Tom Brown Hill
We have little information about Tom’s grandparents. His paternal grandfather was John Hill, born in Birmingham about 1808. He was a copper plate engraver. We know nothing of his wife, who seems to have died prior to 1851. They had 4 children, John, born in Chorlton-on-Medlock about 1837, who also became a copper plate engraver, Ezra (Tom’s father), born in 1842, Louisa Jane, born in Bradford, Yorkshire, about 1849, and Emma, birth place and year unknown. In 1851 the family lived at 11 Leaf St, Hulme, and in 1861 at 80 Hall St, probably in central Manchester. We know nothing of the maternal grandparents.
Ezra Hill was born in 1842 in Ardwick. His first wife, Tom’s mother, was Mary Jane, born in Salford about 1839. In 1871 they lived in Kingfield St, Islington, London, and Ezra was a weighing machine fitter. In 1881 they lived at 27 Wood St, Peterborough, and, according to the census, had a son, James G Brown, aged 6, born in Manchester.
We wonder if James was in fact the son of John and Hannah Maria Brown (see below).
In 1891 Ezra and Mary lived at 6 Providential Place, Peterborough, and Ezra was a foreman machine fitter. Tom was born in 1895 and Mary died sometime in the next 10 years. We have no information about her family but wonder if she was a Brown, given the middle name of Tom.
Ezra married his second wife, Margaret Brown, at Christ Church, Bradford, Manchester, on 3 June 1905. Their address at the time was 25 Baslow St. Ezra was 63, a widower and a gentleman, and Margaret was a spinster aged 29.
Margaret was the daughter of John Brown, an iron grinder born about 1848, and Hannah Maria Brown, born about 1849 in Levenshulme. They appear to have had 5 or possibly 6 children, of whom Margaret was the third. She was born about 1876 in Ancoats. In 1901 Margaret was living with Irish relatives at 24 Worsley St, St George’s in the Fields.
Ezra and Margaret later had 4 children, one of whom died in infancy. In 1911 they lived at 16 Redruth St, Rusholme, with Tom, aged 16, Ethel, 5, Margaret, 4, and John, 6 months.
Tom was born in Peterborough about 1895. We have not found him in 1901 but in 1911 he was living with his parents and step-siblings in Rusholme and working as a drapery warehouseman. He married Ethel Margaret Ashworth at Christ Church on 22 July 1916. They were living at 18 Tintern Avenue, West Didsbury and Tom was described as a salesman.
Ethel Margaret Ashworth was born on 29 October 1892 in Manchester, the daughter of Richard and Catherine Ashworth. She was baptised on 25 December 1892 at St Luke’s church, Miles Platting.
Richard and Catherine were both born in Manchester about 1859. In 1901 they lived at 313 Bradford Rd, Ancoats, with Edith, 18, Herbert, 12, Gertrude, 10, and Ethel Margaret, 8. Richard was an iron foundry manager and Catherine a shopkeeper. By 1911, Richard was a widower, living with the younger three children at 25 Energy St, Miles Platting. He was now described as an iron moulder for a pump maker. Catherine had died on 15 February 1911 and Richard died on 23 February 1921. In 1911 Ethel was a typist student, aged 18.
Tom enlisted at Ashton-under-Lyne. He served as a private in the 4th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, service number 52153, and later as a lance corporal in the 20th Battalion of the Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex) Regiment, service number G/62137. He served in the Western European Theatre and died of his wounds at No 44 Casualty Clearing Station, Berques, France, on 30 August 1918. He is buried in the Crois-Rouge Military Cemetery, Quaedypre, Nord, France, grave reference II. B.3. Family announcements in the Manchester Evening News mentioned that he had been a salesman for Barlow Jones Ltd, Portland St. In the register of soldiers’ effects his widow was to receive £13 4s and the document suggests that by this time she may have been in New Orleans. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website gives her address as 4530, South Third, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.