Ernest Henry HISCOCK (1892-1917)
Captain Ernest Henry Hiscock (1892-1917) was a colleague of Cyril Sladden in the 9th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.
Ernest Hiscock was born in July 1892 in Worcester, the eldest of five children of Charles Henry Hiscock, a draper’s manager, and his wife, Kate Beatrice. The family home was at 4 Lansdowne Crescent, Worcester. He was educated at the Royal Grammar School, Worcester, where he was head boy, and at Jesus College, Oxford, where he obtained an open mathematical scholarship.
On the outbreak of the First World War, Hiscock, who had been a member of the University of Oxford Officers’ Training Corps, obtained a commission with the Worcestershire Regiment in August 1914. Shortly after this, on 25th October 1914, he married Mary Emery Teague at Coventry Barracks. Whilst Hiscock was serving with the army, his new wife served with the Scottish Women’s Hospital in Serbia.
For over a year, until the time of his death in early 1917, Hiscock was Acting Captain. He was wounded on 5th April 1916; in a letter of 16th April 1916, Mrs Eugénie Sladden mistakenly said that she thought he had been killed.
During the first fortnight of 1917, the 9th Battalion of the Worcesters were involved in preparations for a systematic attack on the Hai Salient in Mesopotamia. On 25th January 1917, an assault at Kut-Al-Amara was launched. Captain Hiscock was killed in action on that day. According to Cyril Sladden: “….. Of our old officers Hiscock is missing, and there is fairly reliable though not absolutely certain evidence that he was killed just as he got to the trench ….. The worst feature of our casualty list, both officers and men, was the very high proportion of killed and missing, and probably the greater number of the latter are dead.” Captain Hiscock was buried in the Amara War Cemetery; he was 24 years old.
Quite by chance, eight months later, Cyril Sladden’s fiancée, Mela Brown Constable, met Captain Hiscock’s widow, who was anxious to learn more details about her husband’s fate. As Cyril explained in letters of 4th November and 26th November 1917, this placed him in a most unwelcome obligation as there was no one who could swear absolutely to his death, although obviously there was no hope.