Tuesday, 26 November 2013

John Hill

John Hill 
Mr Hill served as boatswain (The Foreman of the “unlicensed” crew) in His Majesty, King William's Ship, The Buffalo. [1]

John Hill was born on the 3rd of June 1808 in Cheshurst, Hertfordshire England. Mr Hill was a skilled thatcher before serving for his King in the English Navy.

John Hill's most notable mark in South Australian history, other than coming to our fine shores aboard the Buffalo, under the soon to be Governor of South Australia, Captain John Hindmarsh, was to unfurl the flag at proclamation day ceremonies at Glenelg.

As the proclamation, declaring South Australia a British colony was read aloud to the gathered sailors and dignitaries, John Hill raised the British Flag, thus marking his place in South Australian history for all time. He was aged 29 at the time.

Mr Hill was soon engaged to thatch roofs for the newly colonised State, the only skilled Roof thatcher available he was very busy and was summoned to thatch the roof of the Governors house.

Mr Hill lived much of his middle years in Wilpena before settling in Kapunda with his family, where he died at the age of 77, after fighting an illness for four months. Mr Hill died on the 2nd of April 1885 and was interred in The Clare Road Cemetery. 

Mr Hill's Wife and Family were very proud of the fact that their Husband, and Father hoisted the flag on proclamation day and marked the significance upon his tombstone.

His grave also feature a very distinct and different marking. It features as the centre piece the “British Standard” with Gum tree carved into Headstone.

Mr Hills obituary appears in the South Australian Register on page 2, April 11th 1885 and reads:

Deaths of Pioneers.— Our Kapunda correspondent mentions that bluff, hearty old John Hill the boatswain of the Buffalo,who hoisted the flag at Glenelg when the colony was proclaimed, died on Thursday evening, after an illness of four months. He was 77 years of age, and during his life enjoyed the very best of health until recently,when he was attacked by bronchitis. Daring his illness he suffered a great deal. He leaves  a widow, who is somewhat older than himself 

[1] The “Buffalo” was originally named “The Hindostand” in 1813 when it was built it was sold in that same year to the United Kingdom Navy and renamed “The Buffalo” where it began to ship mast timbers across the globe. It eventually was used to ship English female prisoners to Sydney (187) then travelled to South Africa. The ship was recommissioned in 1835 where it was fitted to house emigrants for transport to Australian Colonies.

Please note, this post was originally made on a short lived blog I wrote about Kapunda, due to the amount of time spent researching the paranormal, the Kapunda blog suffered a severe lack of posts - rather than lose the blog into the depths of Internet obscurity, I am reposting some of the research back onto this blog as much of it contains, History, Mystery and the Paranormal.

© 2013 Allen Tiller

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