b. 1826 Glenavy, County Antrim, Ireland. d. 21/08/1863 Meerut, India.
Samuel Hill (1826-1863) was born in 1826 in Gelavy, County Antrim, Ireland and enlisted in 1844 into the 67th Regiment of Foot (Hampshire Regiment). Not much is known about Hill’s service prior to his posting to India on the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny in 1857. Before the Mutiny had broken out, he had transferred to the 90th Regiment of Foot (later Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)).
On the 16th November 1857, the 90th took a minor role in the storming of both the Secundra Bagh and Shah Najaf Mosque in Lucknow. It was on the following day however, that the 90th and in particular Major John Guise and Sergeant Samuel Hill would distinguish themselves.
Ordered by Sir Colin Campbell to capture the Mess House, Captain Garnet Wolseley led the 90th with support from Major Guise and a composite battalion. The opposition soon melted away and Wolseley saw an opportunity to seize the Moti Mohal as well. Despite the heavy fire from the enemy held Kaiser Bagh, thee 90th managed to enter the Moti Mohal and engaged in a series of running battles with the rebels until they were driven out. Instead of heaping praise on Wolseley for his actions, Campbell was furious that his orders had been not adhered to.
Hill, alongside Guise, was elected for his VC by his fellow soldiers, and both men received their medals sometime in February 1859 in India. Following the conclusion of the Mutiny, Hill chose to remain in India and serve with the 90th. Tragically, he was killed in action at Meerut on 21st February 1863. He was buried in an unmarked grave in St John’s Cemetery in Meerut. His medal is held by the Tolson Memorial Museum, Huddersfield, Yorkshire.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: TOLSON MEMORIAL MUSEUM, HUDDERSFIELD, YORKS.
BURIAL PLACE: ST JOHNS CEMETERY, MEERUT, INDIA. (UNMARKED GRAVE).
Kirklees District Council – Image of Samuel Hill VC’s medal.