Sir Rowland Hill

British General
Viscount Hill
1772 -1842

Sir Rowland HillThe career of Sir Rowland Hill is linked closely to both the Duke of Wellington and Sir Thomas Graham.

He met Graham during the siege of Toulon and the older man appreciated the talents the 21-year-old displayed there.

When Graham formed his own regiment he asked Hill to be its colonel and he commanded it in Egypt. A brigade command followed in Hannover.

Hill began his Peninsular Campaign at Rolica and Vimiero, took part at Corunna and Oporto, and played a vital defensive role at Talavera.

One of the few officers Wellington trusted enough to give a separate command to, Hill was unfortunately stricken with malaria before his force fought at Albuera and had to hand it over to Sir William Beresford.

On his return he protected Wellington's right flank at Badajoz and later destroyed a French force at Arroyo de Molinos. His surprise attack was so successful he only suffered 65 casualties to the French's 1300 killed, wounded and captured.

Rising to general in 1812, Hill was often used by Wellington as an independent guard on his flank or rear, but again showed his fighting abilities at Vitoria, Souraren and St Pierre. At the latter he soundly defeated a larger French army under Marshal Soult.

Aside from his excellent fighting qualities, Hill was an officer who deeply cared for his men, who called him Daddy Hill.

Hill was given a peerage in 1814 and upon Napoleon Bonaparte's return to Paris from Elba he journeyed to Holland to assist the Dutch building up their army.

He fought during the 100 Days' Campaign and narrowly missed being killed towards the end of the battle of Waterloo. He remained in France for three years as second-in-command of the Allied occupation troops.

Retiring, Hill remained out of the public eye for 10 years but returned to it when asked by Wellington, the Prime Minister, to be the head of the army. Just before his death in 1842, he was made Viscount Hill.

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