Brigadier Stanley James L Hill DSO * *, MC

{ Speedy Hill }

14 Mar 1911 - 16 Mar 2006

Brigadier Stanley James Ledger Hill was a World War II Commander, who joined the British Airborne Forces at an early stage, fought in North Africa and went on to play a vital role in the D-Day landings and the crossing of the Rhine.

Born in 1911, James Hill was educated at Marlborough and RMC, Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the Royal Fusiliers and served with the 2nd Battalion from 1931 - 1936. He rejoined the Fusiliers at the outbreak of war and served with the 2nd Battalion in France as part of the BEF. Hill was later awarded the Military Cross for his part in managing the evacuation.

He commanded the 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment in Operation Torch in 1942 and was critically wounded. For his gallantry and leadership Hill received the DSO and went on to command the 3rd Parachute Brigade from 1943 -1945 leading them through the Normandy landings and the Rhine Crossing. He was wounded 3 times in combat and awarded bars to his DSO in 1944 and 1945. He also received the Legion d’ Honneur (France), Silver Star (US) and King Haakon VII Liberty Cross (Norway).

He returned to civilian life in July 1945 and resumed his business career, which culminated with Lloyds Bank as a Director and member of the UK management committee. He remained heavily involved in Parachute Regiment affairs, raising the 4th Parachute Brigade (TA) in London, commanding it from 1947 - 49 and serving as Honorary Colonel of the 14th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, from 1946 - 1951. He was much involved in the formation of the Parachute Regimental Association and served as a trustee of the Regiment’s Benevolence charity for 30 years. He also served as a member of the Regimental Council for 25 years.

James Hill died on 16 March 2006 aged 95.

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Service History

  • Date not known
  • 1931
    2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Not known)
  • 1936
    Supplementary Reserve of Officers (Not known)
  • 1939
    2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Lieutenant)
  • 1940
    GHQ British Expeditionary Force (Captain)
  • 1940
    Deputy Assistant Adjutant General (DAAG), HQ Northern Ireland (Major)
  • 1940
    General Staff Officer 2nd Grade (GSO2), (Ops) Eastern Command HQ (Major)
  • 1941
    Second In Command (2-i-c) The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA) (Major)
  • 1942
    Commanding Officer (CO) The 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment (1 PARA) (Lieutenant-Colonel)
  • 1943
    Commanding Officer (CO) 3rd Parachute Brigade (Brigadier)
  • 1945
    Military Governor, Copenhagen (Brigadier)
  • 1947
    Commanding Officer (CO) 4th Parachute Brigade (TA) (Brigadier)
Stanley James L Hill

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  • Captain Hill's citation for the MC, Royal Fusiliers, 1940.

    Captain Hill's citation for the MC, Royal Fusiliers, 1940.

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  • Citation for the award of the DSO to T/Lt-Col Hill, 1943.

    Citation for the award of the DSO to T/Lt-Col Hill, 1943.

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  • Citation for the award of a bar to the DSO to Brigadier Hill, 1944.

    Citation for the award of a bar to the DSO to Brigadier Hill, 1944.

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  • Citation for the award of a second bar to the DSO to WS/Lt-Col Hill, 1946.

    Citation for the award of a second bar to the DSO to WS/Lt-Col Hill, 1946.

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