The Hill-Wood Family of Hoxne

Rachel Selina Decima Bateman-Hanbury [1875-1971] was the youngest daughter of William Bateman-Hanbury and his wife Agnes Kerrison. She was married in 1899 to Samuel Hill-Wood [1872-1949] who was the son of Samuel Wood [1819-1888] and his wife Anne Kershaw Sidebottom [d.1914]. Samuel Wood was the son of John Wood [1784-1854] and his wife Alice Hill [d.1821] the daughter of John Hill of Liverpool.

The Wood family were important cotton manufactures in Glossop, Derbyshire. Samuel was educated at Eton and was a keen cricketer who played cricket for Derbyshire in 1894 and became their captain in 1899 for three seasons. Samuel also took an interest in football and was the owner and chairman of Glossop North End until 1914.

In 1910 he became the MP for the High Peak holding this seat until 1929. In 1912 he changed his name adding the surname of Hill to his own surname by royal licence. His grandmother was Alice Hill [d.1821] of Liverpool.

During the 1st World War Samuel served in the Cheshire Regiment and reached the rank of Major. In 1921 he was made a baronet in the New Year Honours list as Baron Hill-Wood of Moorfield, Glossop. In 1929 Samuel became the chairman of Arsenal Football Club until 1936. He took up the chairmanship again after the 2nd World War and held this position until his death in 1949. Rachel and Samuel were the parents of four sons, Basil, Denis, Wilfred and Charles. During the 1900s Samuel and Rachel resided at Oakley Park when it was not being rented out.

Basil Samuel [1900-1954] was born at Chelsea, London and was educated at Eton and became a solicitor. He played cricket for Derbyshire in 1919 and 1921. Basil was part of the MCC tour of New Zealand 1922/23. Basil was married to Joan Louisa Brand in 1925, who was the daughter of Thomas Walter Brand 3rd Viscount Hampden. Basil and his family resided at Farley Hill, Berkshire and became the 2nd Baronet on the death of his father.

Wilfred William [1901-1980] was educated at Eton and played cricket for Derbyshire in 1919. In 1921 he played cricket for Cambridge University and he took part in the MCC tour of New Zealand in 1922/23. Wilfred became the managing director of Morgan, Grenfell & Company from 1939-1967. During the 2nd World War he worked for the British Purchasing Commission. In 1946 Wilfred was made a CBE and was a personal friend of King George VI. He was knighted in 1976 KCRVO by the Queen.

Denis John [1906-1982] was born at Hoxne on the 25th June 1906. He was educated at Christ’s Church, Oxford and played cricket for them and for the MCC in Ireland and for Derbyshire in 1928/1929. During the 2nd World War he served with the Royal Armoured Corps and was wounded in Libya. He was awarded the MC in 1943 for gallantry and distinguished service in the Middle East. From 1962-1982 he was the chairman of Arsenal Football Club. Denis died on the 5th May 1982 aged 75 at Hartley Wintney, Hampshire.

Charles Kerrison [1907-1988] was born at Hoxne and was educated at Eton and Christchurch College, Oxford. He played cricket for Eton and Oxford University along with Derbyshire in 1929-1930. During the 2nd World War he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards. He remained in the army and then in the army reserve until 1957. Charles gained the rank of Major [honorary lieutenant colonel]. During his retirement he resided at Barton-le- Clay in Bedfordshire with his wife Cecilia [nee Smith] where he died aged 81.

The Hill-Wood family are remembered in Hoxne as they were connected with the Kerrison family of Oakley Park. Samuel was associated with the Oakley Park Harriers [which later became the Easton Harriers] and had his own cricket team who played at Oakley Park against visiting teams. The cricket pitch was below the east terrace and ha-ha. It is also stated that a cricket match was played here with players from different countries of origin. Samuel Hill-Wood had connections with a number of county cricket players, MCC cricketers and colonial cricket players.

Article provided by Stephen Govier.