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Person Details
John was born in Nottingham and was the son of John, a railway shunter and later railway guard, and his wife Emily. He was the brother of Albert, Herbert and Emily Hickling and the half brother of Gertrude, Edith and Mabel Hickling. In 1891 the family lived at 1 Mona Cottage, St Mary's parish Nottingham. Emily died after 1891 and John married his second wife Mary A in 1893. By 1901 the family was living at 31 Atlas Terrace, Kirkwhite Street Nottingham. In 1911 John was serving in India with 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters. After John's death his personal effects were sent to Albert Hickling 4 Kelson Terrace Rupert Street Nottingham and they included - coin case, scissors, name plate, nail clippers, book, testament, 5 post cards, photos, handkerchief, letters. Registers of Soldiers' Effects shows his brother sole legatee - Albert. 20/12/1915 - £24 - 18s - 4d; 30/07/1919 - £12 - 7s - 0d; War Gratuity of £8
In 1908 he was a general labourer and in 1911 a regular soldier.
18 May 1915
268237 - CWGC Website
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
John Henry Hickling enlisted on 9 September 1908 into the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment), for a period of 7 years. John was 19 years 11 months and 5 feet 4 inches in height. After initial training he was posted to the 1st Battalion stationed in India and John was in Bangalore by 29 October 1909. Between 19th and 27th July 1911, John was in Secunderabad hospital with a sore throat. Between 29 May and 14 June 1914, John was in Afra hospital with Malaria. The 1st Battalion returned to England at the outbreak of war and after reorganisation and training moved to France on 4 November 1914. Prior to the move, John had been promoted to Corporal on 9 October 1914 and in 'A' company. The battalion suffered heavily during the first months of the war, not only from enemy action but from illness caused by living in cold, wet trenches. On 25 January 1916, John received a slight wound to his back and after treatment at 25th Field Ambulance was transferred to No 6 Clearing hospital. On 1 March, he was discharged and on 4th, was at the depot in Harfleurs. On 11th, he was admitted to No 11 General Hospital with pneumonia. By 2 April, John was fit again and at the base camp. John was promoted to Sergeant on 13 April 1915. John had missed the Battle of Neuve Chapelle and survived the Battle of Aubers on 9th May. On 15th May, the battalion returned to the trenches for another tour of duty. The war diary for 17th gives little information, 'Quiet day except for continual noise of artillery. Weather dull and cold with rain at intervals, making trenches very uncomfortable'. John was wounded in action on the quiet day and and taken to 26th Field Ambulance based in Estaires. He died of his wounds the following day and was buried in Estaries Communal Cemetery and Extension (Special memorial A, 11) John Morse For additional information see item from Boots 'Comrades in Khaki' magazine, July 1915 in 'Extra information'
CWGC: 'Son of the late John and Emily Hickling of Nottingham.' Boots 'Comrades in Khaki' July 1915 (photographs): 'The photographs shown above are of a box of Brompton Hospital Throat Lozenges prepared by Boots, and sold at the Arkwright Street branch, Nottinghan, to JH Hickling, a sergeant in the 1st Notts and Derby Regiment, who lived at 31 Atlas Terrace, Kirke White Street, Nottingham. This box saved Sergt. Hickling's life, for he was carrying it in his tunic pocket when a shrapnel shell burst while he was endeavouring to remove a wounded comrade from the heavy fire to a place of safety. Sergt. Hickling was wounded in three places, but the box deflected and partly arrested a piece of shell which must otherwise have inflicted a fatal wound. But for this - so the army surgeons declare - the injured man would have suffered instantaneous death. As it was the severity of his injuries kept him at the Convalescent Depot Rouen from January 25th until March 3rd. The gallant sergeant's life was not long spared, alas! He returned to the trenches, and on May 17th received a shot in the abdomen from which died on the following day. He was a man of intrepid nature and sterling character.' (Nottinghamshire Archives, RB38)
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