Private 3791 Hugh Cyril Dickens

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Killed in Action on Monday, 24th July 1916, age 24.
Buried in Grave III. C. 25. at Laventie Military Cemetery, La Gorgue, Pas De Calais, France.

2nd/7th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 183rd Brigade of 61st Division.

Son of Enoch and Miriam Dickens, of 1, Gilbert Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs. Born at Dudley Port.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/327929/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Hugh Cyril Dickins registered in December quarter 1892 at Dudley.

1901 Census
4 Bradley Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Enoch Dickens (45, Millman at Ironworks, born Tipton), his wife Miriam (31, born Tipton) and their 9 children: Hugh Cyril (8, born Tipton), Horace E. (6, born Tipton), Elsie Gladys (4, born Tipton), Miriam (2, born Tipton), and William Herbert (1, born Tipton).

1911 Census
4 Danks Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Enoch Dickens (54, Roller Foreman at Ironworks, born Walsall), his wife Miriam (40, born Walsall) and their 9 surviving children of 11: Cyril (18, Ironworker at Foundry, born Tipton), Horace (16, Ironworker - Downdrawer, born Tipton), Elsie (14, born Tipton), Miriam (12, born Tipton), Herbert (11, Schoolboy, born Tipton), Florence (8, born Tipton), Roland (7, born Tipton), Walter (5, born Tipton), and Ernest (3, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Hugh had joined up in April 1915, and belonged to the 2/7th Worcesters, a "second line" Territorial unit formed at Kidderminster in September 1914. After training at Chelmsford and Salisbury Plain in February 1916, they landed in France on 24th May 1916.

Action resulting in his death

The 2/7th Worcesters held the line around Neuve Chapelle, with a trench raid by 'D' Company on July 4th/5th to add some variety. The 2/7th Worcesters were in 61st (Second Midland) Division who, along with the 5th Australian Division, were to attack at Fromelles on 19th/20th July. Luckily neither the 2/7th nor 2/8th Worcesters were selected for the attack, the 2/7th coming into the line to relieve the remnants of the 2/4th and 2/6th Gloucesters during the evening.

The 2/7th Worcesters remained in the trenches at Fromelles over the next few days, repairing the trenches and burying the dead. They were relieved on the 26th July, and Stacke's "The Worcestershire Regiment in the Great War" comments: "Casualties 2/7th Battalion 20th/26th July - Captain C.L. Butcher and one private killed."

The private was Hugh Dickens, who was shot in the head whilst on sentry duty. He is buried in Laventie Military Cemetery at La Gorgue.

Newspaper Cuttings

Evening Despatch 5th September 1916
The following casualties amongst warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men are reported under various dates:
Worcesters- Dickens, 3791, H.C., (Tipton).

Tipton Herald 9th September 1916
The Vicar of St. Michael's, Tividale, reads out every Sunday morning an ever-increasing roll of young men of the parish who have joined the colours, and, alas, of those who have fallen in battle. To the latter must be added Pte. H.C. Dickens, of the 2/7th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment, whose mother lives at Bradley Street, Burnt Tree. He was shot in the head whilst on sentry duty, death being instantaneous. He joined the army about 16 months ago, and at the time of his death had been in France about 4 months. Corporal C. Twyford, of Price Street, Kate's Hill was a close friend of Pte. Dickens. Twyford was killed on the Friday and the following Monday Pte. Dickens fell in action.