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The Queen Street Congregational Church War Memorial (whose inscription reads “To our glorious dead 1914 – 1918”) includes the rather intriguing name of “Lillie Dicks”. I was not able to find anyone in the whole country born by that name who would be of a suitable age. Narrowing it down, and assuming this is a nickname of a man born in Wolverhampton, we have the following possible candidates:

  • Albert Ernest Dicks, born 1875, but died in 1891
  • Thomas Frank Dicks (also known as Frank Thomas), born 1883
  • Frederick William Dicks, born 1894, but died in 1896
  • Albert Edward Dicks, born 1897
  • Fred Dicks, born 1900, but died in 1901

Leaving aside the three who died before the First World War, I have not been able to find any information about the military service of Frank Thomas/Thomas Frank. He was the son of Alfred and Hannah Eliza Dicks, and had a sister, Ellen Gertrude Lilly, so it is possible that he picked up this nickname from his sister. They were living in Finchfield, Wolverhampton, in 1911, and Thomas was a travelling draper. He died in 1928, and without a coroners inquest we cannot find out the cause of his death. However, as the memorial was presumably erected before this date it is unlikely to be him.

Albert Edward Dicks does appear on the official Wolverhampton Roll of Remembrance. He was the son of Joshua Frederick and Esther Elizabeth Dicks, living at 21 Gordon Street, Steelhouse Lane, Wolverhampton in 1911 (when Albert was a heel trimmer at a boot factory). He became a Battery Quartermaster Sergeant in the 285th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery (number 676808) before being transferred to the 42nd Prisoner of Way Company in the Labour Corps (number 605883). He died on 20 February 1919, and is buried at the Ste. Marie Cemetery, Le Havre.

He seems the most likely candidate, but if anybody has any further information to corroborate this, please let us know!

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