The emotive Great War 1914 and Ypres June 1916 Hulluch Crater Officer Casualty trio awarded to Lieutenant T. Hickman, 7th Battalion, Leinster Regiment, late Honourable Artillery Company, who was killed in action during the attack in and around the Hulluch Crater on the night of 26th June 1916 when serving as a Bombing Officer, having been a noted pre-war climber.
1914 Star with Copy Clasp; (1533 PTE T. HICKMAN. H.A.C.); British War Medal and Victory Medal; (LIEUT. T. HICKMAN).
Terence Hickman was born in London, and resided in Kensington, being educated at the Merchant Taylor’s School, where he was a member of the School Cadet Corps, before being admitted to as an Articled Clerk in August 1913, and worked as a Managing Clerk with the solicitors, Deacon, Gibson & Co., of 9 Great St Helen’s Street, London. Hickman was also a noted mountain climber, being a member of the Climber’s Club, he attended the final dinner before the outbreak of war, at the table were amongst other none other than George Mallory, later to attempt to climb Everest where he lost his life. With the outbreak of the Great War, Hickman attested for service with the Territorial Army on 25th August 1914, joining as a Private (No.1533) the Honourable Artillery Company (Infantry), and seeing service on the Western Front with the British Expeditionary Force from 18th September 1914 till 10th February 1915, before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the Leinster Regiment on 11th February 1915, and being posted to the 2nd Battalion. Hickman saw further service on the Western Front from 12th April 1915, being then wounded on 15th July 1915, receiving a gunshot wound to the left leg, having accidentally shot himself with a revolver whilst at Vastorenhock, and having been treated at the No.6 Red Cross Hospital at Etaples, was then transferred to England on 3rd August 1915. Promoted to temporary Lieutenant on 5th October 1915, on his recovery, Hickman was posted to No.4 Entrenching Battalion on 29th March 1916, and then posted out to the Western Front on 28th March 1916, and joined the battalion in the field on 4th April 1916. Posted to the 6th Battalion, Leinster Regiment on 21st June 1916, joining as a Bombing Officer. Only five days later on 26th June 1916 Hickman was killed in action during a an attack to consolidate positions at the mine crater in the neighbourhood of Hulluch, which had been blown that night.
The manner of his death or disappearance was however disputed. A soldier in B Company, Private (No.3488) Brophy, later recounted on 25th August 1916 that: “Lieutenant Hickman was a bombing Lieutenant. On the night of June 27th in the neighbourhood of Hulluch this bombing section made a raid. Lieutenant Hickman got a slight wound and came back into the trench to join his bombing section. He was never seen again – a little while after the Leinsters were relieved by the Munsters and retired behind trenches for a rest. About 14 days later the Munsters took prisoner a German officer and brought him to the Guard Room where the Munsters were. He said in front of me in very bad English, that a fortnight before they had taken an English officer prisoner in that neighbourhood, and so far as I and others could make out he said the name of the English officer was Hickman”. Another soldier, Private (No.2809) Cullen recounted: ‘I was in a raid on a crater, and German trenches, at Loos on the night of 26th and early morning of 27th June 1916. The crater was blown up by us at 12 o’clock midnight, and we at once attacked. We occupied the crater, and whilst on my way back to fetch more bombs, between the crater and our own trenches I saw 2nd Lieutenant Hickman ****** lying on the ground dead. I did not know 2nd Lieutenant Hickman personally but he was posted out to me personally as one who was taking part in it.’ This statement was made on 4th November 1916. Subsequently the authorities discredited Private Brophy’s statement as of 14th November 1916 and Hickman was finally confirmed as killed in action on the night of 26th June 1916. Hickman’s body was never recovered, and he is commemorated by name on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial. (3) Nearly extremely fine