Terry Hill

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Born at the beginning of the Great Depression, our father’s life was shaped and influenced, like so many others, by the two global conflicts of the 20th century.

Terry Hill was born in Egleton, Rutland on 13 April 1933. His father, who had served with the 1/6th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment during the Great War, died when Terry was just three years old. When called for National Service in 1951, Terry joined the RAF. Inadequate eyesight prevented him from pursuing his boyhood dreams of becoming a pilot. He found some consolation working in radar operations at the Radar School in Yatesbury, Wiltshire.

On completion of his National Service, Terry found employment at the South Knighton Dye Works, Leicester. He quickly rose through the ranks to become Operational Manager, a position that took him to several European destinations at a time when commercial travel was still relatively young. The work was demanding and began to impact on the family home which by 1959 comprised two sons and three daughters.

Terry resigned his position at the Dye Works shortly before his fortieth birthday. Along with his wife, Patricia, he undertook training to enter the licensed trade. His first appointment was in 1972 at the Swan Inn, Clare, Suffolk. He later took up a bar steward position at the Scraptoft Golf Club in Leicester before moving to Anderby Creek in Lincolnshire. Unable to secure a full-time position in Hospitality, Terry did find seasonal employment in a number of hostelries including the popular Blue Anchor at Ingoldmells, near Skegness.

Terry met his future wife, Patricia, in July 1949 at Victoria Park, Leicester. They married in 1953 and soon raised a family, in all three boys and three girls. Terry was a loving husband to Patricia for over half a century until peripheral vascular disease claimed her life in 2008. Equally caring towards his children, Terry cut a patriarchal and authoritarian figure within the family. He delighted in the achievements of his children and easily warmed to the role of grandfather and great-grandfather.

Terry was a self-made man, knowledgeable and intellectually agile. He had the attributes of a scholar but spurned opportunities to demonstrate his literary talents to a wider audience. He could readily quote the classics, offer a convincing rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan and crack any crossword puzzle. He appreciated the rhythm and cycle of the natural world alongside the beauty of its flora and fauna. Walking the dog along the beach and among the sand dunes of the Lincolnshire Coast, all the while observing the habits and migratory patterns of birds, brought him great pleasure and satisfaction. His garden was a sanctuary to local wildlife, monitored by a meteorological station and weather vane, topped by a model Mark 1 Spitfire. His walks, travels and reflections were diligently recorded in his daily journals which he maintained for many years.

Lean and fleet of foot in his youth, Terry became fair capon-lined in advancing years. He lived life to the full and was never more at home than with good food, preferably game, fine wine and convivial company. Ill-health stole his mobility in latter years but he continued to read and write and maintain interest in national and world affairs. Despite declining health, visitors to his hide in Anderby Creek were welcomed with an indomitable spirit; a firm handshake, joyful recollections of earlier days and, occasionally, a few operatic bars in his warm, mellow and rich baritone voice. Such memories will be etched forever in the minds of those who knew our father.

Terry died at home in October 2012. His ashes and those of Patricia are buried in Anderby Church, ‘neither above nor below but side by side.’

Memorial posted by Terry’s children - William, Mary, Mark, Barbara, John and Susan

April 2013

Added by: William Chatband on 16th May 2013.


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Picture of Terry Hill.
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The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund

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Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
67 Portland Place, London W1B 1AR
0800 169 2942
Registered Charity No. 1081009