- Rowland Hilder, "The development of a landscape artist" in The Countryman (Autumn 1980)
I was born in Great Neck, Long Island, USA of British parents. Each summer I came with my parents to England where we stayed for two or three months. Much of that time I spent with my grandparents in Birling, Kent, so that at an early age I was introduced to the delights of the Kentish countryside and to sea travel on the great ocean liners. We returned to England early in 1915, sailing on the Lusitania; the last trip before she was finally sunk in the Irish Sea by a U-boat.
I spent the war years in New Cross, London, from where I was able to cycle to the River Thames at Greenwich, and to make excursions to the Kentish countryside. My father was a keen amateur watercolour painter, so on his return from active service I had little difficulty in persuading him to let me attend the nearby Goldsmiths' College School of Art as soon as I was allowed to leave day school at the age of sixteen.