DICKS, Plowright

No. G/1860, Private, Plowright Roper DICKS
Aged 32

The Queens Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment, 7th Battalion
Killed in Action on Thursday 13th July 1916

Born in Lakenheath, registered Mildenhall Q3-1884 [4A:683].

1891 census...Aged 6, he was living at Farrow's Yard, High Street, Lakenheath with his father- William DICKS [34] general labourer, born Heacham, Norfolk; mother- Susan (née ROLPH) [34] born Lakenheath; brother- John [10] born Lakenheath.

1901 census...Aged 16, a general farm labourer he was living still at Farrow's Yard,Lakenheath with his father, who is now recorded as a groom and born at Ditchingham, Norfolk and his mother and brother John who is also a farm labourer.

1911 census...The whole family had moved to Woodcock Farm, Shipbourne, Tonbridge. His father was now a stockman on the farm and had reverted to Heacham as place of birth. Plowright is now recorded as Plow Right Roper DICKS.

The move to Kent would explain his enlistment in Kent.

His brother John Henry DICKS, #31072, Private, East Surrey Regiment was killed on 8th May 1917 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. see here.

John's details indicate that the family had moved to Heacham in Norfolk by the end of the war.

He enlisted in Kent.
On 13th July 1916 during the battle of the Somme, the 7th Royal West Kents attacked Trones Wood. Confusion set in as it usually did in these wood attacks and some companies found they had bypassed German positions and then found themselves with Germans in front of and behind them. They never quite reached their objective on the North of the wood, however the following day, with the aid of companies from other regiments, the wood was taken. On the 13th July the battalion had 82 killed, and twice as many wounded. 66 have no known grave and are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Records show that Plowright was found initially within the marked area on the image below, and then buried at Bernafay Wood. This area is very close to what later became the Guillemnomnt Road cemetery, much enlarged after the war.

The Bury Free Press of 25th August 1917 reported:-

The war is still taking toll of Lakenheath soldiers, as two brother have to be added tot he casualty list. As regards Prvt Plowright Dicks, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. William Dicks of Shipbourne, Tunbridge Wells, the news has been received by the parent that their son, after having been reported missing some time, was found, with his officer in a wood in France. The eldest son, Prvt John Dicks, who was reported missing in May, has not been heard of since. Sympathy is felt for the parents in their anxiety and sorrow.

The red square area was where he was found

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Plowright DICKS is buried in Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Montauban, grave N:75

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