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Wicks, James William

Victory Medal
Victory Medal
British War Medal
British War Medal
Private James William Wicks (19454)
Killed in Action on Tuesday 8th August 1916
Somme German Counterattack, aged 36
Son of Lewis & Elizabeth Wicks
Father's occupation: General Labourer
Born Q1 1880 at Hurst
5 sisters, 3 brothers, position in family: 4
Relatives: Brother of Albert Wicks and Frederick Wicks
Local address: Red Rose, Binfield
Pre-war occupation: Groom (domestic)
Enlisted:Wokingham, October 1915
Regiment:Royal Berkshire Regiment
Battalion:5th Bn.
Division:12th (Eastern)
Died:Tuesday 8th August 1916
Cause:Killed in Action
Action:Somme German Counterattack
Battalion at:Pozieres
Commemorated:Memorial at Thiepval Memorial, Somme
Monday 7th August 1916
France, Bouzincourt
Left Bouzincourt at 4p.m. and marched up to relieve the 36th Brigade in the trenches N.W. of POZIERES. The Battalion occupied 5th Avenue, 4th Avenue and 3rd Avenue.
Tuesday 8th August 1916
France, In the Trenches N.W of Pozieres
On the morning of August 8th the Germans made 4 counter-attacks on our position in 5th Avenue.
(1) On our left flank at 3 a.m. they made a bombing attack and got into our trenches but were immediately driven out.
(2) At the same place they attempted a second attack at 7.30 a.m. which was easily repulsed.
(3) Simultaneously with (1) enemy made a determined attack on the barricade which formed the right flank of our position in 5th AVENUE. The enemy employed Flammenwerfer and under cover of the smoke got into the trench. After hand to hand fighting they were driven out and beyond the barricade.
(4) At 5.30 a.m. they repeated the attack and this time succeeded in getting into the trench and compelling out men to withdraw down the trench. A fresh barricade was erected about 50 yards from the old one and the enemy were checked there. While supervising the construction of this barricade the Company Commander 2 Lt F.A.L. EDWARDS who had conducted the defence with great gallantry was wounded, and succumbed to his wounds 2 days later. 2Lt G.M. HUGHES who was seen to be wounded during the first attack was found to be missing and 2Lt H. CROWHURST was wounded by enemy bombs.
The operations were preceded by an intense preliminary bombardment in the course of which 2Lt H.M. THURSTON, 2Lt A. BIDMEAD and 2Lt A.J. SHIPTON were wounded.
The net result of the 4 attacks was that the enemy gained about 50 yards of trench with great loss of life.
Casualties 6 officers and 128 other ranks.
Major P.W. NORTH (of 2nd Bn Royal Berkshire Regt) and 2Lt H.M. COOK (from 9th Bn) joined the Battalion.


James Wicks on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme
Thiepval Memorial, Somme

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in morning
We will remember them.
Lawrence Binyon