The Archie Hill Story
Archie Hill was born in Scotland on the 21st February 1951. He lived with his parents James and Jesse and his brother and two sisters. Tragically in 1959 Archie’s mother died of Tuberculosis and unable to cope with the trauma of the loss of his wife, and four young children to bring up, Archie’s father decided to place them into care after trying to make a fresh start for all of them in Newcastle.
Their stay in care was to last six months finally to be reunited with their father. All was going well until his father met and later married there stepmother Ada but Archie was unable to get along with his new step-mother who blatantly didn’t want anything to do with the children, so persuaded his father that care was again the only option. This time the kids were separated with the boys going to Doncaster and the girls going to Newcastle. There was no contact with each other or family until 1965 when they were all moved to the Dr Barnardos home at Barkingside Essex.
Like Tony, Archie and his siblings were flown to Australia to begin a new life. Archie was once again cruelly separated from his family on arrival, with the boys going to Ladd House in Normanshurst, Sydney. Less than a year after arriving in Australia, Archie turned fifteen, and because of his age he was put to work on what was called a training farm run by Dr Barnardo’s homes in Scone which lies in the heart of the Hunter Valley, New South Wales. In reality these so called training farms were just somewhere young boy’s were sent to work and didn’t learn anything but a hard life.
By now his brother and sisters were spread across Australia each one of them living their own lives and trying to make new friends and build new families.
After 2 years of hard work Archie joined the Army and was to stay there for 6 years. Upon leaving he returned to Scone shortly after in 1975 met and later married his wife Jan and became the proud father of 2 sons.
After 34 years of marriage, Archie and Jan continue to live in Australia, over the years Archie has been a drover, truck driver, and a dairy manager are just a few of his many occupations. Now retired after suffering a heart attack in 2004, Archie remains deeply affected by the trauma and treatment he received in his childhood and adolescence. Although Archie is a proud man and happy to appear on the web site – most of the memories he has are still too painful to recount to Tony, so what appears above is a brief overview of his life.
Thank you Archie
Thank you very much for sending me a copy of Pebble on The Beach. My Goodness, you have been through the mill! Well done for all of it and for managing to turn it into a very inspirational read.