B66008 Rifleman Albert Edward Hildreth was born on 11 March 1921, in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Henry Charles Hildreth and Ida May Cole. His father died in 1930 and his mother remarried Roy Cole. At the time of his death, he had a brother Henry James Hildreth who was serving with the Royal Canadian Navy, a half-brother Elmer Nelson Cole who also served in The Queen’s Own Rifles during the war, and a half-sister.
He left school at the age of 15 having completed two years of high school. On enlistment, he was working for Arlington Hat Company as a labourer.
Hildreth enlisted on 28 July 1940 with The Queen’s Own Rifles (Militia) and transferred to the 1st Battalion (Active Service) on 10 September 1940.
He was posted to Newfoundland with the Regiment in late 1940 and trained in Sussex, New Brunswick in 1941. He then travel to Gourlock, Scotland, arriving on 29 July 1941.
He continued training for the next 3 years. He was appointed Lance Corporal on 19 August 1943 but reverted to Rifleman at his own request on 2 October 1943.