18 November 1918

Nothing very exciting to tell you I am afraid. We are now official scavengers and are set to work on the one job which throughout the war we prayed we would never get – namely filling up trenches and shell holes and in general removing from the face of this cold and muddy country all traces of what the Daily Press has been pleased to call Armageddon.  We deal with anything form a dead cow to a “bully”- beef tin.   Meanwhile we continue to do a great deal of guards and ceremonial and all sorts of terrible things of that sort – and push ourselves terribly.  In fact I should just love to hear a big shell coming and know that the war had started all over again!  I suppose I am hard to please.  I had dinner last night with Hickman whom I ran into somewhat suddenly the day before. He is out here with a motor transport company working with the Tanks.   I think that except for walking, his old injury no longer worries him at all. The new Colonel is still as gloomy and silent as ever.  I really do not know what on earth we are to do with him.   Tell Petch if he comes along at all that they have given him and Banwell Bars to their M.C.s. and that little Jack has been awarded one.  I only wish the latter could have lived to wear it. Banwell at present is away with a bad thigh.  Wollaston has returned to us, so that is at all events one “old hand” about the place for me to talk to.  We have started all manner of sports and I can now be seen running furiously after tea – trying to train for a X Country run

P.S. You may now add the letters M.C. after my name in future.


This is the entry in the London Gazette Concerning Hills’ award:

9740 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 30 JULY, 1919.

Capt. John David Hills, l/5th Bn. Leic. R., T.F. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. At Pontruet, on September 24th, 1918, after the battalion attack on this village, he went forward and helped in the reorganisation of the battalion, bringing back most valuable information. On September 29th, north of Bellenglise, in storming the Hindenburg Line he worked with untiring energy, and. his services were invaluable in reorganising the battalion after having taken their various objectives.

Hills was also awarded the Croix de Guerre (with bronze star).

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