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Players Index Page Last Updated
19 October 2022

Arnold Hills

Old Harrovians AFC

1 appearance, 0 goals

P 1 W 1 D 0 L 0 F 5: A 4
100% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


  Arnold Frank Hills B.A.
Birth Wednesday, 12 March 1857 in Denmark Hill, Camberwell, Surrey
registered as Arnold in Lambeth April-June 1857 Camberwell was in the Surrey Registration County up until 1889
"12th, at Denmark-hill, Surrey, Mrs. F. C. Hills, of twins, a son and daughter." - The Era, Sunday, 15 March 1857.
  According to the 1861 census, Arnold Frank, along with Constance, are the youngest of five children to Frank C. and Ann Ellen (née Rawlings). His father is a manufacturer of chimneys. They live with two servants in Denmark Hill in St Mary's, Lambeth.
According to the 1871 census, Arnold is a pupil in Holbrook.
(His mother died on 31 October 1877 in Penshurst)
  According to the 1881 census, Arnold F. is residing with his widowed father and three of his siblings at the Hotel Cecil at 14/15 Albermarle Street in St George Hanover Square, Westminster.
Marriage to Mary Elizabeth Lafone, on 12 May 1886 at Hanworth Parish Church in Hanworth, Middlesex
  registered in Staines April-June 1886
"The marriage of Mr Arnold Frank Hills, youngest son of Mr. F. C. Hills, of Redleaf, Penshurst, with Miss Lafone, eldest daughter of Mr Alfred Lafone, of Hanworth Park, Middlesex, was solemnised on Wednesday, May 12th, at the parish church, Hanworth. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Stephen Bridge, Vicar of Droxford, assisted by the Rev. J. Winslow, Vicar of Hanworth, and the Rev. E. D. L. Harvey, brother-in-law of the bridegroom. The bride was given away by her father, Mr Alfred Lafone, and was attended by her little nephew as page, and seven bridesmaids: The brother of the bridegroom, Mr Ernest Hills, acted as best man. The bride wore a lovely dress of cream white broché satin and train, trimmed with beautiful point d'Alençon lace, the gift of her sister, Miss J. Lafone, tulle veil, orange blossoms and bouquet, ornaments, a diamond crescent, the joint gift of Messrs. H. and M. Lafone, a diamond star, presented by Mr F. Hills, and a handsome diamond bracelet, the gift of the bridegroom... The church was prettily decorated and the service was choral. A large number of guests were entertained at Hanworth Park, and after the breakfast the bride and bridegroom started for Dover en route for the Italian Lakes." - The Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday, 21 May 1886.
Children Arnold and Mary Hills had five children together. Mary Monica (b.1888), Arthur Lafone Frank (b.1890), Constance M. (b.1893), Elizabeth U. (b.1895) and Agnes Helen (b.15 April 1899)
  According to the 1891 census, Arnold F. is now married to Mary Elizabeth. He is a Ship builder and Ironmaster. They live at Devon House in the High Road in Chigwell, Epping. He has two children, Mary and Arthur. They have six servants.
First of many entrants in the GWR Shareholders list is in 1892, Arnold address is stated as Buckhurst Hill, Woodford in Essex.In 1896, he is residing at Monkhams in Woodford Green.
(His father died on 3 May 1892 in Penshurst)
  According to the 1901 census, A.F. is still married to Mary E. and they have three more children, Constance, Elizabeth and Agnes. They all still live at Monkhams in Woodford Green, West Ham.
Arnold Frank Hills is confirmed in the 1901 Kelly's Handbook as residing at Monkhams.
In 1906, Arnold's address is stated as 17 Philpot Lane in central London.
  According to the 1911 census, Arnold F., his wife and with two of their children, are at Rosemount in Grand Parade, Eastbourne. Living? Holidaying? He is now chairman of Thames Ironworks and lives with six servants, one secretary and one nurse.
  According to the 1921 census, Arnold Frank, a retired shipbuilder. and his wife, are living at Hammerfield in Penshurst, along with a nurse and six servants.
In 1924, Arnold's address is still stated as 17 Philpot Lane.
Death Monday, 7 March 1927, at Hammerfield, in Penshurst, Kent
aged 69 years 360 days registered in Sevenoaks January-March 1927


HMS Thunderer, built by Arnold Hills company"MR. ARNOLD HILLS DEAD.
"Mr. Arnold F. Hills, the man who built the last great battleship on the Thames, died yesterday at his home at Penshurst, Kent. It is fourteen years since he waged his great fight to keep alive the shipbuilding industry of the Thames. Eventually he had to admit defeat when a series of Admiralty orders went North to the great yards on the Tyne and the Clyde. The Thames Ironworks Company, of which Mr. Hill was Chairman, once spent £70,000 a week in wages. - In the last months of its existence the wages bill had dropped to £1,000 a week. Mr. Hills, nevertheless, secured the Admiralty order for the Dreadnought Thunderer
[left] towards the end of the life of the Company, and when the vessel was completed he came down to the slipway in his invalid chair to see the launching. He had directed the intricate details of the work from his sick-bed.".
Portsmouth Evening News, Tuesday, 8 March 1927
Hammerfield in Penshurst, where Arnold Hills passed away
"The death occurred on Monday of Mr. Arnold F. Hills, of Hammerfield, Penshurst, Kent,
[left] in his 70th year. Mr. Hills was well known in Essex, where he formerly resided, for his activities in the cause of temperance.
While at Harrow Arnold distinguished himself by captaining the football eleven in 1875, and carrying a still higher athletic reputation through Oxford. While at University College he won the mile championship in 1879, and played against Cambridge in the winning 'Soccer' eleven of 1877 and 1878, and also against the rest of the University, again with a win. He played for England against Scotland in 1879, and gained his cap as an International. In the schools he brought off a second-class in classical moderations in 1877, and in modern history two years later.
"Mr. Hills became a director of the old Thames Iron Works, and for the next 25 years made a great crusade in the interest of the Thames shipbuilding. He built the Thunderer
[above], the last of the Thames warships. Although crippled with rheumatism, he continually agitated in the interests of the Thames shipyards, speaking at demonstrations while lying on his cripple chair, but in spite of all he could do the last was closed down in 1912. He took a great interest in his employees, and under a profit-sharing scheme distributed £100,000 among them. At one time 6,000 hands were employed at the Thames Iron Works when four first-class battle cruisers were being built. One of these was constructed for the Japanese Navy. Mr. Hills was able to secure the building of the first Thames Dreadnought by quoting £25,000 under the next lowest tender. In spite of cruel personal handicap he built a deep water dock and other works at Dagenham for the construction of the Thunderer, which despite the strike and lock-out of 1910 was launched within nine months of the laying of her keel.
"The late Mr. Hills was president of the National United Temperance Council, the Essex United Temperance Council, and the Vegetarians' Federal Union, and in connection with these activities he gave some remarkable vegetarian lunches. He was the father of the West Ham Football Club, which began its existence under the name of the Thames Ironworks. Mr. Hills married in 1886 Mary Elizabeth, elder daughter of Mr. Alfred Lafone, of Hanworth Park, Middlesex; and after buying Hammerfield he occupied himself in local affairs to the extent of being a J.P. and Deputy-Lieutenant for Kent."
The Essex Chronicle, Friday, 11 March 1927.
Probate "HILLS Arnold Frank of Hammerfield Penshurst Kent died 7 March 1927 Probate London 20 September to Arthur Lafone Frank Hills esquire and Mary Monica Parker (wife of John Oxley Parker).
Effects £60496 14s. 9d." [2019 equivalent: £3,829,061]
  Mary Hills died on 16 February 1942
Source Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] &
Playing Career
Club(s) Attended Harrow School, playing football 1875-76, captain in his last year; Went on to Oxford University, earning his Blue 1877-78; then played his regular football for Old Harrovians AFC;
Club honours FA Cup runners-up 1876-77;
Individual honours None
Distinctions He was the AAA mile champion of 1878. (4 min. 28secs)
Height/Weight not known
Source Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].
England Career
Player number One of eight who became the 62nd players (66) to appear for England.
Position(s) Forward.
Only match No. 9, 5 April 1879, England 5 Scotland 4, a friendly match at The Surrey Cricket Ground, The Oval, Kennington, London, aged 22 years 24 days;
Individual honours None
Distinctions The first twin to play for England.
Beyond England
In 1880 Hills joined the board of his father's company, Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding. He initially lived in the East India Dock Road in Canning Town. He became concerned about the living conditions of the local people. Hills commented that "the lack of recreational facilities was one of the worst deprivations in the lives of West Ham residents". He added "the perpetual difficulty of West Ham is its poverty, it is rich only in its population."  Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding occupied 30 acres of land at West Ham on the Essex side of Bow Creek and was London's last surviving major shipbuilding firm. In 1860 it had employed 6,000 men, but by 1880 it was in decline and was suffering from serious competition from companies based on the Clyde and in the north of England.  On the death of his father, Hills became the managing director of the Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding Company.  
Hills was also the first President of the London Vegetarian Society in 1888, and the Vegetarian Cycling and Athletic Club, and served as President of a London Vegetarian Rambling Club. He founded The Vegetarian, an independent magazine, as well as the Vegetarian Federal Union in 1889, of which he was also President. He also had close ties with the Temperance League
. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.120./Oxford University AFC website.

The Numbers

parties Appearances minutes captain
1 1 90 0 none
The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.
1 1 0 0 5 4 +1 0 0 5 4 100 +1
His only match was a friendly match played at a home venue

Match History
 Club: Old Harrovians A.F.C. - one full appearance (90 min) F.A. Committee - one full appearance (90 min)x

apps match match details comp res. rundown pos

Age 22
pp 1 March 1879 - England vs. Scotland, Surrey Cricket Ground, Kennington Fr postponed - frost ir
1 9 5 April 1879 - England 5 Scotland 4
The Surrey Cricket Ground, Kennington
Fr HW   ir

one of eight who became the 62nd (66) players to appear for England
the third and final Old Harrovian to represent England