Alan Richard Hill-Walker VC

b. 12/07/1859 Northallerton, Yorkshire. d. 21/04/1944 Thirsk, Yorkshire.

Alan Richard Hill (later from 1902, Hill-Walker) (1859-1944) was born on 12th July 1859 in Northallerton, Yorkshire, the eldest son of Captain Hill, the Chief Constable of North Riding, and Frances Mirriam, daughter of Thomas Walker of Maunby Hall, Thirsk. He was educated in Richmond, and joined the North York Rifles in 1877, and transferred to the 59th Regiment of Foot (later Northamptonshire Regiment) in 1879, with which regiment he served throughout the Zulu War of 1879, and the First Boer War of 1881.

Alan R Hill-Walker VC

In the Boer War, he saw action at the Battles of Ingogo, Majuba Hill, where he was severely wounded, and at Laing’s Nek, where he was mentioned in despatches and recommended for the Victoria Cross (gazetted 14th March 1882).

On 28th January 1881, at Laing’s Nek, when the retreat was ordered, Lieutenant Hill remained behind and tried to carry out of the action another lieutenant who was lying on the ground severely wounded. He was unable to lift the man into the saddle and carried him in his arms until he was shot dead. Hill then brought another wounded man out of the action, and then a third. All this was achieved under heavy fire.

He was invested with his Victoria Cross by Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 13th May 1882. In 1883 and 1885, he served in the Natal, Cape Town and South Africa, and became Adjutant of the 3rd and 4th Battalions, Northampton Militia from 1887 to 1892. During the next three years, he was Station Staff Officer at Bangalore, India, before a similar role in Mandalay in 1897. In 1897, he took part in the Tirah Campaign, and the march down the Bara Valley, earning the campaign medal with two clasps. He rose to the rank of Major, and in 1902, he married Lilian Oliphant, daughter of the T.S.Walker, of Maunby Hall, Thirsk, and he assumed the name Walker, and became Alan Hill-Walker. They went on to have two sons. He enjoyed hunting and shooting during his retirement. He died, aged 84, on 21st April 1944 in Thirsk. He was buried in St Michaels and All Angels Churchyard, Maunby. His medals were acquired in a private sale in July 2015 by the Ashcroft Trust and are displayed in the Imperial War Museum.