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The E.J. Boys Archive

Last amended 19.3.12

1794, Private John Thomas HILLIER — 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

The EJB Archive says that John Hillier was born at Blandford, Dorset, the son of James Hillier, a Postman, and his wife, Charlotte.

PB: However, given his subsequent trade as Bootmaker and Shoe Repairer, and that he states his place of birth as Shaftesbury in all Censuses 1861 — 1911, it now seems more likely that John Hillier's parents were Robert and Hannah Hillier:

1851 Census

60, High Street, Shaftesbry.

Robert Hillier, 60, Shoemaker, born Shaftesbury.

Hannah Hillier, 52, [Occupation illegible], Place of Birth apparently "Stower Provost" [= Stour Provost, near Gillingham, Dorset].

Five children are shown, aged 1 — 30 years:

Mary Ann, 30, daughter, Servant, born Shaftesbury.

Theresa, 19, daughter, Pauper [?], born Motcombe [near Shaftesbury].

John Hillier, 15, son, Apprentice ["Shoemaker" added], born Shaftesbury.

George Hillier, 11, son, Scholar, born Shaftesbury.

William Hillier, 1, son, born Shaftesbury.

A visitor, 16, is also recorded.

Note: Baptism registration (6th of January 1850) confirms that the 1-year-old, William, is not in fact John Hillier's brother but his nephew — the son of John's elder sister, Mary Ann, described as a "Single Woman". This was not however unusual. Of the 16 baptisms recorded on the same pages as William's, five record no father's name. [PB]


Shaftesbury, Dorset.

Name: John Hillier.

Chistening date: 18th of March 1838.

Father's name: Robert Hillier.

Mother's name: Hannah. [PB]


Enlisted into the 13th Hussars at Dorchester on the 19th of February 1855, having previously served in the Dorset Militia.

Age: 19.

Height: 5' 5".

Trade: None shown.


Joined the regiment in the Crimea on the 13th of August 1855.

From Private to Corporal: 20th of February 1860.

Sent to the Depot at York on the 11th of September 1866.

Discharge & pension

Discharged, "time expired", from Canterbury on the 19th of February 1867.

Conduct and character: "very good". In possession of two Good Conduct badges.


Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasp for Sebastopol.

Not recorded by Lummis and Wynn.


Life after service

Marriage registered

Isle of Wight.

John Hillier and Louisa Cooley, June Quarter 1864. [CP]

1871 Census

73, Pyle Street, Newport, IOW.

John Hillier, 34, Shoemaker, born Shaftesbury.

Louisa, 29, born Carisbrooke, IOW.

Three children shown: Herbert 4, Fanny E. 3, Charles R. 1. [CP]

1881 Census

16, Market Hill, Northwood, Hampshire.

John Hillier, 45, Boot Maker, born Shaftesbury, Dorset.

Louisa, 40, Boot Maker Wife, born Gunville, Hants.

Seven children shown: aged 1 — 14 years. [CP]

1891 Census

4, Market Place, Northwood, W. Cowes, IOW.

John Hillier 54, Bootmaker, born Shaftesbury.

Louisa, 39 [sic], Gunville, IOW.

Four children shown: Kate 16, Elizabeth 12, George 11, Alfred 6, and Ella 2. [CP]

1901 Census

18 York Street, Cowes, Isle of Wight.

John Hillier, 64, Bootmaker, born Shaftesbury.

Louisa, 60, born Gunville, IOW.

Two children shown: Alfred 16, and Hilda 12. Also a granddaughter. [CP]

1911 Census

11, Pelham Road, West Cowes, IOW.

John Hillier, 74, Boot Repairer, born Shaftesbury.

Louisa, 69, born Carisbrooke.

Alfred John, son, 26, single, Ship Plate Rivetter, born Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Hilda Blanche, daughter, 22, single, Draper's Assistant, born Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Note added: Married 47 years, 9 children born alive. [CP]

Death & burial

Death registered

John Hillier, 77, September Quarter 1914, Isle of Wight.

References & acknowledgements

Marriage registration and Census information for 1871 — 1911 kindly provided by Chris Poole.

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