Private 201375 Daniel Wickett

Wickett Daniel 96 420x600

Killed in Action on Thursday, 19th April 1917, age 40.
Buried in Grave XXX. G. 12. at Gaza War Cemetery, Israel.

1st/4th Bn., Norfolk Regiment. 163rd Brigade of 54th Division.
Formerly 5753 Norfolk Regiment.

Husband of Annie Wickett, of 9, Tudor St., Coneygree, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Oldbury, Enlisted: Tipton, 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, and Park Chapel memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/651651/

Genealogical Data

1891 Census
7 Tividale Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph and Mary Wickett. Eldest child Daniel Wickett, age 18, an Ironworker born in Oldbury.

Marriage of Daniel Wickett to Annie Burrows was registered at Dudley in June Qtr 1897.

1901 Census
Tudor Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Daniel Wickett (29, Boat Unloader at Ironworks, born Oldbury), his wife Annie (26, born Tipton), and their 2 children: Lily (2, born Tipton), and Josiah (5 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
9 Tudor Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Daniel Wickett (38, Labourer, born Oldbury), his wife Annie (36, born Tipton), and their 6 surviving children of 7: Lily (13, born Tipton), Joseph (10, School, born Tipton), Clara (6, School, born Tipton), Daniel (5, School, born Tipton), John Thomas (3, born Tipton), and William (1, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Grave photo courtesty Andy Fretwell CWGC Regional Supervisor Israel & Cyprus.

Birth registered (as Daniel Wickitt) at West Bromwich in December Quarter 1872, so he would have been 44 at the time of his death in April 1917, not 40 as recorded on the CWGC. Possibly he gave a false age so that he would be more likely of being accepted on enlistment, or just an error. It is also a mystery why he was with the 1/4th Norfolk Territorial Battalion. He had no known link to Norfolk, and there is no previous Regiment recorded in the records still existing for him. Daniel is the only Tipton WW1 casualty in the Norfolk Regiment recorded as enlisting with the Norfolks in Tipton. It is unlikely that they recruited in Tipton so it may well be that he enlisted in another Regiment in Tipton and was later transferred to the Norfolks, but this has not been recorded. The only other Tipton casualty in the Norfolks (George Jones, 9th Norfolks) was initially a South Staffs recruit.

Action resulting in his death

The 1/4th Norfolk Regiment was a pre-war Territorial Battalion of Norfolk and Suffolk Brigade of the East Anglian Division. This Territorial Brigade was re-named as the 163rd Brigade of the 54th (East Anglian) Division. On 29 July 1915 they embarked at Liverpool, via Mudros, to Gallipoli, landing at Suvla Bay on 10 August 1915. On 19 December 1915 they were evacuated from Gallipoli and arrived at Alexandria, and served in Egypt and Palestine for the remainder of the war. Daniel Wickett would have joined the battalion after Gallipoli as he was not awarded the 1914-1915 Star.

During 1916, the Division occupied No 1 (Southern) Section of the Suez Canal defences. In 1917, the Division first fought at the First Battle of Gaza from 26-27 March, and then the Second Battle of Gaza from 17-19 April. Daniel Wickett was to lose his life on the final day of the Second Battle.

The Second Battle of Gaza was the second attempt to break the Ottoman defences along the Gaza-Beersheba line. This was no more successful than the First, where at least the Allied troops had been in a potential winning position until withdrawn by General Dobell. On 17th April, a bombardment of the Ottoman lines had commenced. This was weak by the standards of the Western Front and did little except confirm that an attack was imminent. The attack, by 3 Divisions, commenced at 7.15am on the 19th April, the 54th Division attacked to the South-East of Gaza. All 3 Divisions suffered heavy casualties from shrapnel and machine gun fire. There was most success with the 161st Brigade of the 54th Division which entered Ottoman trenches and occupied this until heavy casualties forced their withdrawal. The 1/4th Norfolks had 6 Officers and 150 Other Ranks recorded as killed on the 19th, with a further 6 dying of wounds in the subsequent days.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Post 22nd May 1917
The following casualties amongst warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men are reported under various dates:
NORFOLK REG.- Wickett, 201375, D., (Tipton).