William Joseph (Bill, Boomy) HICKS

HICKS, William Joseph

Service Number: SX39855
Enlisted: 7 June 1944
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 5 October 1908
Home Town: Maylands, Norwood Payneham St Peters, South Australia
Schooling: Kensington Gardens Primary School
Occupation: Fibrous Plasterer
Died: Heart Failure, Adelaide, South Australia, 25 October 1982, aged 74 years
Cemetery: Payneham Cemetery
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World War 2 Service

7 Jun 1944: Involvement Private, SN SX39855
7 Jun 1944: Enlisted In the Field, South Australia
7 Jun 1944: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SN SX39855
1 Nov 1945: Discharged
1 Nov 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SN SX39855

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Biography contributed by Adelaide High School

William Jospeh Hicks was the youngest of eleven children born to Stephen and Mary Jane Hicks. Growing up he was looked after by one of his elder sisters. William was 5 ft 6 in, had hazel eyes, brown hair and a distinctive scar on his left wrist. He was a member of the Church of England. He completed seven years of schooling before picking up various odd jobs, until he later became a fibrous plasterer. In 1936 at the age of 27 he married Edna Winifried Hicks and they had four girls, Diedre, Edme, Patricia and Sandra. In 1944 William Joseph Hicks departed to fight in New Guinea with the 2/1 Australian Guard Regiment. He was finally discharged from New Guinea on the 1st of November 1945, upon returning home William had many stories to share with his children. One of these being when he got separated from his control while moving into a Japanese controlled area. While trying to find his way back to camp, towards evening a large crocodile started stalking him. He climbed up a large bamboo plant and stayed there all night with the crocodile snorting up at him. Just after dawn the crocodile finally left, and he made his way down and back to camp. Being aware that if he used his name 'Bill' to shout his presence, he could be mistaken for a Japanese soldier. With rifles pointed at him he instead shouted “It’s the grey headed old beggar from Don Company.” A guard yelled 'it's Bill' and he made his way back into camp. During the war William caught Malaria which caused ongoing health problems throughout his life. It was tough for him adjusting back to life in Australia, but once he adjusted he had a happy life until he passed away on the 25th of October 1982. For his service in the war William received the 1939/45 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal and the A.S.M. (Australian Service Medal). His is remembered by his family as a keen Bridge player, and having a wicked sense of humour.