William Arthur Hicks 1892-1967 Grandad

Nanna and Grandad, with my brother and sister.

William Arthur Hicks was one of seven children, and yet my father only knew about brother Alfred that was killed in WW1.  So when the 1901 census and then the 1911 census were discovered it was a complete mystery where all the siblings had come from, I was not even sure if we had the right records.

It was only very recently that through the power of the internet that a relative made contact, and one of Dads cousins is still alive.

My Grandad was born in and lived in Spencer Rise Hornsey for his childhood.  He enlisted for the Kings Royal Rifle Corp (R22635) on 5 Dec 1915, but I have been unable to find many war records for him.  He was discharged in 29 Nov 1918, I was surprised it was as late as this, as I know he was shot in the foot, and had lost his lower leg.

1939 Register, High Road, Finchley

Grandad was a “Master Baker”, and he ran a baker shop, I still have a large set of master baker books in the loft, and I do remember some of the lovely cakes he would make – cream horns I think were a favourite.  He describes himself as a pastry cook in the census. 

He moved around with the baker shops, and here is a summary of his ‘moves’, Dad says he remember the owner of the (4) shops as Mr Jenkins from Wales.

  • (start)102 Burghley Road (and also attended Burghley Road school)
  • 1911 – 57 Corinne Road
  • 1918 – 8 Spencer Rise (Road) (living in same building as In laws)
  • 1925 – 78 Spencer Rise (Road)
  • 1929 – 645b Holloway Road
  • 1931 – 36 Dresden Road
  • 1936 – 60 High Road, Finchley
  • 1937 – 78a High Road, Finchley
  • 1960 – moved to Harlow

William Arthur married my Nanna – Ada Agnes Brett, her grandfather was born in Harlow

Grandad and Nanna moved to Harlow and I remember him taking me out to the park and the town centre, I think he must have done it fairly frequently as my memory is quite clear, as i was only young,  We used to sit in the water gardens and he would entertain me with fly away Peter, fly away Paul with little pieces of paper stuck to his fingers and then swap the fingers like they had disappeared.

The Water Gardens were lovely with ponds, fountains, waterfalls and fish, and also statuary.  All changed now, although I think Harlow have kept some of the character.