Private 12444 William Hixon

Killed in Action on Friday, 4th June 1915, age 23.
Commemorated on Panel 104 to 113 of Helles Memorial, Turkey.

4th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 88th Brigade of 29th Division.

Son of Mr & Mrs Benjamin Hickson of 17 New Cross Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed Balkans, 25th April 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, 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/691772/

Genealogical Data

Birth of William Hixon registered October quarter 1891 in Dudley (spelt as Hixon).

1901 Census
22 Lockside, Tipton, Staffs. (2 rooms)
Benjamin Hickson (32 ,Canal Boatman, born Tipton), his wife Hannah (32, born Tipton), and their 5 children: Benjamin (10, born Tipton), William (9, born Tipton), Elizabeth (7, born Tipton), Thomas (5, born Tipton), Hannah (14 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
17 New Cross Street, Tipton, Staffs. (4 rooms)
Benjamin Hixon (43, Boatman, born Tipton), his wife Hannah (43, born Tipton), and 8 of their their 9 surviving children of 10: Benjamin (21, Iron Founder's Dresser, born Tipton), William (19, General Labourer, born Tipton), Thomas (15, General Labourer, born Tipton), Hannah (11, School, born Tipton), Hannah (11, School, born Tipton), Lily (9, School, born Tipton), Sarah (7, School, born Tipton), Edward (5, School, born Tipton), and Samuel George (2, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After William's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £10/14/7d (10 pounds, 14 shillings and 7 pence); this was paid to his father, Benjamin, in May 1916. His War Gratuity was £5/0/0d (5 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his father in September 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that William had enlisted in approximately August 1914.

Action resulting in his death

William Hixon landed with the 4th Worcesters at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, on 25th April 1915. He would have seen action at the First and Second Battles of Krithia and was to lose his life at the Third Battle of Krithia on 4th June.

The 4th Worcesters launched their attack at 12 noon after an artillery bombardment; the Worcesters quickly gained their limited objectives of two lines of Turkish trenches. On their right the advance was equally successful, but on their left the 14th Sikhs foundered against deadly machine gun fire. This meant that the Worcesters' left flank was unsupported, and they were forced to create a defensive flank which was under heavy fire for much of the day.

The Worcesters lost 60 men on the 4th June, including William Hixon. William has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 26th June 1915
Mr S Kelsall, Headmaster of St. Paul's National School, Tipton has received numerous letters from old scholars, amongst them one from Private W Hixon.
Dear Sir,
I now take the pleasure of writing you a few lines in answer to your welcome letter received on 11th May. I was pleased to hear from you, and hope you are enjoying the best of health, as my comrades and I are having a rough time in the trenches with the Turks.
I am sorry to say we have lost Walter Hughes, and it will be a big blow to his mother when she knows. We have gained ground on the Turks, and repulsed their attacks with heavy losses.
I want you to remember me to Mrs White and all the other teachers, also to your boys. I must tell you that the Turks are playing dirty tricks as the Germans did at the outbreak of war. Only a few days ago they advanced with the white flag pretending to want to bury their dead, and at the same time they were moving their guns into a different position. On another occasion they advanced up to our trenches with the white flag, and a German officer said "All units this way," and our fellows went forward and every officer was shot down, but when we saw what was happening we gave them something to go on with I can tell you.

Tipton Herald 19th February 1916
A Tipton Soldier name William Hickson, of 17 New Cross St, Tipton, has been reported killed in action in the Dardanelles. Two of his brothers, Thomas and Benjamin, together with a brother-in-law are fighting in France.

Tipton Herald 26th February 1916
Mr and Mrs Benjamin Hickson of 17 New Cross Street, Tipton, have just received official information that their son William, aged 23, of the 4th Worcesters was killed last June in the Dardanelles. He had frequently written home, but in June last, he was reported as missing. Prior to the war he was employed at Chatwin's Foundry, Tipton.
Two other brothers are with the Colours. Benjamin, aged 25, who was employed at the Tipton Furnaces, joined the RFA in 1915, as did his brother Thomas Hickson, aged 20, who was a boatman. Both are in France and the latter is expected home this week. A brother in law (Charles Owen of 18 Greystone Passage, Dudley) is also in the Army.
The father of the three young soldiers is a boatman.