James Stanley Hicks (‘Stan’) was born in North Birmingham in August 1924.
Sgt. James Stanley Hicks served in the British Army Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and was a prisoner of war sometime between 1939-1945 in Stalag IV-A. He was a Private at the time. He was wounded in battle (shot in the upper arm) and was told he would need the arm amputated, but it was saved. When he returned from the POW camp he was very thin and could barely eat for weeks. He hated the smell of oranges due to a battle in an orange grove in North Africa where people lay dying around him.
He would also tell me the story of the first German soilder that he shot – a young man around 18 years old – who grasped a photo of his mother as he died in my Grandfathers arms mumbling “mutter, mutter”. He would later be awarded the Africa Star for his service.
Stanley would spend the rest of his life living in Colchester, Essex. He had various jobs, including one as a sales rep for Schweppes. He was also a staunch local Labour party member and works convener. Stand died late 2004 at Colchester General Hospital after a short battle with pneumonia.