HICKS, Walter Gerald

Second Lieutenant, 8th Royal Fusiliers.

Born

2nd October 1893, in St. Austell, Cornwall.
Son of Walter Hicks (Wine Importer and Brewer) and Kattie (nee Cooke) of Treganer Terrace, St. Austell, Cornwall.

Education

Blundell’s School, School House.
January 1908 – Summer 1912.
During four of his five years at Blundell’s he was in the OTC and was a member of the shooting VIII. 

Attestation

At attestation on 13th August 1914 his medical examination found him to be aged 20 last birthday, height 71” (5’11”), chest 36”, weight 121lbs, hearing - good, teeth - good, colour vision - normal, eyesight 6/6 both eyes. He said he was not married, could not ride a horse and gave his address as Earls Court, London. He was found to be fit for active service and applied to join the Infantry.

Service

Having served in “A” Company, London University OTC, he was given a commission in the 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Infantry). The day he was wounded he had been selected for promotion to Lieutenant.

Death

16th August 1915.
He had been scouting with a maxim (a machine gun) in front of the British trenches about 350 yards from the enemy trenches on 15th August 1915 and was nearly back but was shot by a sniper from a tree; the shot went through his thigh and he died the next morning near Armentieres.

Burial/Commemoration

Grave IX. B. 4.
Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, France (Nord).

Memorial

Armentieres is a town in the Department of the Nord, on the Belgian frontier, 14.5 kilometres north-west of Lille. Armentieres was occupied by the 4th Division on 17 October 1914 and it remained within the Allied lines until its evacuation ahead of the German advance on 10 April 1918, after a prolonged and heavy bombardment with gas shell. It was occupied by the Germans next day, and was not recovered until 3 October 1918. Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery was begun (Plot IX) in October 1914 and during the winter of 1914-15 it was used for civilian burials, the town cemetery at Le Bizet being too greatly exposed; the civilian graves are now in a separate enclosure. The cemetery continued to be used by field ambulances and fighting units until April 1918. The cemetery enclosure and memorial were designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

After death

2/Lt Hicks died intestate and his next of kin, his sister Miss Edith Corona Hicks of 16, Nevern Square, Earls Court, London (same address as her brother on attestation) obtained letters of administration. Through her solicitors she applied for remission of death duties on her brother’s estate.

Research

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - www.cwgc.org
Public Record Office, National Archives, Kew: WO 339/11604 and Medal Rolls: WO372/9
“The Blundellian” Nov 1915 p200 & July 1916 p248
“The Register of Blundell's School, Part II 1882 – 1932” (1932) MAHOOD, A.S., Ed. Entry No. 5244
“Cemeteries & Memorials in Belgium & Northern France” (2004) Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 5/133

 

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