlistment was for a period of 12 years, three years on active service, and nine years in reserve.

The three yeas of active service were spent in South Africa. The Boer War had officially ended on May 31st, 1902. During John's period of service, he was apparently engaged in escorting survey parties working on the proposed - but never completed - "Cape to Cairo Railway".

At the end of the three years active service, John returned to civilian life in Plumstead; and for some years proceeded to make a living as a painter and decorator. On the August 5th, 1906, John and Alice Easley were married in in St. Nicholas parish church in Plumstead. Within months the couple left England; and on March 28th, 1907, disembarked at St. John, New Brunswick. Ten days later in Toronto, their first child was born.

John, however, was still enlisted in the 7th Hussars as part of the active reserve. Until his final discharge, he had to report quarterly to a magistrate. For his service he was paid sixpence a day. That added up to nine pounds, two shillings, and sixpence per year.

John's term of enlistment in the British Army finally ended on the June 22nd, 1914. About six weeks later (August 4th, 1914), Canada entered the war against the Kaiser. On November 27th of that year, John enlisted in the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles (Regimental No. 109393).

Formally arriving in the field in France with the regiment on October 24th, 1915, it is clear that John was one of the very few "originals" to serve with the 4th CMR and to see the war to its end. John was struck off service to Canada on December 15th, 1918, and finally discharged as medically unfit on January 24th, 1919.

For the next twenty-odd years John and Alice lived in Toronto and raised a family of four children.

The rise to power of Hitler's Nazi party eventually led to Canada's declaration of war against Germany on September 10th, 1939. This was followed by a declaration of war against Italy (June 11th, 1940) and against Japan (December 7th, 1941). Once again, on August 7th, 1941, John enlisted. His attestation papers first record that he enlisted in the "Queens York Rangers (Regimental No. 368). However this was scratched out and replaced by "No 2 Dist Depot, Toronto, Reg. No. B100642). On August 7th he was transferred to No 20 BTC, Brantford, Ontario.

On his service record, dated May 27th, 1945, is the notation, "Volunteered for the Pacific Theatre". This is crossed out and marked with the notation, "Cancelled".

On April 18th, 1946, at the age of 62 yrs, 6 mo, and 2 days he was discharged "to return to civil life". After the completion of military service, John was employed by the Corps of Commissionaires until his retirement. He finally passed away on January 12th, 1966.

Thanks and credit for the biography and image go to Bruce Hill.