Private 21883 Frank Norwood Hickman

Killed in Action on Thursday, 17th August 1916, age 22.
Commemorated on Pier and Face 6 B of Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

6th Bn., Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. 43rd Brigade of 14th Division.

Son of George and Florence Ella Hickman, of 10, Wolverhampton Rd., Heath Town, Wolverhampton.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Darlaston, Resident: Wolverhampton.

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 Heath Park Memorial, Wolverhampton.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/791636/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Frank Norwood Hickman registered December quarter 1892 in Dudley.

1901 Census
8 Powell Street, Heath Town, Wolverhampton, Staffs.
Florence Hickman (36, Widow, Seamstress, born Tipton), and her 4 children: Irene (11, born Tipton), Frank (8, born Tipton), George (6, born Coseley), and Bessie (4, born Heath Town).

1911 Census
10 Heath Street, Heath Town, Wolverhampton, Staffs.
Florence Hickman (45, Widow, Cook, born Tipton), and her 4 children: Frank (18, Boot Repairer, born Tipton), George (16, Boot Repairer, born Coseley), Bessie (14, born Heath Town), and Fred (6, School, born Heath Town).

Personal Data

Frank Hickman was born 1892 in Summerhill, Tipton, and was baptised on 26th October 1892 at St. John’s Church, Tipton. His father was George Rushbury Hickman, an iron worker, and his mother Florence Ella Perrins. Between Frank’s birth in 1892 and 1897 the family moved to Wolverhampton, as Frank’s father, George, died in the Wolverhampton district in 1897. Florence, known as Fanny, remained a widow, although a son, Frederick, was registered in her name in 1904.

After Frank's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £1/9/6d (1 pound, 9 shilling and 6 pence); this was paid to his mother, Florence E., in December 1916. His War Gratuity was £4/10/0d (4 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his mother in October 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Frank had enlisted in approximately June 1915.

Action resulting in his death

The 6th Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (6/DCLI) had moved from Arras to the Somme area in early August 1916. They moved to the front-line around Delville Wood on 15th August in preparation for a major attack on 18th August.

Frank was killed on 17th August, the day before the attack, he was the only man of the 6/DCLI killed on that day. According to the 1917 ‘Review of the Year’ by the Queen Street Congregational Church, “One of our boys, Frank Hickman, has made the supreme sacrifice. He was killed whilst carrying despatches after refusing his discharge on account of rheumatism”. Frank was apparently one of the regular Church attendees who went on summer camps arranged by the church.

The 6/DCLI took part in a major attack on Delville Wood on the next day, 18th August, they had 7 Officers and 106 Other Ranks killed in action.

Frank is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and the Heath Park memorial.

Queen Street Congregational Church information courtesy of Wolverhampton's War at: https://wolverhamptonswar.wordpress.com

Newspaper Cuttings