This blog posting was contributed by Susan Martin, a volunteer on the Queen Street project:
Frank Norwood Hickman was born 1892 in Summerhill, Tipton. He was baptised 26/10/1892 St John’s Tipton. His father was George Rushbury Hickman an iron worker and his mother Florence Ella Perrins. They had married in 1882. Frank had an older brother Joseph (born 1884) who died in infancy and older sisters Beatrice Ella (born 1887). Irene Landers (born 1889), (Ellen) Elizabeth (born 1890) all born Tipton and a younger brother George Rushbury (born 1894 Coseley). Sometime between George’s birth and 1897 the family moved to Wolverhampton, as father George died in the Wolverhampton district in 1897. Florence, known as Fanny, remained a widow, and another daughter, Bessie, was registered in her name in 1904. In 1901 the family was living at 30 Powell Street, Heath Town with Florence working as a seamstress and in 1911 10 Wolverhampton Road Heath Town. Florence was now a cook and Frank and his brother George both boot repairers.
In 1915 Frank joined the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry 6th Battalion, (regimental number 21883) and went to France on 2 September 1915. The battalion had been raised in Bodmin in August 1914 as part of Kitchener’s first army. Frank would just have been in time for the battalion’s involvement with the 2nd attack on Bellewaarde 25th September 1915. In 1916 the battalion moved to the Somme area but was not involved in any battles until after Frank’s death. Frank was killed on 17th August 1916. In the Queen Street Congregational Church’s manual of 1917 it is written “one of our boys Frank Hickman has made the supreme sacrifice. He was killed whilst carrying despatches after refusing his discharge on account of rheumatism”. Frank was apparently one of the regulars who went on summer camps arranged by the church. No camp was held in 1916 as so many young men were away. Frank is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and the Heath Park memorial.