© Avening Parish Council 2023
“Preserve, Conserve, Enhance”
40 George Hicks
Lance Corporal: Gloucestershire Regiment
George William Hicks was born in Avening in February 1883 and he and his three younger sisters were
brought up in the Baptist faith by their parents, Ernest (born 1862) and Lizzie his wife (née Dee). The
family were living on Star Lane but, sometime during 1895 his father died, leaving his wife with the four
children. Lizzie married again in 1897, her new husband being Edward Newman, and the family
continued to live on Star Lane. By 1901, George had left home, was living at Culver Hill, Amberley and
working as a groom.
He joined the Gloucestershire Regiment in September 1902, at which time he was 5ft 5in tall (1.66m) and
weighed 130lbs ( 60kgs).
He stayed in Gloucestershire training until January 1903 and then left for South Africa where he spent
two and a half months before going on to India in March 1904.
He was there until February 1905.
His original service was destined to be 3 years in uniform and a further nine years on the reserve. Having
transferred to the reserve in September 1905, he returned home to Avening, living with his mother,
stepfather, and a new step brother, Lennox Newman. At the age of 31, he married Eliza Jane Owen.
There were no children from the marriage.
When war broke out, being on the reserve, he was immediately called to service and found himself with
the British Expeditionary Force in France on the 13th of August 1914. He was wounded by shrapnel in
September with wounds to his right knee and back, and was transferred to an English hospital on the
22nd of that month.
He made some sort of recovery and was back in France again on the 14th of December 1914. He
reported sick with lung problems late in January 1915 and was again hospitalised in England in February
until the following September.
He was discharged from the service on the 15th of that month and embarked on a series of medical
examinations over the next few years and by 1918, it was agreed that he had contracted a serious lung
problem, caused by his military service.
George died on Friday the 5th of March 1920 aged 38. The only registration we have for someone of that
age and date was made in London, where he may have been receiving treatment.
He received the 1914 Star, the Victory and British Medals and is remembered, with honour, on our War
Memorial. He may also have received some medals for his South African and Indian service.
We have been unable to locate any living relatives.