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Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Biography -
- John Hickens -

Unknown person Name : John Hickens

Son of John and Ellen Hickens, of Ventnor

Born 1891 Ventnor - it is believed that he was registered as Charles, but known as Charlie, John or Jack.

His brother William Hickens also died during the Great War, in Palestine.
  Census information :

1901 : John and Ellen Hickens with their family, including Charlie aged 9, are at 9 Victoria Cottages, Pound Lane, Ventnor. John Hickens is a 'Stoker (Stationary Engine)'

1911 : John and Ellen Hickens with their family, including Charley aged 19, are at 9 Richmond Terrace, Ventnor. John Hickens is a 'Fireman at the Royal National Hospital'. Charley is a 'Yardman (Gas works)'

  Service Details :

Driver 850752 John Hickens, "B" Bty. 225th Bde., Royal Field Artillery

John Hickens attested for service as Driver 795 (later 1650) John Hickens with the 2nd Wessex Brigade, R.F.A. (Territorial Forces) on 1 December 1914.
He was described as a Bible Christian.

On enlistment he was described as aged 22 yrs 4 mths, height 5 ft 6 3/4 in. with very good eyesight.
He consented to the requirement to serve overseas (Territorial Forces were not obliged to) and was almost immediately sent to India on 12 December 1914, where he remained until his death.
He was transferred to the Regular Forces as Driver 850752 John Hickens in 1917.
Since India was not considered to be a combat zone, he was awarded only the British War Medal which was requested by his mother in 1923.
  Casualty Details :

Died 2 January 1918, aged 27

Commemorated at Kirkee 1914-1918 Memorial, India

CWGC Record (the CWGC entry gives his date of death incorrectly as 4 January 1918)
  Commemorated on these Memorials :

Ventnor War Memorial
St Wilfrid's School War Memorial
County War Memorial
  Documents :


Friday, February 12, 1915 Page 1

Driver J.C. Hickens, of Ventnor, who is attached to the 3rd Hants Howitzer Battery, R.F.A., writes from Kirkee, India, to Mr. W. Haynes, of Albert Street, saying they have been told by Captain Scott that they are going to the front in April, and he is desirous of going to "see a bit of it." He continues: "There are plenty of fruit and flowers out here. We only get two hours' drill a day. Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays are holidays. It was a grand time coming out. We left Southampton on December 12th, arrived at Bombay January 4th, and Kirkee 7th January. Poona is 4½ miles from here, and we often go there, because it is a bigger place. Kirkee is about the size of Wroxall. The place is invested (sic) with snakes, and at night time we go about with lamps and beat the ground with sticks to scare the snakes away. We can pick bananas, oranges and locust beans the same as we do blackberries at home."


Friday, January 11, 1918 Page 2

Information was received on Wednesday that Driver Charlie Hickens, son of Mrs. Hickens, of Richmond Terrace, Ventnor, died in Hospital in India on January 2nd of malaria and pneumonia. He was in the 4th Hants Howitzer Battery and served under Major Raeburn in India. Hickens was always called "Jack" in Ventnor and used to work on the Esplanade for Messrs. J.H. Blake and Sons. This is the second son Mrs. Hickens has lost during the war.


Friday, January 18, 1918 Page 2

Ventnor District Council.
A vote of condolence was passed with Mrs. Hickens, of Richmond Terrace, in the death of her son, Driver C. Hickens [sic], the Chairman remarking that this was the second son Mrs. Hickens had lost in the present war.
(not all the report has been transcribed)


Friday, March 8, 1918 Page 2

Some particulars of the death and funeral of Driver J. Hickens (of Ventnor) in India are to hand in the course of a letter to his sister received from Signalling Instructor W.H. Russell (son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Russell) Upper Ventnor, and Driver C.J. Linington. The writers state : "We are sorry to have to write about poor old Jack, who passed away on January 2nd, as I and Charlie are the only two Ventnor chaps in the same sub-section as Jack, we thought it was up to us to drop you a line and send his photos, &c., home to you. He had a very impressive funeral. It was a very big parade and there were a lot of beautiful wreaths from the Battery, which thought a lot of him. He will be very much missed. We are getting a headstone later on. With our deep sympathy with you." Mrs. Hickens has also received a very sympathetic letter from the Major of the Battery, which states that her son died of plague. He was admitted to Hospital suffering from malaria and pneumonia, and it was only at the end that the doctors diagnosed it as plague. He was a most popular boy in the Battery and most keen in his work. It would have been some small satisfaction to you to have seen how his comrades turned out for his funeral. Please accept my deepest sympathy in your great loss of one who died for his country in a foreign land.


Friday, January 3, 1919 Page 3

HICKENS. - In loving memory of Driver C. Hickens, R.F.A., who died at Kirkee, India, 2nd January, 1918. "Though death divides, sweet memories cling." - From his brother and sisters.
  Acknowledgments :

Janet Griffin for newspaper research
  Page status :
Page last updated : 31 October 2013 (added further newspaper report)


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