Bristol University Air Squadron Officer Cadet Josh Rowles has chosen to mark this year’s Remembrance Day with a tribute to Flt Sgt Victor Hill, a Dams Raid participant from his local area. Hill was the front gunner in David Maltby’s crew in AJ-J on the Dams Raid, and would therefore have had a ringside view as their aircraft dropped the mine which finally breached the Möhne Dam. He had completed some 22 operations as a gunner in 9 Squadron before being transferred to 617 Squadron as a late substitute in the first week of May 1943.
Pic: Valerie Ashton
Josh Rowles contacted me a couple of months ago, hoping to get more information about Victor Hill for a local exhibition. I put him in touch with the Hill family. His daughter Valerie – who was just an infant when her father was killed – provided more photographs and family stories. Josh has now written his own tribute and this has been shared with the RAF Benevolent Fund in time for Remembrance Sunday. You can see this here.
Victor Hill’s parents both worked at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire. As a young man, he was once snapped sitting against one of the castle’s walls, and Josh was able to find the exact location.
Josh is putting together more information about the Hill family’s life in Berkeley, and hopes to develop a tourist map of the area which will be useful when travel restrictions are lifted. Watch this space!
Hi. Found this write up whilst looking up information on Victor Hill. My elderly mum often talks to me of him fondly remembering how they grew up together in the village of Ham, near Berkeley. They were first cousins, my Gran and Gramp being, Minnie and George Hill, who lived on the Green and had 5 daughters. I think Victor must have been a little older as mum says she can remember him always standing in the Castle garden gate, where he worked and waving to them as they walked to school.
My mum born in 1923, is now in a nursing home and although her memory is failing she still recalls her Uncle Harry and Aunty Kit as well as Victor. She also talks about how Victor married young and had a daughter, and she wonders what happened to her.
We have many relatives buried in the cemetery at Berkeley, and now that mum can no longer tend them
it is left to me. I always make sure that when I visit I pop across to see Victors family stone, which is leaning a little but still standing.
It will be so nice to be able to tell mum that Victors daughter is still alive and that there are others who think of Victor too.
Please feel free to email me if you require and more information, I don’t know at 98 what mum may remember, but know that her life as a child growing up in Ham is definitely her best memories.
Dear Jo — Thanks for this information. I will pass it on to Valerie, and I’m sure she will be in touch.
Best wishes, Charles