Sergeant Fred Lord Hilton
Unit : 260th Field Company, 43rd (Wessex) Division
Army No. : 1881143
Awards : Military Medal
Fred Hilton was born in Oldham, Lancashire, in January 1918. Before joining the British Army he was a bricklayer, and throughout the Second World War he served as an Engineer with the 260th Field Company. For the most part the unit was stationed in the United Kingdom, but departed for North-West Europe in 1944 with the 43rd (Wessex Division). At the Battle of Arnhem, the Company helped with the evacuation of the 1st Airborne Division on the night of the 25th/26th September. For his conduct during this period, Hilton was awarded the Military Medal:
On the night 25th-26th September 1944 Sergeant Hilton's company evacuated the Airborne Division across the Neder Rijn near Driel. Sergeant Hilton was one of the first to reach the river and throughout the night was an outstanding example of calmness and usefulness under small arms fire and shelling. He made several trips across the river and spent about three hours helping to organise the embarkation on the far bank. I recommend Sergeant Hilton for the immediate award of the Military Medal.
Following Arnhem, Fred continued to serve with the Company in Holland and then Germany in 1945, where he became involved in street fighting around Wegberg, and also assisted in the liberation and clean-up of Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp.
After the War, Fred Hilton maintained his military links with the Territorial Army, with whom he became a Quartermaster Sergeant. He returned to the construction industry and went on to successfully run his own building contracting company. Fred Hilton died in 1983.
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