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John Frederick Hickman[1]

Male 1896 - 1919  (22 years)

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  • Name John Frederick Hickman  [2, 3
    Born 12 Dec 1896  Dorchester, Westmorland, New Brunswick, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    FindAGrave URL 
    FindAGrave ID 86566306 
    FamilySearch ID L7T5-D56 
    FamilySearch URL 
    Died 5 Mar 1919  Rhyl, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Buried Dorchester, Westmorland, New Brunswick, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I5840  Main
    Last Modified 30 Sep 2018 

    Father John Howard Hickman,   b. 26 Oct 1858, Dorchester, New Brunswich, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 May 1921, Westmorland County, New Brunswick, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Mother Theresa Hay,   b. 9 Jun 1871, Dartmouth, NS Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Feb 1917, Dorchester, New Brunswich, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    Married 15 Nov 1893  Amherst, Cumberland, Nova Scotia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1177  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 12 Dec 1896 - Dorchester, Westmorland, New Brunswick, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 5 Mar 1919 - Rhyl, Wales Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Dorchester, Westmorland, New Brunswick, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Headstones
    John Frederick 'Jack' Hickman
    John Frederick "Jack" Hickman
    Gunner Hickman was inadvertently killed by a stray bullet during the Kinmel Park Camp Riot (called "The Kinmel Park Mutiny") of 4/5 March 1919, which took place in Rhyl, Denbighshire, Wales. Five Canadian soldiers lost their lives during this riot.
    Gunner Hickman was the only soldier whose remains were returned to Canada for interment.

    From novelist/journalist Noel Barber’s 1975 book, ‘Gallant Protestors’:-
    “The mutineers were our own men, stuck in the mud of North Wales, waiting impatiently to get back to Canada – four months after the end of the war. The 15,000 Canadian troops that concentrated at Kinmel didn’t know about the strikes that held up the fuelling ships and which had caused food shortages. The men were on half rations, there was no coal for the stove in the cold grey huts, and they hadn’t been paid for over a month. Forty-two had slept in a hut meant for thirty, so they each took turns sleeping on the floor, with one blanket each.”

    Military Service-
    Service Number: 326914
    Age: 21
    Force: Army
    Unit: Canadian Field Artillery

    Still a student, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 12 April 1916 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

    Son of John Howard and Theresa (Hay) Hickman of Dorchester, New Brunswick.

    Gunner John Hickman is commemorated on Page 535 of Canada's First World War Book of Remembrance.

  • Notes 
    • Served in WWI and was acidentally killed in Wales right after the end of the war by gunfire coming from the "Kinmel Park Camp Riots" of which he was not a part.

      Marlene Hickman notes:

      The biographic information I have collected to date on John Hickman follows: (including part of the transcript of the newspaper clipping) -

      Gunner Jack Hickman was killed in the Kinmel Park Camp Riots March 5, 1919.  He was only 22 years old.  Problems with the demobilization plans and delays in getting the combatants back to Canada coupled with incompetent leadership and other factors led to unrest and rioting at the Kinmel Park Camp.  Gunner Hickman had been in the camp lines when he was shot.  He was hit in the chest, probably by a ricocheting bullet.  A total of five men were killed and twenty three wounded.  Jack's body was later exhumed and reburied in the Dorchester Cemetry, Dorchester NB.  Some sources say he was the last victim of WWI.

      From Doug How's book "One Village One War":  "The fighting had been over nearly four months when John Frederick (Jack) Hickman was killed on March 5, 1919. .... Five soldiers died there in two days.  Historian Desmond Morton says one of the five was "killed by a stray bullet as he waited in a hut."  This was 21 year old Jack Hickman.  He was in that transit camp with another village man, Allen Drillio, and was not involved in the riots themselves.  ... Jack Hickman himself had repeatedly seen action, only to die by chance, though rumor would tell another story.  Many wild and unfounded rumors swept Britian and Hickman was involved in one of them.  It was said in print that he "was so horribly tortured that his body was removed from its burial place for fear of public exposure."  It is true that the four other victims remained buried in Wales. It is also true that Jack Hickman's body was disinterred.  But the reason it was, a brother would say years later, was the wish of the Hickman family that it be brought home.  It was on its way within two months of his death.  Thus Jack Hickman became the only one of the village and area war dead to be buried in the village itself. Fellow soldiers Henry Emmerson and Bill Hutchinson were among the pall-bearers at the military funeral service, and Bill's kid brother Larry was there too......He'd also picked potatoes for J. H. Hickman, Jack Hickman's father, who ran not only the big hardware and general store in the square but a lumber operation as well.  He had a teenager's hero worship for Mr. Hickman, had seen him standing there, dignified, white-haired, stricken, at Mrs. Hickman's recent funeral.  He came with hundreds of others when their son was buried in the village Protestant cemetery, and he would never forget the way the father stood, ramrod straight in grief's stark silence, as the earth took the body in. "

      Obituary -" FUNERAL OF GUNNER HICKMAN - Large attendance at Deeply Solemn Service in Dorchester - Rev W E Best Pays Fitting Tribute to Dead Hero - May 29, Dorchester NB -.............Rev Mr. Best said in part: 'It is not the usual customer of the church, that the performance of the office for burial of the dead should be made an occasion for preaching......the present occasion seems to call for a slight deviation from the order and just a brief word may not be out of place.....The large congregation assembled here today is, I take it,....a tribute of respect to the memory of one who went forth from our midst as did so many others, of the very flower of the youth of our land, at the call of King and Country;  and who, having done his duty, having nobly and well played his part in the great struggle for right, was safely preserved through all the perils of the battle field, only to be stricken down under such tragic and regrettable circumstances.  Had he been killed in action, his death would have been a blow to his relatives, and a loss to his native place, where he was such a general favorite.  The blow is rendered doubly sad, in that, it was not so, that he met his death.  There would be no good purpose served by entering into the details of the occurrences at Kinmel Camp on March 5th.  But it is right and only fair to the memory of the brave lad, and the gallant soldier, that mention should be made today of the fact that Jack Hickman was in no way whatever to blame for any share in those disturbances, which led up to his death.  On the day upon which he was killed he was doing his duty;  at the time when he was struck by a stray bullet, he was where he had a right to be, and his death humanly speaking was purely accidental and in no sense whatever his own fault.  Of this we have abundant testimony, both from the evidence of those who were present in the camp at the time of the riot; and also from an official communication, lately received from the military authorities after enquiry into the circumstances.  It is doing him bare justice that this should be said, because unfortunately, owing to the form in which the newspaper reports were received, there appeared to be for some time no very clear information as to whether Gunner Hickman was amongst the rioters or an innocent victim of a disturbance for which he was not to blame, and in which he was in no way involved.  It is a matter concerning which, I believe no very definite statement has appeared in the Canadian Press.  Indeed it was for some time a source of distress to his friends, that from the press reports, there seemed to be at least reason for question on this point, and it was a great relief to have the matter officially set at rest; and the name of a brave soldier cleared of any suspicion even of indiscipline or unruly conduct....' After reference to the death of his mother, who passed away while he was in France.....the speaker alluded to the thought of the beloved mother and the child of her prayers, now reunited in Paradise...  Trinity Church was crowded to its utmost capacity, with a very representative body of people, Moncton, Shediac, Memramcook Sackville, Port Elgin and Amherst being largely represented.  Flags were half-masted on every flag pole in town.  The public schools were closed for the afternoon.  Every place of business was closed, and every office was closed to do honor to the fair name of the dead hero.  The funeral procession was led by a detachment of Khaki clad soldiers, numbering about thirty.  The following returned soldiers performed the duties of pallbearers:  Major H R Emmerson, Lieut H G Palmer, Lieut Willard Hutchinson, Sergeant Edgar Cole, Pte James Walker, and Pte Ernest Getson....The casket was covered with the empire's standard, and a rich profusion of cut flowers."

      Addresses from Teresa Hay Hickman's Address book dated 1917 - probably updated by someone else as well:
      For Gunner J F Hickman: #326914
      58th Howitzer Battery, 14th Brigade
      Petawawa, Ontario

      58th Howitzer Battery 14th Brigade,
      4th Canadian Divisional Artillery,
      Army Post Office, London, England

      Sept 25, 1916
      58th Battery, Whitley Camp,
      Milford, Surrey Co, England

      Grave stone in Dorchester Cemetry reads:
      326914 Gunner John F Hickman CFA CEF 5th March 1919 (Gunner with Canadian Field Artillery)

      A documentary was produced by Filmwest Associates who have/had offices in Carson City, NV, USA and in Kelowna, BC, Canada.  Their e-mail address and website  - "Kinmel Park Riots".  The film tries to explain the Riots and names the men killed.

      Charlie Hickman notes:

      Gunner with Canadian Field Artillery, service number 326914.

  • Sources 
    1. [SAuth] John Spencer Howell, Jr., John Spencer Howell, Jr., (

    2. [S1157] Charlie Hickman, (Charlie Hickman []), -- from "joseph_1821.pdf" file emailed to JSH - 29 Mar 2005.
      First reference to "Minora"

    3. [S1284] 1911 Canadian Census, "Westmorland Co., Dorchester New Brunswick, page 8".