Monday, November 9, 2009

Lt. Col. Daniel Hillman

Daniel Hillman was born to William James Hillman and Margaret Patterson on November 6, 1877 in Aldborough Township, Elgin County, Ontario. He was a civil engineer who spent most of the years before 1915 working for the railroads in Northern Ontario.

In 1914 the French were responsible for all railway construction in Belgium and France. By 1915 the French realized that they needed help. In the spring of 1915 Canada responded to the call from Britain for a Corps of skilled railway construction workers. The Corps of Canadian Railway Troops would lay 1880km(1169 miles) of broad gauge rail and 2275km. (1414 miles) of light track. They played important roles in the battles of Vimy , Passchendaele, Amiens, and the 100 Days battles.

Daniel Hillman joined in January, 1915. I have always found attestation papers interesting for more than just dates. Daniel’s attestation papers show him to be 5’4” tall with grey eyes, and dark brown hair. He was commissioned a Lieutenant and left for England in June, 1915. Before the battle of the Somme he was lent out to the Royal Engineers. He was made a Lt. Col. In 1918. After the Armistice he was involved in work to salvage railway equipment from the Western Front. He returned to Canada in July 1919.

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