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.
Compiled for ParaData by Harvey GrenvilleRead More