Service number: 242481 | Rank: Private | Regiment: Norfolk Regiment
Died of wounds, April 22, 1917, in Palestine. Aged 34.
Buried at GAZA WAR CEMETERY, Israel.
WHAT I KNOW ABOUT GEORGE …
George was born in 1883, at Ickburgh, near Mundford, and was the eldest son of George and Ellen Wicks. During the 1901 Census he was aged 19 and was working as a yardsman on a cattle farm and he had continued to do this up to the 1911 Census. By now he had left home and was married to Beatrice. They had two children and they were living in Ickburgh.
It appears that George enlisted at the start of the war and went on to fight at the Somme in 1916. He was lucky to have survived that battle and had been severely wounded and, like many other local men who were severely wounded, he was removed from the action to recuperate. Then, when deemed fit enough to return to the fighting, he was placed into a depleted unit which was not necessarily the same one he had been wounded with. In George’s case he joined the 1/5th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, and in February 1917 he was sent to Egypt. After disembarking from the troopship in the Egyptian port of Alexandria he and his unit were marched two hundred miles to Gaza in readiness for an attack on the Ottoman trenches. George would have probably served alongside Frederick Hensby in the ‘Second Battle of Gaza’ and was one of the more fortunate ones who survived that battle, although yet again he had been severely wounded. This time he did not recover from his wounds and three days later he died. Aged 34, he was one of the older Brandon men to see action.
The following month, in May, his wife Beatrice received official notification from the War Office that her husband had died from wounds he received in the fighting. By the time George went off to war the family were living at 9 Town Street, in Brandon. George was the third Brandon man to be killed as a result of the fighting in the ‘Second Battle of Gaza’, in as many days.