Percy Ingram Wicks was Chelmsford born and bred and was a confectioner like his father before him, eventually taking over the latter’s business in Chelmsford. He married in 1905 and had twins. He joined the army in 1917 and died from influenza and pneumonia in January 1919. His home was in Baddow Road.
WICKS, PERCY INGRAM,
Private, Royal Army Service Corps
His only brother is at present on service with the Motor Machine Gun Corps in France. The deceased leaves a widow and two children, for whom much sympathy is felt. The Rev. T. M. Mundle officiated at the funeral which was largely attended by the officers and men of the deceased’s depot.
The mourners were: Mrs. Wicks, widow; Mr. and Mrs. A. Wicks, parents; Miss Wicks, sister; Mrs. E Wicks, sister-in-law; Mr. Partridge, Burnham-on-Crouch, father in law; Mrs. Gilson and Miss Ingram, aunts. There were several beautiful floral tributes, including one from the officers, n.c.o.’s and men of the depot, one from the Women’s Legion, and another from the neighbours.”
The day’s Essex Weekly News carried a similar report:
“Military Funeral - The funeral of Pte. Percy I. Wicks, A.S.C. (M.T.), took place with full military honours at the Borough Cemetery on Tuesday. The deceased, who was 34 years of age, was the elder son of Mr. Arthur Wicks, of Blackmore, whom he succeeded in business as a manufacturing confectioner on the Baddow-rd. a few years ago. Having travelled the district for some time he was very well known.
Two years ago he joined up with the A.S.C., and upon being appointed to the Mechanical Transport Section he was stationed at their repair depot in London-rd., where he was very popular with all ranks. A man of particularly fine physique he was a conspicuous figure at the depot.
He died on the 15th inst. after less than a week’s illness from influenza and pneumonia, leaving a widow and two children. His Commanding Officer, writing to the widow a letter of sympathy, stated that her husband was a good soldier, a willing and conscientious worker, and was highly esteemed by officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of his depot. All ranks from the depot attended the funeral, as well as many of the wounded soldiers from the local hospitals.
Rev. T. M. Mundle officiated. The chief mourners were: - Mrs. Percy Wicks, widow; Miss Wicks, sister; Mrs. E. Wicks, sister-in-law; Mr. Partridge (Burnham), father in law; Mrs. Gilson and Mss Ingram, aunts. The deceased’s youngest brother, who is with a Motor Machine Gun Corps in France, was unable to get home for the funereal. The coffin was covered with a Union Jack, and the floral tributes included wreaths sent by the officers, N.C.O.’s, and men at the A.S.C. depot, and the Women’s Legion.”
Percy was born in Chelmsford on 30th September 1884, the eldest son of the confectioner Arthur George Wicks and Jemima Wicks (nee Ingram). His father had been born in 1862 in Chipping Ongar; his mother in 1848 in Belton, Rutland. They had married in 1883.
Percy’s siblings, both Chelmsford-born, included Eunice Jemima Wicks (1889-1960) and Eustace Arthur Wicks (1890-1951) and a third child who died by 1911.
Percy was recorded by the 1891 census aged six and living with his parents and two siblings in Baddow Road, Chelmsford. His father was a confectioner and sugar boiler. A decade later the next census found at 41 Baddow Road (now number 158) with his parents and two siblings. Percy worked as a sugar boiler, while his father was employed as a self employed wholesale confectioner.
On 11th November 1905 Percy married Mary Ann Partridge at the London Road Congregational Church in Chelmsford. His bride was the second daughter of Edward Partridge, manager of Mangapp’s Brickfield, Burnham-on-Crouch.
On 17th March 1911 they had twins, Joyce Marjorie Wicks and Percy Arthur Wicks who were baptised at St. John’s Church, Moulsham on 17th May 1911.
The census that year recorded 26 year-old Percy living with his wife, two children, brother Eustace, a servant and nurse at 41 Baddow Road. Percy by then had taken over his father’s business and was described as a confectionary dealer and sweets master; his brother Eustace was employed as a confectioner.
Percy died on 15th January 1919 from influenza and pneumonia while serving as Private M/289028 in the Royal Army Service Corps. He was aged 34. He was buried in grave A.1158 at Chelmsford Borough Cemetery in Writtle Road on 21st January 1919. He was described as a confectioner of 41 Baddow Road, Chelmsford. His funeral was conducted by Rev. T. McDougall Mundle, Congregational Minister.
The Essex County Chronicle of 24th January 1919 reported:
“Military Funeral - The funeral took place in the Borough Cemetery on Tuesday, with full military honours, of Mr. Percy I. Wicks, manufacturing confectioner, of 41 Baddow Road, who died the previous Wednesday at the age of 34 following a short illness from influenza and pneumonia. The deceased joined up in the A.S.C. Mechanical Transport, abut two years ago, and had been for some time in the repair depot in London Road where he was extremely popular with both officers and men.
His commanding officer, writing to the widow, says, ‘He was a good soldier, and a willing and conscientious worker, and was highly esteemed by the officers, warrant officers, n.c.o.’s and men of the depot’. When deceased’s father. Mr. Arthur Wicks of Blackmore, retired from the confectionary business a few years ago the deceased carried it on , and was well known and held in high esteem for many miles around Chelmsford.
Arthur’s father died at 41 Baddow Road, Chelmsford on 21st June 1921 (later renumbered as 158 and demolished to make way for Denmark House). He was 60. His mother died seven years later on 31st May 1928, aged 80. By then she was living at Homelea, Beehive Lane, Great Baddow.
Percy is commemorated on the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford, and the Moulsham Parish Memorial, St John’s Church, Moulsham.
On 5th March 1956 Percy’s widow, Mary Ann Wicks, was buried in the same grave as her husband, having died aged 76.
Percy’s son died in 1987; his daughter in 2001.