JOSEPH WICKS Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment 2/4 Battalion. Transferred to 680 Agricultural Company, Labour Corps. Private number 20423

Joseph was born in Godstone in 1858 to William and Sarah Hyder. He was one of 9 children. He decided to join the Army maybe because of the size of the family. He attested in Aldershot on 19 February 1878 into the 24th Regiment of Foot and spent the next 12 years serving in South Africa, Gibraltar, Natal and Mauritius. He was awarded the Zulu Medal with Clasp. Posted home on 27 February 1884 he was finally discharged on 20 February 1890. During this period he met Emily Wales, a lady 10 years his junior and they married in Oxted Parish Church on 30 November 1889 and went on to have eight children.

On the outbreak of WW1 he enlisted into the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, 2/4 Battalion, but because of his age was transferred to the 680 Agricultural Company of the Labour Corps. He was 56 so it is remarkable he was accepted. He died at home on 23 July 1923 age 65 and was buried in Oxted St Mary Churchyard. He has a CWGC white headstone and is on the Debt of Honour.

Turning now to his son JOSEPH WILFRED WICKS Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, D Coy, 6 Battalion, Private, number 3284.

He enlisted in Croydon on 11 August 1914 into the Queen’s and was passed fit. However, on his full medical on 30 October he was found to be unfit and discharged. It seems he found a way to be accepted as his medal card shows he went to France on 1 June 1915. He died of his wounds on 19 July 1917 and was buried in Duisans British Cemetery, Pas de Calais. His effects post war were £7 6s.0d. plus War Gratuity £12 10s. 0d. to mother Emily.

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