Charles HICK

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HICK, Charles

Service Number: 1598
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Gunner
Last Unit: 2nd Division Medium and Heavy Trench Mortar Batteries, AIF
Born: Mount Morgan, Queensland, Australia, 21 May 1896
Home Town: Mount Morgan, Rockhampton, Queensland
Schooling: Mount Morgan State School, Queensland, Australia
Occupation: Miner
Died: Killed in action, Belgium, 21 September 1917, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Hooge Crater Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

30 Nov 1915: Involvement Private, SN 1598, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, Third Ypres
30 Nov 1915: Embarked Private, SN 1598, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Suffolk, Sydney
21 Sep 1917: Involvement Gunner, SN 1598, 2nd Division Medium and Heavy Trench Mortar Batteries, AIF, Third Ypres

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Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

1598 Gunner Charles Hick, 2nd Division Trench Mortar Battery, Australian Field Artillery, was killed in action 21 September 1917. He was only 21 years of age. His mother Catherine Hick, of Moonmera, Queensland, stated that he was born at Mount Morgan, Queensland. The following article appeared in the Capricornian Rockhampton during 1918,

PRIVATE CHARLES HICK.

“Mrs. C. Hick, Moonmera, has received the following letter from Corporal R. T. Ryle, France, in reference to the death of her son. It was written from the first Southern General Hospital Dudley Road, Birmingham, England, on the 28 November 1917:— I am writing to offer you and your daughters my deepest sympathy on the loss of Charlie and to let you know the circumstances of his death- Ever since Charlie joined our battery in July 1916, he was attached to my gun crew, and I always found, him a willing worker in and out of the trenches, and we can ask nothing more, of any man. He has been in every battle with the battery, and from the first time he was in the trenches at Pozieres up till the time of his death he always gave me valuable help in working the guns, and I looked upon him as one of my right-hand men, as a man who could take charge of the gun in any emergency. I was very sorry indeed to lose him. As a comrade, we all found that he was willing to do anything for his mates, and he was always of cheerful disposition. In July last we went into the line. On the 30th of September we were ordered up the line. Our bomb dump was is the ruined village of Westhoek, and we had to carry the bombs up to the next ridge. We had just finished carrying, at dusk, when the Germans counter-attacked, and unfortunately, and unknown, we were on the very ridge where the Germans put their barrage. As soon as the barrage opened orders were given for the men to spread out along a trench which had been dug. Charlie went with three of his mates and sat in the trench. Shortly afterwards a shell fell right on the spot where they sat. The whole lot were buried, and when we got them out we found that they had been instantly killed. Your son suffered no pain whatever, and that is something to be thankful for……..”

Charles was serving with the Y2A Battery and was originally buried in the battlefield he fell in, near Zillebeke; his remains were exhumed in 1920, and were reinterred in the Hooge Crater Cemetery Zillebeke, Belgium.

Catherine Hick wrote to the AIF desperately seeking his belongings, “in regards to the property of my only son,…..if any of his belongings are at hand would you please forward them to me as he was all I had and would like a keepsake for myself and girls.” She stated upon his Roll of Honour circular, “His father Walter Hick was also in the AIF, enlisting August 1915, serving in France, was blown up, returned to Australia 2nd November 1916, and he died 2nd December 1916.”

 

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