John Hill

#9, (20 December 1905-12 July 1978)
FatherJoseph William Hill (c Mar 1868-25 Feb 1933)
MotherMary Alberta MacCallum Bourke (14 Mar 1879-28 Nov 1931)
ChartsAylott Family - descendants
Bourke family - descendants
Brett Family - descendants
Brown family - descendants
Darby Family - descendants
Deane Family - descendants
Fairclough Family - descendants
Hill family - descendents
Leonard Family - descendants
Manthorpe Family - descendants
Miller Family (Scotland) - descendants
Nicholson Family 1 - descendants
Read family - descendants
Smith family - descendants
Wayte Family - descendants
Mike Hill - ancestors
Descendents of Patrick Bourke
Descendents of Richard Darby
Descendents of Henry H. Hill
Descendents of Robert Holmes
Last Edited3 Mar 2019

Short Biography

     Geoffrey 'John' Hill was born in the Sydney suburb of Mosman in 1905, the first son of Joe and Marie Hill.

The family moved to Manly soon after, and John was educated at Shore, and was a member of their rowing team, competing in a regatta on the Parramatta River at the age of 17.

He held a variety of jobs when young, including trainee cattle auctioneer and he contributed to a radio show on cars. He began working for General Motors Holden, and then married Marge Smith in 1929 at the age of 23.

Shortly after, the newly-weds moved to Melbourne. Family legend has it that John was losing his GMH job in Sydney, but there was a cleaners job with GMH in Melbourne. Soon afterwards he was describing himself as a clerk.

His parents died soon after, but by 1936 he was a departmental manager; their only son was born two years later, and then a year after that he travelled to Europe on company business, leaving Germany a week before war was declared. In the middle of the war he was flown to America by the parent company in a US bomber.

After the war his career continued to grow and he became one of GMH's most senior managers, being chauffered from his home in Balwyn North to work everyday.

He retired in 1966 and he and Marge moved to South Yarra where he continued to play a very good game of golf.

He died in 1978 at the age of 73.
John Hill c1935
     (For a brief history and context on the Hill family see this page)

NOTE: The information on this page is my research to date and is subject to change as I become better informed. I very much welcome any corrections or additional info you might have - my email address is at the bottom of this page. Whilst historical facts are not copyright, my writing about these facts are. If you wish to use any text from this site on Ancestry or on any other website, please ask me first - Tim Hill.
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John was born at 'Thalaba' Muston St. on Wednesday, 20 December 1905 at the Sydney suburb of Mosman.1,2 His common name was John or Jack. He was the son of Joseph William Hill and Mary Alberta MacCallum Bourke. His baptism name was Geoffrey John Hill however he was never called that.

He was baptised at St. Clement on Tuesday, 6 March 1906 at the Sydney suburb of Mosman.3,4 He lived with his parents at at 'Woniora' Addison Road in the Sydney suburb of Manly in 1908. They only stayed there a short time before moving to 51 Wood Street, about 650 metres away. For the rest of their time in Manly they gave their houses the name 'Woniora'.5,6 He lived with his parents at at 'Woniora', 78 Osbourne Road in the Sydney suburb of Manly, in 1912. This extended family, which at that time included Mary's sister Susie until she moved to London, were to live in this house until about 1917, when they moved to 58 (now 30) Addison Road, next door to Mary's older brother Don on one side, and their friends the Gahan's on the other. Joe and Mary were to stay in this house for the rest of their lives.7 A photograph was taken of the Bourke and Hill houses in at 32 and 30 Addison Street, Manly c.1918.
The Bourke and Hill houses in Addison Street, Manly c.1918
(source: Tim Hill collection)
John was active as a child, being in the Scouts and in the school rowing team. He was also reputed to be a strong swimmer, eventually becoming a member of the Manly Surf Life Saving Club.4

On Saturday, 5 May 1923 John Hill was one of the Shore school eight who competed in the Regatta on the Parramatta river. Although the Shore team came last of four teams, it was seen as a significant acheivement. Eleven days later Mary Alberta MacCallum Bourke gave a tea party which John acted as host.8,9

On Thursday, 14 February 1924 Jack attended a party hosted by his parents at The Ambassadors, in Sydney for his uncle Don and friend of the family Val Boyle. It was attended by many friends and family.10

His early working life was quite varied; he was a trainee cattle auctioneer and he contributed to a radio show on cars.11 He lived with his parents at at 'Woniora' 58 (now 30) Addison Road in the Sydney suburb of Manly in 1925. They also had the telephone connected (Manly 1013), as had the Bourke's next door.12,13 John was employed with General Motors Holden in 1926. Within two years he was an assistant service manager, and a year later he was a technical section head.14,15

John and Margery (along with John's mother Mary) attended the 'Shore' Old Boys dinner dance at Sydney on Monday, 5 July 1926. John was likely on the organising committee.16

John and Margery (along with John's mother Mary) attended a dinner dance organised by the School Clubs Ltd. at the Wentworth Cafe, in Sydney on Wednesday, 4 May 1927. Also attending was 'Val' Boyle.17

John Hill and Margery Jean Smith met at Manly beach, in Manly where John was reportedly a lifeguard. Both were very good swimmers, and Margery would go down with friends. John noticed her from his lookout tower, and one day went up and introduced himself.18

He married Margery Jean Smith, daughter of James Smith and Elsie Florence Darby, at Sydney Church of England Grammar Chapel on Saturday, 2 November 1929 at North Sydney. He was 23 and his wife Margery was 22. Witnesses to the wedding were James Smith, Mary Alberta MacCallum Bourke, Donald Nicholson Hill and Joseph William Hill.15 A photograph was taken of them early in their life together.
John and Margery Hill early in their life together
(source: Tim Hill collection)
John or Jack. Hill and Margery Jean Smith moved to Melbourne circa 1930 so he could take up a job at General Motors Holden; family legend says it was a job as a cleaner but a year later other sources have him as a clerk but either way, work was precious in the Depression. John and Margery lived in 1931 at Chequers in Gisbourne Street, in East Melbourne, Victoria.19

His mother died 27 November 1931 at the age of 52. John was aged 25 when this happened. She had been admitted to Mount St. Margaret's hospital in Ryde in August, four months previously.20 John provided information on the death of his father Joseph William Hill, on 25 February 1933, at Manly at age 27. The cause of death was two-fold. Enlargement of the prostate gland was the main reason, but also there was a heart problem associated with the mitral valve. Interestingly, his son John had the name of his grandfather wrong and knew no other details of him..21 John lived in 1936 at 22 Powlett Street, in East Melbourne, Victoria. For some reason, his address was different from his wife's.19

John, aged 32 and Margery Jean Smith, aged 31 became the parents of their first and only child Michael John Hill on Monday, 12 December 1938 at the Mercy Private Hospital, in East Melbourne, Victoria.22,23 John was employed by General Motors Holden as a Departmental Manager (Automobile Parts Wholesaling). He was to remain with GMH for the rest of his working life, attaining a senior management position at Port Melbourne.23 John and Margery lived in December 1938 at at Flat 3 in 3 Meredith Street in the Melbourne suburb of Elwood.23 John or Jack. Hill and Margery Jean Smith were found on a passenger list on 16 May 1939 at San Franscisco, California, on the 'Monterey' from Melbourne. They had left their 6 month old child Michael at home with a family friend, Kay Reid.24 John Hill and Margery Jean Smith were found on a passenger list on 4 July 1939 at Southampton from New York on the R.M.S. Aquitania. This was evidently a business trip as their proposed address was Vauxhall Ltd. of Linton, Bedfordshire.25 John and Margery were in Wiesbaden, Germany just a month before England and Australia delcared war. They were asked to leave Germany just before the war began.26
John and Marge Hill, Wiesbaden July 1939
(source: Tim Hill collection)
John and Margery moved to at 3 Were Street in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton in 1939.22

John or Jack. Hill was flown to America on a U.S. Army Transport aircaft as a 'Government Official' via Honolulu and a Pacfic Island refuelling stop. His son recalls that it was a B-24 Liberator, and that he sat in one of the turrets during the trip as he had to fly as a crew member. He is sure that he told him that he was an acting Colonal and wore that uniform for his whole trip. He arrived on 18 January 1943 at Hamilton Field, California.27,28

His wife's sister Patti recollects that he was not much of a family man, but that he was devoted to his wife.29

John and Margery moved to at 3 Highfield Grove in the Melbourne suburb of Kew in 1949.22

On August 1949, John was appointed to the board of General Motors-Holden.30

Margery is remembered as being very socially adept; this was a huge asset to Margery Jean's career.31 John or Jack. Hill was found on a passenger list on 12 April 1950 at Southampton on the 'Queen Elizabeth' departing New York. This was a business trip for General Motors.32

John received a gold watch after his first 25 years with GMH. He was found on a passenger list on 27 April 1955 at New York on a PanAm flight from London.33

In May 1955 Michael and his mother departed on a cruise to England on the Orcades. They met John there, then travelled through Europe. They departed to Melbourne from Naples, returning on the Orion in September of the same year.22 He was found on a passenger list on 4 July 1955 at Southampton on the 'Queen Elizabeth' This was a business trip for General Motors. He was intending to stay for 6 weeks and had come from New York.34 John and Margery lived in 1958 at at 11 Crest Avenue in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn.35 John or Jack. Hill and Margery Jean Smith were found on a passenger list on 22 September 1958 at Southampton on the 'Queen Mary'. They were intending to stay for 12 days, staying at 23 Buckingham Gate in London, and they had come from New York.36

Although John was not a social man, he was reportedly very popular at work. He made a point of going onto the factory floor and remembered people's names; he would enquire about their families.37 He was retired in 1966.38

His wife's sister recalls that she had to speak up for his grandson Tim when John tried to send him up some dark stairs.29

Every Sunday, the young Hill family would vist Mike's parents for a meal; Mike would sit inside and watch television, whilst John would take his grandson Tim's and take him out on the patio to cook steak on the BBQ and Margery and her daughter-in-law Barbara would make salads.39 After the meal the young Hill family would go adventuring with Margery leaving the men behind. She wanted to expose the grandchildren to many aspects of life; the art gallery, the zoo, pantomines and live shows in the city. Typically this would be at the Comedy Theatre, the Princess Theatre or Her Majesty's.40

John died on 12 July 1978 at at 1/371 Toorak Rd. in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra at age 72 due to cardiac arrest. He was a proud Australian, saying he was 'Australian through and through - you can still see the marks of the leg-irons'.41,42

His will was probated on 2 October 1978.41

Timeline

DateEventPlace
Family
Family
1905Birth at 'Thalaba' Muston St. in the Sydney suburb of Mosman1,2
Name-Comm
1905Baptism Name
1906Baptism at St. Clement in the Sydney suburb of Mosman3,4
Note memo only4
1923Note memo only CR CR8,9
1925Note memo only CR CR11
1926Employment14,15
1926Note memo only CR CRThe Ambassadors, in Sydney16
1927Note memo only CR CRthe Wentworth Cafe, in Sydney17
Note memo only CR CRManly beach, in Manly18
1928Employment-hide14
1929Occupation-hide15
1929Employment-hide43,14
1929MarriageSydney Church of England Grammar Chapel, in North Sydney15
1930MoveMelbourne
1931Occupation-hide19
1931ResidenceChequers in Gisbourne Street, in East Melbourne, Victoria19
1933Residence-hide at 'Woniora' 58 (now 30) Addison Road in the Sydney suburb of Manly21
1936Occupation-hide19
1936Residence22 Powlett Street, in East Melbourne, Victoria19
1937Occupation-hide44
1937Residence-hideEast Melbourne, Victoria44
EmploymentPort Melbourne23
1938Residence at Flat 3 in 3 Meredith Street in the Melbourne suburb of Elwood23
1939Passenger listSan Franscisco, California24
1939Passenger listSouthampton25
1939Note memo onlyWiesbaden, Germany26
John and Marge Hill, Wiesbaden July 1939
(source: Tim Hill collection)
1939Move at 3 Were Street in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton22
1942Occupation-hide45
1942Residence-hideBrighton45
1943NoteHamilton Field, California27,28
Note memo only CR CR29
1949Occupation-hide46
1949Residence-hideBrighton47
1949Move at 3 Highfield Grove in the Melbourne suburb of Kew22
1949Note memo only CR CR30
1949Residence-hideKew46
Note memo only CR CR31
1950Passenger listSouthampton32
1951Note memo only CR CR
1955Passenger listNew York33
1955Note memo only CR CR22
1955Passenger listSouthampton34
1958Occupation-hide35
1958Residence at 11 Crest Avenue in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn35
1958Passenger listSouthampton36
Note memo only CR CR37
1963Occupation-hide35
1963Residence-hideBalwyn35
1966Retirement38
Note memo only CR CR29
Note memo only CR CRBalwyn39
Note memo onlyBalwyn40
1968Occupation-hide35
1968Residence-hideBalwyn35
1978Death at 1/371 Toorak Rd. in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra41,42
1978Probate-new41

Family

Margery Jean Smith (31 Mar 1907-25 May 1987)
Child

Citations

  1. [S1] New South Wales, Birth Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1906 No.5527.
  2. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1905 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 23 December, p. 10, viewed 29 September, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14739394
  3. [S997] Parish Registers for St. Clement, Name: Geoffrey John Hill, Event Type: Baptism, Birth Date: 20 Dec 1905, Baptism Date: 6 Mar 1906.
  4. [S314] Information supplied by Margery Hill (South Yarra) to Tim Hill (Chadstone), 1986.
  5. [S367] Australia - Electoral Rolls, Division of North Sydney, Subdivision of Manly 1908.
  6. [S31] Sand's Directory,NSW, Australia (various dates), 1907 p.422 (This house, now likely demolished, was on the east side of Addison Road somewhere between Reddall Street and Darley Road.).
  7. [S31] Sand's Directory,NSW, Australia (various dates), 1912 p.464 (This house is now demolished, but is perhaps located where 60 Addison Road is now.).
  8. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1923 'THE GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS' REGATTA.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 7 May, p. 10, viewed 4 October, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16061756 (includes a large photgraph).
  9. [S685] The Northern Star, Lismore, NSW, Australia, 1923 'SYDNEY SOCIETY.', Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954), 16 May, p. 9, viewed 4 October, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93428966
  10. [S641] The Evening News, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1924 'For Women—.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 15 February, p. 13, viewed 18 September, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119194972
  11. [S488] Mike Hill, recollection, unknown date,.
  12. [S199] Australia - Commonwealth / State Electoral Roll, 1900 - 1929 Division of Warringah, Subdivision of Manly, 1925.
  13. [S217] White Pages Telstra Corporation Ltd., all areas of Australia, October 1925.
  14. [S199] Australia - Commonwealth / State Electoral Roll, 1900 - 1929 Division of Warringah, Subdivision of Manly, 1928.
  15. [S3] New South Wales, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1929 No.258114(?).
  16. [S641] The Evening News, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1926 'PERFECT HOSTS.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 6 July, p. 15, viewed 2 October, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article114388585
  17. [S641] The Evening News, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1927 'For Women.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 5 May, p. 18, viewed 2 October, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129075159
  18. [S1075] Barbara Nicholson, 01:10 - 03:20.
  19. [S338] Ancestry.com.au Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com.au/) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. District of Melbourne, Subdistrict of Melbourne East.
  20. [S2] New South Wales, Death Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1931 No. 20,046.
  21. [S2] New South Wales, Death Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1933 No.4594.
  22. [S214] Information supplied by Michael Hill (South Yarra) to Tim Hill (Chadstone), 1986.
  23. [S8] Victoria, Birth Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1939 No.647.
  24. [S474] California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1957 Ancestry.com, M1410:354 (http://search.ancestry.com.au/iexec).
  25. [S475] UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 Ancestry.com, Shipping Line: Cunard White Star, Official Number: 135583 (http://search.ancestry.com.au/Browse/view.aspx).
  26. [S486] From photograph details / notation.
  27. [S474] California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1957 Ancestry.com, Port of Arrival: Hamilton Field, California, Archive information (series:roll number): M1410:375 (http://search.ancestry.com.au/iexec).
  28. [S492] E-mails from Mike Hill to Tim Hill, 2010- 06 Jan 2012.
  29. [S259] Mavis 'Patti' Willson, 11 Mar 2018.
  30. [S323] The Barrier Miner, Broken Hill, NSW, Australia, 17/8/1949.
  31. [S1076] Barbara Nicholson, 06:40 - 06:55.
  32. [S475] UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 Ancestry.com, Shipping Line: The Cunard Steamship Company Ltd, Official Number: 164282 (http://search.ancestry.com.au/Browse/view.aspx).
  33. [S487] New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 Ancestry.com, Pan American Airways London, England to New York 27 Apr 1955 (http://search.ancestry.com.au/Browse/view.aspx).
  34. [S475] UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 Ancestry.com, Shipping Line: The Cunard Steamship Company Ltd, Official Number: 7601/01 (http://search.ancestry.com.au/iexec).
  35. [S338] Ancestry.com.au Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com.au/) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. District of Kooyong, Subdistrict of Deepdene.
  36. [S475] UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 Ancestry.com, Shipping Line: The Cunard Steamship Company Ltd, Official Number: 7602/01 (http://search.ancestry.com.au/iexec).
  37. [S1075] Barbara Nicholson, 05:00 - 06:15.
  38. [S485] Tim Hill, personal knowledge, unknown date.
  39. [S1075] Barbara Nicholson, 07:30 - 10:00.
  40. [S1076] Barbara Nicholson, 00:20 - 03:00.
  41. [S269] Victoria, Probate, Probate File Number:     846/557, Grant Date:     2 Oct 1978.
  42. [S492] E-mails from Mike Hill to Tim Hill, 2010- 21 Jan 2011.
  43. [S3] New South Wales, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1929 No.258114 (?).
  44. [S338] Ancestry.com.au Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com.au/) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. District of Melbourne, Subdistrict of Melbourne.
  45. [S338] Ancestry.com.au Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com.au/) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. District of Balaclava, Subdistrict of Brighton.
  46. [S338] Ancestry.com.au Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com.au/) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. District of Kooyong, Subdistrict of Kew North.
  47. [S931] Sands Directories,Victoria, Australia (various dates), 1949.