Alfred Ernest Edward (Ern) HILTON MM

Badge Number: S5151 Mounted, Sub Branch: Renmark
S5151 Mounted

HILTON, Alfred Ernest Edward

Service Numbers: 2095, SX11869, SX22716, S25657, SX22716
Enlisted: 3 July 1916, at Adelaide
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Renmark, South Australia, 12 November 1897
Home Town: Renmark, Renmark Paringa, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Telegraph Messenger
Died: Renmark, Renmark Paringa - South Australia, 13 June 1965, aged 67 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Renmark Cemetery, S.A.
Memorials: Adelaide Officers of S.A. Post, Telegraph and Telephone Department HR, Men from Renmark and District Roll of Honor Boards (4)
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World War 1 Service

3 Jul 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 2095, 43rd Infantry Battalion, at Adelaide
28 Aug 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 2095, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Anchises, Adelaide
28 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2095, 43rd Infantry Battalion
15 Oct 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 43rd Infantry Battalion
11 Nov 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, 2095, 43rd Infantry Battalion
17 Jun 1919: Honoured Military Medal

World War 2 Service

22 Mar 1941: Involvement Lieutenant, SX11869
22 Mar 1941: Enlisted Wayville, SA
22 Mar 1941: Enlisted Lieutenant, SX11869
22 Mar 1941: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lieutenant, SX11869
15 Jul 1942: Involvement Major, SX11869
15 Jul 1942: Involvement Major, SX22716
15 Jul 1942: Involvement Major, S25657
15 Jul 1942: Enlisted Major, SX22716
15 Jul 1942: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Major, SX22716
15 Jul 1942: Enlisted Wallgrove, NSW
31 Oct 1944: Discharged

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Biography contributed by St Aloysius College


Alfred Ernest Hilton (known as "Ern") was born on March 8th, 1898. He was a telegraph messenger and he lived with his mother, Martha Clare Hilton. When he was 18, an opportunity was given. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to travel the world with your mates while serving in the army as a soldier. He grew up in Renmark, Adelaide and opportunities like these don’t come often.

On the 3rd July, 1916 he enlisted into the AIF. He  measured 5 feet and 4 inches tall, with a pale complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. He left his whole life behind in Renmark in hopes of an adventure.

He boarded HMAT A68 Anchises which made five journeys from Australia as a troop ship. He left Adelaide on 28th August and arrived in England on 11th October 1916. Even though the Australian soldiers and he had passed in England as fully trained, they had to undergo a strict medical check and at least another 10 days of strict training. It was a strict routine, training hours were from 8:30am to 4:30pm on week days and from 8:30am to 12:30pm with 30 minutes of physical training before breakfast. Training in winter for 10 additional days proved frustrating to soldiers and as a result many left or went missing.

On the 13th April, 1917 Hilton was taken on strength to the 43rd battalion, serving through the bloody battles at Messines in June and near Ypres in October. He was sent to England on leave in February, 1918. He was promoted to corporal on the 15th October, 1918 and saw out the rest of the war.

After returning back to his battalion in France, he travelled backed to London on the 2nd January, 1919. While he was still in London, a medal was sent to his home in Australia. His mother collected it, as he hadn’t arrived back from London yet. He left England to return back to Australia on the 9th November 1919 and was discharged on 24th February 1920. He was awarded 3 medals in total (military medal, British war medal and the victory medal). In later life he managed the Shell depot at Renmark and was president of the local RSA.

Hilton re-enlisted twice in the Second World War. In March 1941 he enlisted in the 48h Battalion, apparently without ever leaving Ausralia. At some point he was discharged, because in July 1942 he re-enlisted, serving in training units and rising to the rank of Major.

He died on the 13th June 1965, age 67.