OLD SOLDIER'S DEATH HEAT. VETERAN OF 65 WHO FOUGHT IN LATE WAR. The sad end of a brave old ex-soldier has to be recorded this week. He was Mr. Joseph Wicks, of 5, Oakroyd, Hurst Green, Oxted, and who had for some time past been engaged in work as a general labourer. Inured as he bad been to conditions and climatic changes expected of Service men, the heat of Wednesday in last week, which proved to be one of the hottest days of this abnormal period, affected him so badly, associated as it was with his manual work, that towards the evening he taken very ill.
He had left home about nine o'clock in comparatively his usual state of. health, but was found in a state of collapse about five o'clock, and subsequently passed away. Deceased, who was in receipt of a Service pension, had formerly been connected with the old 24th Brigade of Foot, and took part in the Zulu War, under the late Sir Evelyn Wood. He, fought in the great battle of Isandula, and in other fierce phases of the campaign against King Cetewayo.
When the late war with Germany broke out, be joined up with the National Reserves in 1914. This on November 6th of that year, and he served until March, 1919. Although quite a veteran in years end service as a soldier, he felt proud at having done his "bit" for his King and country.
In the war he had a son who was killed at Arras on July 18th, 1917, and, strangely, he had been talking a great deal about his lad on the Monday and Tuesday prior to his own death. As the circumstances of the death of Mr. Wicks, Sen., were unusual, the Surrey County Coroner, Mr. F. W. Nightingale, deemed it necessary that an inquest should take place, and he also ordered a post-mortem to be made.
The inquest was held on Friday at the Hoskins Arms Hotel, the Coroner dispensing with the services of a jury. The evidence of Mrs. Emily Wicks, the widow, was to the effect that on the Wednesday she was sent for at the laundry at which she was 'working. When she got home she found her husband in the lavatory, and very ill. He collapsed when brought out, and she administered castor oil and brandy and sent off immediately for a medical man. _ Dr. Gordon Greaves, the medioal man who attended, stated that deceased was still in a state If collapse when he attended him, and the symptoms pointed to the effect of the heat, which seemed to have affected the heart. He applied the usual restoratives.
Wicks died about threequarters of an hour after he had attended him. The Coroner returned a verdict of "Death from natural causes, due to the heat." The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon in the Parish Churchyard at Oxted, and was attended by many of his children, relatives and friends. There were several ex-Service men also present at the graveside. Among the floral tributes was one from "Comrades of the Hut," this being the Oxted Comrades of the Great War." Mrs. Wicks and family have been in receipt of many letters and expressions of sympathy in their bereavement. Major Tosswill, commandant of Oxted Comrades, wrote Mrs. Wicks expressing regret that he would be unable to personally attend the funeral, as he was called away for the week-end.
He said: "I well remember how delighted your husband was when I told him be could join up again on the outbreak of war in 1914, and how proud he was to do his bit, so as to set an example to many men 40 years younger than himself. Mr. Wicks must have been one of the last survivors of the old 24th who were in the Zulu War."
Westerham Herald - Saturday 30 July 1921
Duttons p 252 1972 Wicks J 1879 clasp 1/24th
More details of his service can be found here under a slightly different heading https://www.1879zuluwar.com/t10321-joseph-wicks-queens-royal-west-surrey-regiment-2-4-battalion?highlight=wicks