1 – Captain George Hicks – A Soldier – Boer Wars – WW1

Whilst many of the children of Henry Thomas and Mary Ann Hicks got on with the business of raising families, one was a soldier. Kerrie Christian and her brother, Daryl Adams, can remember their mother, Joan Adams, speaking of her Great Uncle George who was in the Boer Wars and First World War. There were some old photos from places in the Middle East like Sinai – Palestine. Of course they’d wonder about Great Great Uncle George’s military service, and the details that seemed to be fading with time. However over the last decade or two there has been renewed interest in military campaigns in Gallipoli, plus the movie, Breaker Morant, raised interest in the role of Australian soldiers in the Boer Wars in South Africa.  First, Second and Third Offensives in the Boer Wars. Further information.

George Hicks, fifth son and ninth child of Henry Thomas and Mary Ann Hicks was born in Bulli and grew up in Thirroul. He served in the permanent armed forces during the Boer Wars and in World War 1. He was also married to Lucy Ann Keene, known as Lou, and he lived long enough for them to celebrate 50 years of marriage and beyond. Not bad at all for being through the Boer Wars and Gallipoli.

George Hicks – Bombadier in the Boer Wars and Captain in the Australian 5th Light Horse in WW1.

During the Boer Wars, he achieved the rank of Bombadier, and prior to WWI he was a Sergeant Major, during WWI he  was promoted to Captain.

An account of a presentation to him prior to his departure for Enoggera was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald – MURWILLUMBAH, Monday 23 November 1914

Staff Sergeant-Major Hicks was entertained by the citizens this morning prior to his departure for Enoggera encampment, and presented with a purse of sovereigns and silver mounted pipe. Sergeant Hicks will fill the rank of Regimental Sergeant-Major in the Light Horse Regiment, second expeditionary force.

George’s  Boer Wars record certainly seems impressive. (Coincidentally the story immediately beneath this article in the Sydney Morning Herald on George was a report on a patriotic concert given by Nellie Melba in Adelaide !)

Bombadier George Hicks – Source : Boer War Memorial Website

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: Name of Ancestor: George Hicks

Ancestor’s date of birth: 23/01/1873

Ancestor’s date of death: 1930? (note this detail is incorrect as he lived until around 1956)

Cause of Death: Detail not provided

Service and Life Before the Boer War:

Born at Bulli NSW, by 1914 had served 17 years as a permanent soldier, indicating he probably joined the Garrison Artillery as a gunner in 1897.

Service Number: 2667

Colony or State of enlistment: NSW, Place of Enlistment: Sydney

Unit: A Battery Royal Australian Artillery

Rank attained in Boer War: BDR, Date Effective: 13/12/1900

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): CAPT, Date Effective: 21/10/1917

Murray Page: 53

Contingent: First New South Wales

Ship: Warrigal, Date of Sailing: 30/12/1899

Memorial details: Detail not provided

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen’s South Africa Medal with Transvaal, Cape Colony, Orange Free State and South Africa 1901 clasps. 1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.

Personal Characteristics: Height 172 cm, weight 73 kg (1914)

Reasons to go and fight: A soldier in the permanent forces of the Colony of New South Wales.

Details of service in war: Served from February 1900 with A Battery in Orange Free State and Transvaal until invalided to Australia arriving 11 June 1901.

Service and life after the Boer War:

Continued to serve as a permanent soldier.

Was married to Lucy Anne, had children and was living at Murwullumbah, NSW.

Joined the AIF at Enoggera on 21 November 1914 as RSM of the 5th Light Horse Regiment, Service Number 661.

Served at Gallipoli.

Served in Palestine, commissioned 20 February 1916, was severely wounded in the forearm 4 August 1916.

Returned to the front and was promoted Captain 21 October 1917, serving as Adjutant of the 5 LH.

Returned to Australia 26 December 1918, service in the AIF terminated 5 February 1919.

Continued to serve in the permanent forces.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Maureen Davis-Catterall, Woronora NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: great grand daughter

Further Information – Source : ALH Research

In 1911, Lieutenant-Colonel P. L. Murray, produced a marvellous Boer War reference detailing all the contingents sent from Australia to South Africa, giving a brief history of the formation and finally, listing all the soldiers who saw service in South Africa with that unit. The book was called, Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa. It is now the standard reference and starting place for any person interested in pursuing information about Australian involvement in the Boer War.

Murray, P. L., Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa, pp. 53 – 56.

“A” Battery, Royal Australian Artillery, New South Wales


World War 1 Activities

Captain George Hicks was in the Australian Fifth Light Horse of the AIF in Sinai – and was one of two casualties at the Battle of Romani in 1916 (see photo). Another report of Lieutenant George Hicks being wounded in Egypt was in the August 26 1916 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald, viz Lieutenant George Hicks, son ot Mrs. Henry T. Hicks, of Thirroul, has been wounded in Egypt. Lieutenant Hicks fought through the Gallipoli campaign.


Kerrie, David and Katrina Christian travelled to Gallipoli, also known as Gellibolou at Cannakale Peninsula in Turkey in October 2006. These colour photos are from their trip – which was a most moving experience. What was most striking was just how small the beach was at ANZAC Cove Gallipoli.

ANZAC Cove Memorial

Words of Comfort from Ataturk years later – at Gallipoli

Words of Comfort to the Mothers of Lost Soldiers from Ataturk

The Lone Pine at Gallipoli

Such a small beach – ANZAC Cove – Gallipoli

ANZAC Cove Gallipoli

Photos from Gallipoli WW1


Captain George Hicks and Lou Hicks – Lucy Anne Keen

Captain (Ret’d) George Hicks, sister Christina Woolley (Hicks), Wife Lou Hicks and sister Edith Florence Joy (Hicks)  after George and Lou’s 50th Wedding anniversary circa 1940s

George Hicks with his sisters Margaret Cook (Hicks) & Christina Woolley (Hicks) and wife Lou Hicks

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About Kerrie Anne Christian

Interests - Travel, Photography, Developing Websites, Social Media, Writing, Local History, Researcher, Genealogy
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2 Responses to 1 – Captain George Hicks – A Soldier – Boer Wars – WW1

  1. Pingback: 1 – Discovering the Stories of the Glen Roy Bungalow’s WWI Owners – Henry “Harry” Thomas Hicks Jnr & Eva Kate | The Hicks Family

  2. Pingback: Family History and Standards – a Necessary Evil – ASQ Blogger Kerrie Christian | KerrieAnne C's FridgeMagnets

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