DICKER, Edward

No. 12231, Sergeant, Edward (Edwin) Percy DICKER
Aged 31

7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Monday 3rd July, 1916

His birth was registered in [Newmarket 3b:543] in Q3-1885 as Edwin Percy DICKER, son of William and Mary Anne DICKER (née STOCKBRIDGE) of Godfreys Terrace, London Road, Royston. His father William, born 1850 in Swallowfield, Berkshire was a 'horse trainer for hunting', his mother Mary Anne, born 1857 in Royston died in Royston in Q1-1890.

1891 census...at Sun Lane, West Swallowfield, Berkshire were Edwin [5], born Newmarket, his widowed aunt Sarah [47], born Swallowfield and his grandfather William [75] born Cold Ash, Berkshire. His mother had died in 1890 and father William [48], born Berkshire was lodging with the Parr family in Oxford Street, Exning with his 3 sons; William[10] born Hertfordshire (Royston?) George[3], born Exning and Bertie [1], born Exning.

1901 census...at Phantom House, Fordham Road, Newmarket was Edward Dicker [16] apprentice with trainer Thomas Jennings. His father had married in 1892 Lizzie MUSK and with his family was at 2 Laceys Lane, Exning. There are 6 DICKER children ;George [14] and Bertie [11] by Mary Anne, and Sydney[8],Elsie [5], Cecil [3] Ada [2] and Wilfred [11 months] by Lizzie and 3 MUSK step children, William[18] Edward [16] and Alfred[13]. All of these chldren were born in Exning

1911 census...Edwin has not been found, possibly he was in Italy. His father was at 2 Ivy Cottages, Burwell Road, Exning with Lizzie, Sidney, Elsie, Cecil,Ada,Wilfred and new daughter Edna[6] born Exning, plus Edward Musk [25]

By his service number, he must have enlisted the same day as the previous casualty Jack Dennis.
The two Exning men mentioned below were Ernest HOBBS (whose grave was found) and William PITCHES whose name is on the Thiepval Memorial.

Edward's entry in "Our Exning Heroes" reads as follows:
Dicker, E.P.    7th Suffolks.
Edward Percy Dicker joined up during the first month of the war, at the age of twenty-nine, and went out to France in May, 1915. He was reported missing on July 3rd, 1916, during the great push on the Somme, and no trace has ever been found of him or two other Exning men who must have perished with him.
Before the war he had been a stableman and jockey in Italy under Count Scrimgeour, and had ridden several winners. He came back from Italy in April, 1914. He was educated at Exning School and took a great interest in all outdoor games.

On July 3rd the battalion, under the command of Major GH Henty, took part in the frontal attack on Ovillers. In this operation the 12th Div. attacked on a two brigade front, the 35th on the right, with the 5th Berkshire (right) and 7th Suffolk (left)in the front line. The 37th Brigade was on the left. The battalion attacked in 8 successive waves, the leading ones starting ten minutes before zero hour, which had been fixed for 3.15 am. The first 4 waves penetrated as far as the enemy's third line, some of them getting into the village itself; but owing to the darkness the succeeding waves lost touch, enabling the Germans to surge in and cut them off. At the 3rd line of resistance, after very severe fighting, the attack was brought to a standstill, the battalion losing very heavily. All the company commanders were killed, Major Henty and Lts Bowen,Taylor and Hood being the only officers to come through untouched. Casualties amounted to 470 of all ranks. On record with CWGC there are 159 of the 7th Battalion killed that day. mostly either buried in Ovillers Cemetery or named on the Thiepval Memorial. Thus, at the battle of Albert, this battalion was almost destroyed. The remnants stayed in the trenches till July 8th

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

No known Grave
Edward (Edwin) is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France...Ref: pier and face 1C and 2A

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details