The ‘riot’ was a sad end to the 22 years that Frederick Hick had traded in Berwick.
In the same issues of the Berwick Journal and the Berwick Advertiser which featured the anti-German demonstration, a notice appeared announcing that Frederick was selling up to Robert Dodds.
It is thought that, because of his German origins, Frederick had his license to trade taken off him, as deeds show the shop did not actually change hands until 1921. Perhaps the arrangement in 1915 was an informal one, as Frederick’s son Henry appears in his butcher’s apron in the photograph of the shop front with Dodds’ name above the door.
Although Frederick remained in Berwick until his own death in 1947, the Hick name never appeared on the High Street again.
Three Hick brothers, John, Fred and Eddie, left Berwick in 1919 for Ireland, where they gradually built up their own pork butchers’ businesses.
The Hicks’ daughters remained in the town, Nora marrying Harry Longbone and having Marie and son Eric, who later played a major part in Berwick life, becoming Sheriff and Mayor in the 1970s.
Nora and Harry set up a draper’s shop, H.B. Longbone and Son, in 1946. Marie’s late brother Eric carried the business forward, and today his son Bryon is at the helm. Nora’s sister Katie Binnie ran a wool shop with her daughter Nancy in BridgeStreet.
Descendants of the Hicks have continued to play important roles in town life; Marie’s son Robert Dalgleish was Berwick’s Sheriff in 2012/13.
By the time the First World War was over, Frederick’s wife Rosa had died and he had remarried. Despite his family’s experience during that weekend in May 1915, Frederick loved Berwick and remained in the town until his own death in 1947.
While the anti-German demonstration must have been a frightening ordeal for Frederick and his family, Rosa Hick said it must be remembered that it was a single incident that took place in an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty for everyone, at a time when lives and families were being ripped apart by a horrific war.
‘For the most part,’ she said, ‘the Hicks’ memories of Berwick are extremely fond ones, and the Hick descendants who still live in town today have done both Frederick and Berwick proud.
Ed and Rosa Hick from Ireland were special guests at the commemorative event in the Town Hall on 25th and 26th April, together with members of the Dalgleish and Longbone families in Berwick who are also Frederick’s descendents.
Descendants of Frederick Hick at 56 Marygate in 2015
Berwick Journal, 20th May 1915 Courtesy of Berwick Record Office)
Henry Hick outside 56 Marygate with R. Dodds’ name above the door.