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Acknown

Sgt Hicks - Devonshire Regiment and MGC

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Acknown

I'm looking for details of the record of service of Sgt A W Hicks. He served with the 2nd Devons in WW1 (possibly joining under-age) and the MGC, either during the war or afterwards. I have two regimental numbers: 9322 and 17562. In the 1920s, he served in Waziristan and was a MGC instructor in Delhi. The crucial question is whether he was on the Somme in 1916 and who with?

Can anyone enlighten me?

Many thanks,

Acknown

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ralphjd

Medal card has a date of entry of 22 8 1914 , so unless in the UK training or on leave/sick/injured more than likely on the Somme 1916. IMHO. Ralph.

Edit; Has another number on his card for the Devons - 7807986

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Acknown

Ralph - I can't find his medal card. Can you point me?

Acknown

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TEW

If he served in Waziristan then his service record should be with MOD. there are 3 A W Hicks listed in their list of those born pre 1901. Service numbers don't match up and one implies Dorset regiment.

Do any of there dates of birth mean anything?

25/1/1892
18/9/1893
26/3/1893

You've probably seen this, his medal roll for Waziristan

This is listed under Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815, 2 Dewnshere Regiment, reasons best known to ancestry only!

This gives an Army number of 7809986 which does match with one of the MOD records available.

11005 ADT000306661 File 7807986 NULL HICKS AW NULL NULL 1893-03-26

TEW

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ralphjd

As Diane says, it's there under Hicks Arthur W. Ralph.

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Acknown

Very many thanks to all, I'll try to get better at this myself! It would be good to know when he left 2 DEVONS for the MGC. Do the regimental numbers tell us anything? It seems he returned again after the war.

Best wishes,

Acknown

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TEW

Order his service record from MOD, it may take months though!

TEW

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kenf48

Very many thanks to all, I'll try to get better at this myself! It would be good to know when he left 2 DEVONS for the MGC. Do the regimental numbers tell us anything? It seems he returned again after the war.

Best wishes,

Acknown

The regimental numbers tell us Arthur Hicks was a regular soldier serving with the 1st Bn Devonshire Regiment when war was declared. He went to France with the main body of the 1st Bn.

He transferred to the MGC on or around 5th February 1916, this was on formation of the Corps. Initially the MGC were brigaded with their original brigade, there are a few MGC numbers around his which show 23rd Company MGC and previous service in the Devonshire Regt., but the men who formed this Company were from the 2nd Bn Devonshire, 23rd Brigade 8th Division, not the 1st Bn Devonshire.

It's quite possible he was wounded in 1914/5 and on recovery posted to the 2nd Bn, or it could have been a simple transfer in the general movement when the MGC was formed. I think it would be worth looking at casualty lists while waiting for a response from the MOD.

The medal roll shows he was put on the Section B Army Reserve on the 10th March 1919, this meant he was a time served regular and effectively ceased to be on active service, though he could be recalled to the colours. He probably re-enlisted for service in India around October 1919, and as noted above his record should be at the MOD but if your interest is the Somme commemoration, as has already been mentioned, they can take a time to respond.

The problem is identifying which unit of the MGC he was with, while the 23rd looks a good bet we can’t be certain, if he remained with the 1st Bn Devonshire their ‘brigaded' MGC Company was the 14th but then the MGC service number would probably have been lower. The MOD record should resolve it.

Ken

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TEW

Not showing on WO Casualty Lists but there is a FWR Admin and Discharge record for him in 1915 as 9322 Pte. A W Hickes, Devonshire Regiment. Note spelling.

TEW

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Acknown

Ken and TEW,

Many thanks. My aim is to find out who he was with on the Somme in July 1916 where, it appears, he received two bullets in the knee. It seems there are a few possibilities but, as 1st Devons did not take part, he must have been with either 2nd Devons or the MGC. From Ken's information, I assume the latter. And if he was with the 23rd Company, alongside 2nd Devons. I presume that only the record of service or casualty list will answer the question.

Again many thanks,

Acknown

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TEW

A months subscription to FWR would show which unit he was with when admitted to medical unit in 1915.

Not sure if this helps but he was put into Army reserve in March 1919 and arrived in India 9th MGC (attached 104 Wellersley's Rifles) in Feb 1920

Or spend £3.45 on the diary for 23 MGC April 18 to Feb 1919, see if he's in there somewhere. Not available on Ancestry.

Don't think you'll get his record from MOD this year.

TEW

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kenf48

You can save £3.45 as the link provided above is for the 23rd Battalion MGC war diary, which is a completely different unit. In fact youre saving a lot more as it has not been digitised.

The 23rd Company MGC on reorganisation of the Corps in March 1918 became the 8th Battalion (i.e. 8th Division)

The war diary for the period March 1918 - March 1919 is WO95/1702

or on Ancestry

http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/60779/43112_1702_0-00242?pid=485727&backurl=http://search.ancestry.co.uk//cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DVHu1%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26indiv%3D1%26db%3DUKWarDiariesWWI%26gss%3Dangs-d%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26msT%3D1%26gskw%3D1702%26MSAV%3D1%26uidh%3Dyi4%26pcat%3D39%26fh%3D117%26h%3D485727%26recoff%3D%26fsk%3DBELq368IgADtawAC8lc-61-%26bsk%3D%26pgoff%3D%26ml_rpos%3D118&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=VHu1&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true#?imageId=43112_1702_0-00445

I can find the diary for the 24th, and 218th but not the 23rd it may be buried in the 23rd Brigade HQ diary.

The Genealogist site has 4 entries for A.W. Hicks, but all for 1917

This is a subscription site

http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/master/?type=person&source=&search_type=person&master_event=Military&person_event=&fn=A+W&phonetic_mode_fn=1&phonetic_mode_fn=1&nickname_mode=&sn=Hicks&phonetic_mode_sn=1&phonetic_mode_sn=1&kw=&yr=1916&range=1&person_event=Casualty+List%3A+Wounded

There are a couple of A.Hicks for 1916 but without a sub your guess is as good as mine.

Ken

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TEW

Ken

Thanks for saving Acknown the £3.45.

I've looked at the genealogist site and although there are some AW Hicks none have numbers that match with MIC.

Does his MIC have his post war Army Number linked to Devonshires? IGSM indicates 9th MG.

TEW

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kenf48

The mic is a bit confusing as it shows 'Devon R' '7807986' the number is in the post-1920 series allocated to the MGC, I.e 7807001- 7868000. The Devonshire series began 5608001.

There is an asterisk on the mic against the Devonshire relating to the 'war medals' which is correct and a hashtag against the IGSM linked to the MGC original number!

Can be downloaded for free I believe

http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/1262/30850_A000738-00434?pid=2320971&backurl=http://search.ancestry.co.uk//cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DiMP2%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26indiv%3D1%26db%3Dmedalrolls%26gss%3Dangs-d%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26msT%3D1%26gsfn%3DArthur%2520W.%26gsfn_x%3D0%26gsln%3DHicks%26gsln_x%3D0%26cpxt%3D1%26cp%3D11%26MSAV%3D1%26uidh%3Dyi4%26pcat%3DMIL_AWARDS%26fh%3D1%26h%3D2320971%26recoff%3D9%252010%252011%26ml_rpos%3D2&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=iMP2&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true

Ken

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kenf48

Incidentally, the OP suggested he "possibly joined under age. The 1911 Census shows aged 17, b. Blackwater Hants, serving in 3rd Bn Devonshire Regiment , Howell Road Exeter. He was probably in training, Paul Nixon's indispensable site shows 9218 joined 4th January 1911.

So definitely not under age. The mic has a '1' against the first Devon entry, that and the date means he definitely was with the 1st Bn whenhe first went on active service overseas. I see the OP had him in the 2nd Bn which makes the 23rd Company even more likely but we don't appear to have the evidence for the 2nd Bn other than, presumably, the wound.

Ken

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TEW

Just realised he retained his 17562 MGC number through his 11 months of being in reserve and still had it when he arrived in India Feb 1920. Sometime later in 1920 he received his new (MGC) Army Number.

The IGSM medal roll is that of 2nd Devons not MGC roll.

Had a rapid look through 1st Devons diary for Aug 14 to Dec 1915 and 2nd Devons Jan 15 to Mar 16 but no sign of casualty lists.

His FWR injury may be the transition from 1st to 2nd Devons but it wasn't severe enough to be on Casualty list which usually suggests he was discharged from FA or CCS after a few days and re-joined unit, or sent to IBD?

TEW

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Acknown

Well, a relation tells me that he went over the top on 1st July 1916 with 2nd Devons, as a corporal in B Company, and was wounded with two machine gun bullets in his right knee. So the mystery of his movements remains.

Thank you all for, as ever, being so helpful.

Acknown

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kenf48

Well, a relation tells me that he went over the top on 1st July 1916 with 2nd Devons, as a corporal in B Company, and was wounded with two machine gun bullets in his right knee. So the mystery of his movements remains.

Thank you all for, as ever, being so helpful.

Acknown

That seems remarkably precise, curious to know the evidence, two machine gun bullets in the knee might sting a bit, or to put it another way probably take his leg off, but as ever his record at MoD may confirm

I've now found the war diary for 23rd Company which shows four guns supported the attack on Ovilliers and fired 10,000 rounds, one 5000 without stoppage. All emplacements shelled and they withdrew with the survivors of the Brigade, including the 2nd Devonshire the next day.

On Ancestry the diary is at http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/60779/43112_1715_0-00342?pid=648280&backurl=http://search.ancestry.co.uk//cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv%3D1%26_phsrc%3DXKw2%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26db%3DUKWarDiariesWWI%26gss%3Dangs-d%26new%3D1%26gskw%3D1715%26MSAV%3D1%26uidh%3Dyi4%26rank%3D1%26pcat%3D39%26fh%3D100%26h%3D648280%26recoff%3D%26fsk%3DBELq368IgADtawABcYs-61-%26bsk%3D%26pgoff%3D%26ml_rpos%3D101&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=XKw2&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true#?imageId=43112_1715_0-00355

At TNA http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352485

The diary names some NCOs, but like the 2nd Devonshire diary does not have a casualty list for the 1 st July.

Ken

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TEW

Ken

The MIC shows the 17562 MGC number #tagged to the IGSM & Clasp Mashud whereas the BWM and Victory are xtagged to the 1/Devons 9322 number but issued via MGC?

Then the IGSM & Clasp toll is issued to MGC Hicks but is on a 2/Devons roll.

Does this not suggest he served in WWI as 9322 and the 17562 is a post-armistice MGC number replaced by his 7 digit army number in 1920?

Two MG bullets in the knee at Mashud could be a probability, two in July 1916 and continuing service seems unlikely, plus no casualty list.

MOD record and/or the FWR should help, the latter instantly accessible for a fee.

TEW

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kenf48

The war diary notes the 23rd MGC was formed on 2 January 1916 under 2nd Lt Stewart Acting Battalion MG officer 2nd Devons.

We know Sgt Hicks was a regular soldier in the Devons who enlisted around 1911, the census confirms he was serving with the regiment in 1911 and the 9322 number is consistent with this. He appears to have been a private when transferred.

We also know he transferred to the MGC (the diary notes 32 men attached to the MG Company were returned to the Devons shortly after the disaster on the 1st July - these attachments would not have been renumbered). However Sgt Hicks was renumbered and there is no doubt the number dates from the formation of the unit and the renumbering from February 1916. What we don't know is what he was doing on the 1st July 1916 however on the balance of probability he was in the MGC supporting the attack on Orvilliers.

The 14 Star Roll 1st Devonshire shows he was serving in the MGC when the medal roll was submitted in January 1918, resubmitted 9 May 1918 when he was a Cpl in the MGC. (p.136) so it is definitely not a post armistice number. I've previously highlighted what appear to be inconsistencies or errors on the mic, I can't account for them (post15). The 'war medals' are on the MGC Roll, though as you say should be named to the Devonshire Regt.

If I was cynical I wonder if it was the same relation who suggested he joined 'under age' who suggested he got not one but two mg bullets in the knee!

Ken

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ss002d6252

#17566 (prev #6836 Devons) was officially transferred to the 23rd MG Company on 5/2/1916 although his record also says he was posted to them on 15/1/16 - presumably there was so preparatory work to undertake before the official formation.

Craig

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TEW

The medal roll shows he was put on the Section B Army Reserve on the 10th March 1919, this meant he was a time served regular and effectively ceased to be on active service, though he could be recalled to the colours. He probably re-enlisted for service in India around October 1919,

Ken

Snipped

Was he put into Section B Army Reserve on the 10th March 1919 as 17562 MGC? And ceased to be on active service?

So he must have retained the 17562 number somehow when he was either re-called or re-enlisted as he turned up in India in Feb 1920 with the same number.

post-34209-0-64394300-1464261059_thumb.j

All resolvable with his MOD record but that's not likely this year.

FWR may give some clue to the 1915 wound.

TEW

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kenf48

Snipped

Was he put into Section B Army Reserve on the 10th March 1919 as 17562 MGC? And ceased to be on active service?

So he must have retained the 17562 number somehow when he was either re-called or re-enlisted as he turned up in India in Feb 1920 with the same number.

TEW

He would retain his number while on the Reserve, however in 1920 the army changed the system again and as noted previously (post 15), His 7807986 number is within the block allocated to the MGC although looking at it again it's struck through and shows he was attached to 9th MGC so unpicking it on the reserve, presumably report locally for service, posted to the Devonshire with a '5' number and attached to MGC in India hence the 1 st Bn Roll.

None of which helps identify exactly where he was on the 1 July 1916, other than the attack on Orvilliers.

Ken

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david west

Just stumbled over this post. Hicks must have served with my Grandfather CSM Ernest Albert West DCM. My Grandfather enlisted in 1910 at Tidworth, he joined the 2nd Btn Devonshire Regt with service number 9067, he was transferred in 1916, along with 30 others, to the 23rd Machine Gun Company MGC, his service number was 17551. In 1918 the MG Companies reformed and were renamed/renumbered the 8th Btn MGC. My Grandfather was taken POW on 27th May 1918, at that time he was CSM of A Company 8th Btn MGC. After the war he served in Russia & India, Waziristan. When the MGC was disbanded he returned to the Devonshire Regt and served until 1931.

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