|Above: Captain Hepworth Arthur Hill of the 1/West India Regiment (seated) and Lieutenant James Sydney Henderson (standing) of the 2/West India Regiment were photographed
wearing their white tropical service tunics and holding white foreign service helmets. Both men would later see action in to different African Wars as well as service in World War One.
B. Valdes Studio - Photographer
85 King Street, Kingston, Jamaica
Hepworth Arthur Hill was born at Sitapore India on 31 may, 1863 the son of Arthur and Herrietta Hill. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st West India Regiment on 8 June
1887. His promotions followed:
Lieutenant – 8 November 1889
Captain – 22 December 1894
Major – 3 March 1900
Lieutenant Colonel – 3 February 1910
Hill was one of the few West India Regiment officers to serve in the Anglo-Boer War and managed to avoid the scandal that engulfed the 2 companies of the battalion tasked with
guarding Boer prisoners of war on St. Helena. Seconded to the Royal Scots Fusiliers in South Africa, Hill was entitled to the Queen’s South Africa Medal with clasps “Cape Colony”,
“Orange Free State” and “Transvaal”. According to a note on the Queen’s South Africa Medal roll for the Royal Scots Fusiliers, Hill’s service in South Africa terminated with the end
of his leave which implies that he had taken leave from his regiment to in order to see action in South Africa. Returning to his regiment, Hill was appointed Superintendent of the Her
Majesty’s Military Prison on Bermuda on 20 November 1901 where he oversaw some 5000 Boer POWs who were held at several camps there.
Hill was an active Mason and member St Michael's Lodge, Bridgetown, Barbados (1903).
According to his World War One medal index card Hill would serve as a lieutenant colonel attached to the Yorkshire Regiment and earn the British War and Victory Medals.
Hill married Miss Annie Rolls Pittis at Kensington, London in 1894. The couple hand one son – Flight Officer Hepworth Ambrose Vyvian Hill, Royal Air Force (b. 1896). Hill was
predeceased by his son who mistakenly shot by a sentry at Aldergrove Aerodrome in 1921. Hill's wife had passed away in 1920.
Lieutenant Colonel Hepworth Arthur Hill died on 21 November 1938 in London.
While I did find mentions of Captain James Sydney Henderson of the 1/West India Regiment in the usual sources including the London Gazette and the Army Lists not much else
initially turned up about him. Eventually I was able to piece together a more complete story of his life but it took much longer than usual and there are still gaps and blanks in the record,
such as a complete outline of his service during the Great War.
James Sydney Henderson was born at Truro, Cornwall in 1866. His father – James Henderson who was born in Scotland – provided a comfortable living for his family being employed as
a civil engineer. James Sydney’s mother, Anna Maria Clarissa Newnhan was Irish by birth.
Given his father profession, James Sydney must have received a more that average education and it was enough for him to be commissioned into the 2/West India Regiment on 29
March 1890 as a 2nd Lieutenant and promoted Lieutenant on 9 November 1891 and then Captain on 1 April 1897. At some point prior to his promotion to captain Henderson transferred
from the 2nd to the 1st West India Regiment.
Henderson saw active service with the 1/West India in 1898-1899 in Sierra Leon earning the West Africa Medal with the clasp “Sierra Leon 1898-9”. In 1902 Henderson was performing
survey duty on the Gold Coast but retired soon afterward on 8 October 1902.
Whatever the reason for Henderson’s retirement at the rank of captain it does not appear to have been due to the adversities of military life. The 29 September 1908 edition of the
London Gazette shows Henderson being appointed captain in the Falmouth (Electric Light) Company, Royal Engineers, Cornwall (Fortress) with the appointment being post-dated to 1
April 1908. Later in the 7 December edition of the same publication Henderson is appointed temporary captain in the Works Company, Cornwall (Fortress) Engineers. On 23 April
1917 Henderson is listed as a major with the Reserve of Officers. I have been unable to find any additional military records detail further service by Henderson during
World War One.
After his initial retirement c. 1902 Henderson was employed as a surveyor in his home town of Truro. He had married Miss Margaret Louisa Wilson in 1900 and the couple had two
children: Charles Gordon Henderson who was born about 1901 and Christal Margaret Henderson who was born in 1904. The family was fairly well off being able to afford a private cook
and two maids. While few personal details can be found regarding Henderson’s life one interesting fact came to light in the 1909 edition of the Proceedings of the British Numismatic
Society which mentions Henderson being nominated to membership to that organization - he must have been an avid coin collector.
James Sydney Henderson passed away at Newton Abbot, Devonshire on 8 May 1941.
|Above: The photograph's reverse side showing the period ink inscription identifying the subjects.