Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/ACC1009
TitleAccession 1009: Papers of Jesse James Hillman
Extent2 boxes
Thumbnail (Click this image to open a larger image)

CMS ACC1001-1500\CMS ACC1009_T.jpg

DescriptionPapers of Rev Jesse Hillman, predominantly relating to his roles with CMS in Egypt, Sudan, Kenya and the UK, 1946-1986. The collections also includes correspondence and papers relating to the family's deportation from Egypt at the time of the 'Suez Crisis' in 1956; correspondence regarding examination awards received by Hillman whilst Hospital Administrator, Harpur Memorial Hospital, Old Cairo, Egypt; and articles and religious verse written by Hillman. Also within the collection are annual letters; link letters; circular letters; diary entries detailing Hillman's visits for CMS; autobiographical notes, and other personal papers related mainly to Jesse Hillman, but do also relate to other family members, most notably, Jesse's wife, Dorothy Hillman.
NotesPhotograph of Jesse and Dorothy Hillman taken from an article in file reference CMS/ACC1009 C1.
ArrangementThis collection forms part of the Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers.
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered researchers but some files are subject to closure periods. See individual file entries for details where closure dates apply. Annual letters have been closed in line with the 50 year closure period applied to equivalent records in the CMS archive, and other records have been closed in line with the CMS 40 year closure period.
Finding AidsA catalogue of this collection forming part of the wider CMS/ACC unofficial papers catalogue is available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue.
Access StatusPartially closed
Administrative HistoryJesse James Hillman, missionary, administrator and clergyman, was born 14 May 1922, in West Norwood, London, son of a railway station master. He was educated at St Lukes (West Norwood), Gipsy Road LCC school (West Norwood), Sir Walter St John's (Battersea) and St Mary's (Basingstoke). He worked as a railway booking clerk for four years before, as a conscientious objector, serving with the Friends Ambulance Unit and the Friends Relief Service in Italy and Greece during the Second World War, 1942-1946. In 1947, he married Dorothy (b 1918), nee Baylis, who was working as a hospital dispenser in Worcester. Jesse and Dorothy had four children, all of whom were born in Cairo: Jesse Christopher (b 1948), twins Mark and Mary (b 1953) and Francis (b 1954). Mary Hillman died in Cairo of leukaemia aged just 6 months, 23 October 1953. Having been accepted as a missionary in May 1946, Jesse first sailed overseas with CMS in 1947 where, with Dorothy, he worked in Egypt, the Sudan and Kenya before joining the CMS 'Home' staff in London holding three Secretarial posts between September 1970 and his retirement in October 1986.

In addition to his CMS work, between 1949 and 1950, Jesse was seconded to the American Friends Service Committee and worked with the United Nations in Palestinian Refugee camps in Gaza whilst Dorothy ran the central pharmacy. In 1957, he was licensed as a Lay Reader in the Diocese of Mombasa. After returning to the UK, the Hillman's were involved in several new initiatives. From 1976, whilst the family lived downstairs, Dorothy began to run the flat upstairs ('Liskeard House') as a self-catering guest house 'for missionaries visiting London and official CMS overseas visitors'. Jesse was appointed first CMS Overseas Secretary when the new Overseas Division was established in 1976 and set up the Communications Division when appointed Secretary following the abolition of the CMS Overseas and Home Divisions in 1981. Dorothy Hillman sat on the CMS Personal Grants and Allowances Committee 1972, and the CMS Personal Grants Committee 1973-1985. Jesse Hillman held a number of committee roles 1970-1986 (see below). After completing the Southwark Ordination Course, he was ordained deacon 29 June 1986; in October of the same year, the family moved to Hereford and Jesse retired from CMS and began working as non-stipendiary curate in Peterchurch. Jesse died 6 November 2004. Dorothy died 7 December 2011.

Jesse Hillman 1946-1986:
1946 accepted as a missionary by CMS;
1946-1947 missionary training with CMS;
1947 Lee Abbey Community;
1947 November-1948: Cairo, Egypt: hospital administrator, CMS Hospital, Old Cairo;
1949-1950: Gaza: seconded to work with the United Nations in Palestinian Refugee camps;
1950-1956 November: Cairo, Egypt: Hospital Administrator, Harpur Memorial Hospital;
1956: UK: at St Julian's having been deported from Egypt along with other British, French and US nationals 'after the Anglo-French invasion'; October: appointed CMS representative for Egypt;
1957 April-May: relocated to Omdurman, Sudan: CMS Hospital;
1957: Nairobi, Kenya: first CMS Regional Medical Secretary for East Africa; also working during this time for the Christian Council of Kenya and the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau (co-ordinator of Protestant Christian medical work in Kenya and Uganda);
1963-1970 June: Kenya: CMS representative in Kenya (and from time to time, Uganda);
1970 September-1976: London, UK: CMS Africa Secretary;
1976: London: CMS Overseas Secretary;
1981: London: CMS Communications Secretary
1983-1986 undertook the Southwark Ordination Course;
1986 October 31: retired from CMS

Committee roles:
Africa Committee: 1970-1974 (secretary from September 1970)
Mission Operations Committee: 1976-1979 (secretary)
Mission Overseas Committee: 1980 (secretary; also secretary of the Finance and the Bursaries Sub-Committees)
Islam Panel: 1982-1983 (convenor); 1983-1986 (secretary)
Communications Committee: 1981-1986 (secretary)
Community Life Working Party: 1981-1982 (chairman)
Community Life Sub-Committee: 1982-1986 (chairman)
Editorial Advisory Sub-Committee: 1983-1986 (chairman)
Church Missionary Trust Association: 1984-1986 (director)

Admin history compiled by I. Frlan, August 2014. Sources: the records; CMS card index; CMS committee minutes.
Archival NoteCatalogued by J. Childs, 2014.


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