Hill; Sir; Arthur William (1875-1941); botanist
CWGC Archive, 608, Hill, A.W., 27/05/1916 - 12/11/1941; CWGC Archive, SDC 73, Horticulture - 1924 Competition Of Horticultural Officers On Ultimate Treatment Of War Cemeteries, 05/07/1924 - 13/11/1924
Captain Sir Arthur William Hill KCMG FRS FLS was an English botanist and the Commission's Botanical Adviser after the First World War.
Arthur William Hill was born on 11 October 1875. He was educated at Marlborough and at King's College, Cambridge, where he obtained a First Class in Part I and Part II of the Natural Sciences Tripos and took an interest in botany, influenced by Marshall Ward and Walter Gardiner. He later took on an Sc. D. In 1901, Hill was a Fellow of King's College, then Dean (1907), before becoming an Honorary Fellow in 1932. He lectured in botany from 1905 until 1907.
During the First World War, Hill was commissioned as a Temporary Honorary Lieutenant, Special List on 12 September 1916. He was promoted to Temporary Honorary Captain on 18 October 1917, and the commission was relinquished on 1 March 1921. During this period, he acted as Botanical Adviser to the Directorate of Graves Registration and Enquiries in France and carried out experiments on soils and plants to grow in the Commission's cemeteries.
From 1916 to 1918, Hill undertook periodical tours of duty in France at regular intervals of around a month, spending 3 to 4 weeks on each tour visiting and advising on the horticultural treatment to be carried out, both in battle areas and cemeteries.
On 25 February 1919, Hill delivered a lecture entitled "Our Soldiers' Graves", which discussed his work and findings for the Imperial War Graves Commission and which was printed, as delivered, in the Royal Horticultural Society's journal, vol. xiv, 1919, Pt. 1.
In 1924, Dr. Hill provided comments during a competition of Horticultural Officers on the ultimate treatment of war cemeteries.
In 1907, Hill was Assistant Director of Kew Gardens, under Sir David Prain, whom Hill succeeded as Director in 1922. Following this he took editorship of the Kew Bulletin. Hill also served on the Council of the Horticultural Society, editing its Botanical Magazine from 1934 onwards. He was made Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1926 and Knight-Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1931.
Arthur Hill was killed in a riding accident on 3 November 1941, aged 66.
Add to My Items
Explore some of our main archive collections below
Historic Archive Part 1 - Work of the Commission in Connection with First World War Deaths
Commission Meeting Minutes
Architectural plans and drawings