Rupert George (Pick) WICKINS


WICKINS, Rupert George

Service Number: 91
Enlisted: 20 August 1914, An original of A Company
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 12th Infantry Battalion
Born: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 14 August 1891
Home Town: Hobart, Tasmania
Schooling: Trinity Hill School Hobart, Tasmania
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Killed in Action, France, 8 April 1917, aged 25 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hobart Roll of Honour, Tasmanian Amateur Athletics Association
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World War 1 Service

20 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 91, 12th Infantry Battalion, An original of A Company
20 Oct 1914: Involvement Private, SN 91, 12th Infantry Battalion
20 Oct 1914: Embarked Private, SN 91, 12th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Hobart

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Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

Rupert served from the landing on Gallipoli 25 April 1915 right through the campaign and was promoted to lance corporal in December 1915.

Rupert was killed in Boursies and his body was said to be buried in near the village by Sergeant Whittle (V.C.) Rupert Wickens was said by his mother (on the roll of honour circular) to have been "a great boy and fond of all sports. Ran and always got 1st place in the cross country ten miles. He never knew fear as his record shows."

His mother added a letter to the Minister of Defence, "Dear Sir, I hope I have filled in the paper properly, as its a hard paper for me to fill in and words fail to do him justice as the seven months he was on the Dardenelles he never complained. He was a favourite with his comrades and officers and had no fear from when he was a child. He was in the first 100 to enlist in Hobart, he enlisted on 17 August 1914 and went into the Brighton Camp, the first of its kind here in Hobart. He was killed Easter Sunday while holding a position they had won under Captain Newlands who won his VC in the same battle, also Sergeant Whittle VC, both of whom speak highly of his good work. My five sons enlisted, one did not pass and two have returned."

Rupert's brother 2086 Lce. Cpl. Vernon John Wickins 15th Battalion AIF was killed in action at Gallipoli on the 8 August 1915, aged 28.

Two other brothers 2599 Corporal Raymond Frank Wickins 3rd Field Company Engineers and 36224 Gunner Lyell George Wickins 3rd Field Artillery Brigade both returned to Australia in 1919.