William Ewen Hicks was born into a farming family in Cuxham, Oxfordshire in 1898. He was the eldest of the six children of Edwin and Margaret (Maggie, née Ewen) Hicks. By 1911 the family had moved to Pyrton, near Watlington, where William attended school.
In September 1914 William enlisted with the City of London (Rough Riders) Yeomanry, part of the London Mounted Brigade. He must have lied about his age, being only 16 years old at the time.
In April 1915 the regiment embarked for the Mediterranean and a brief posting to the Suez Canal Defences. Following Egypt it was dismounted and landed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, on the morning of the 18th August.
They moved to “C” Beach, Lala Baba on 20th August and on the 21st it advanced to Chocolate Hill under heavy fire and took part in the attack on Hill 112. The regiment suffered heavy casualties and 2411 Private William Ewen Hicks died of wounds on the 22nd August 1915.
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey.
William is remembered on the war memorials in Thame and Pyrton, and on St Mary’s church memorial board in Thame.