Francis (George) Hicks MM

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Francis (George) Hicks MM
Hicks Francis George.jpg
Hicks Francis George 1.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 16 Nov 1911
Place of Birth Kelmscott, Western Australia
Death 5 Aug 1984, aged 72
Place of Death Kelmscott, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 30 years, 11 months
Description 5'9¾" (1.78m) tall ; 151lbs
68.492 kg
; fair complexion ; green eyes ; brown hair ; gunshot wound & burn upper chest
Occupation Miner
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Mt Magnet
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Edna May Hicks
Military Information
Reg Number W83866 & WX22119
Date of Enlistment 9 Nov 1942
Rank Sergeant
Unit/Formation 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 5 Nov 1944 ‒ 13 Nov 1944
Transport Details HMT Katoomba Townsville to Aitape, New Guinewa
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 18 Apr 1945
Transport Details aircraft Lae, New Guinea to Townsville
Post War Details
Fate WIA 1945 Abau, New Guinea
Returned to Australia
Medals Military Medal
1939-45 Star
Pacific Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

War Service

Enlisted in the Volunteer Defence Corp's 8th (Kalgoorlie) VDC Battalion on 13 Jan 1942 at Mt Magnet with regimental number W83866 before being called up for full time service on 9 Nov 1942. On 23 Nov 1942 he was transferred to the 35th Australian Infantry Training Battalion and after he completed his training he was allocated to the 14th Australian Infantry Special Group on 1 Feb 1943 before returning to the training battalion on 25 Feb 1943. On 9 Apr 1943 Bill was transferred to the depot for reposting and on 15 Apr 1943 he joined the 54th Australian Infantry Battalion (Lachlan - Macquarie Regiment). Bill was promoted Acting Corporal on 30 Jul 1943, and his rank was confirmed on 27 Aug 1943. Bill was transferred back to the 13th Australian Infantry Training Battalion on 30 Sep 1943 where he remained until 3 May 1944 when he again found himself a member of the 54th Australian Infantry Battalion (Lachlan - Macquarie Regiment).

On 5 Jul 1944 Bill was transferred to the 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion, and on 5 Nov 1944 he embarked with the battalion on HMT Katoomba in Townsville for Aitape in New Guinea, disembarkling on 13 Nov 1944. On 22 Jan 1945 Cpl Hicks was one of three casualties suffered by a fighting patrol. He was hit in the chest and the arm. His Platoon Commander, not knowing that he was injured ordered him to take the Japanese position. After 30 minutes of skillful leadership he took the position without further casualties, and then collapsed through loss of blood. [1].

Bill was evacuated to the 104th Australian Casualty Clearing Station, and on 14 Mar 1945 he was transferred to the 2/11th Australian General Hospital. On 23 Mar 1945 Bill was transferred to the 2/7th Australian General Hospital who on 18 Apr 1945 transferred him by air to Townsville where he was admitted to the 2/14th Australian General Hospital. In the meantime, on 25 Jan 1945 Bill had been promoted Acting Sergeant with his rank confirmed just three days later. On 19 Apr 1945 Bill was transferred to the 112th Military Hospital (Brisbane). On 2 May 1945 he was placed on a train for Melbourne where he was admitted to the 115th Australian General Hospital at Heidelburg on 4 May 1945. On the ninth he was well enough to continue his journey to Perth, where on 13 May he was admitted to the 110th Australian Base Hospital. Bill had recovered enough to be released to the 109th Australian Convalescent Depot on 6 Jun 1945, with a tentative Medical assessment 'D'. Bill was admitted to 110th Australian Base Hospital from 2 - 5 Jul 1945 for treatment, returning to the convalescent depot until 30 Jul 1945 when he again entered hospital. On 24 Nov 1945, while still in hospital, Bill was transferred to Western Command Recruit Reception & General Details Depot to await discharge as the 2/11th Battalion had been disbanded. Bill continued to move between hospital and the convalescent depot until 18 Jun 1946 when he was discharged.

Award Comment

Military Medal
Outstanding courage and devotion at ABAU on 21 Jan 1945[2][3] Award presented by Lieutenant-Governor of Western Australia at Government House, Perth on 27 May 1947.

Newspapers reported
"Wounded when his section came under heavy fire east of Abau, was ordered by his Platoon Commander, who did not know of his wound, to capture a position. In the half hour engagement Corporal Hicks, by skillful leadership captured the position without further casualties."
The full citation reads: For outstanding courage and devotion to duty in the face of the enemy.

On 21 Jan 1945, Cpl Hicks commanded a section of a fighting patrol east of ABAU. His section came under heavy fire, and Corporal HICKS was wounded in the chest and arm. Not knowing V+Corporal HICKS was wounded, his Platoon Commander ordered him to capture the position. The engagement lasted half an hour, and by skilful leadership he captured the position without further casualties, Corporal HICKS then collapsed from loss of blood. His gallantry and devotion to duty have at all times been an inspiration to men of his section.

Post War

Electoral Roll entries: 1949 with Edna at Third avenue Kelmscott, carpenter; 1947- 1980 at 19 Armitage road, Kelmscott, builder. Also Kevin James and Robert George. Edna died 28 Oct 1991, aged 80 at Halls Head, Western Australia.


The position of Governor of Western Australia was not filled between 1931 and 5 Oct 1948 when Mitchell was appointed Governor. In the absence of a Governor, the Lieutenant Govenor (normally the State's Chief Justice) fullfills this role.

  1. Battalion into Battle - The History of the 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion 1939-45 Wes Olsen 2011
  2. London Gazette 21 Jun 1945
  3. Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 14 Jun 1945

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