We have been lucky enough to receive on behalf of the Old Stationers' Association, thanks to a charming couple in Cobham, Surrey, Sarah and Peter, a cup that was presented to the school by Howard G Hicklenton in 1921. The inscription reads "Stationers' Company's School Inter House Sixes Challenge Cup Presented by Howard G Hicklenton 1921". Sarah and Peter found the cup in the house when they moved in there, and, through this website, contacted me.

After hunting on the internet Tony Reeve found a Howard George Hicklenton who was church warden of the church of St Mary le Bow in East London in 1956, which, of course, was the origin of the the phrase "Bow Bells". He was church warden there when the bells were recast in 1956.

Also he found a reference to Howard Hicklenton, a second lieutenant in the 2/4th battalion of the City of London Regiment Royal Fusiliers who wrote some 50 letters from Gallipoli and Egypt in the period from 1915 to 1916. As the surname is so unusual it was hard to believe that these aren't one and the same with the donor of the cup. These letters were summarised by Cavendish Auctions from whom they were acquired by National Archives in 2001, and who catalogued them as follows:

"THE 2ND.LT HOWARD HICKLENTON CORRESPONDENCE; A fascinating correspondence written by 2nd. Lt. Howard Hicklenton of the 2/4th Battn. City of London Regt., Royal Fusiliers to his parents in London between August 1915 and April 1916 during which period he started in Malta and then transferred by ship (SS Southland) to Alexandria. In October 1915 the Regiment transferred to the Dardanelles to fight at Achi Baba. The Regiment returned to Egypt in January 1916 onboard the Allan Line RMS Ionian and the final letter is written onboard the Anchor Line Transylvania as Howard makes his way back to "Blighty". This is a graphic correspondence and really illustrates how lax censorship really was; Howard gives great detail of movements, drawings of local military areas, fighting and casualties etc. He describes life in the trenches on more than one occasion, "I am awfully surprised at the place (Achi Baba) we live in dugouts underground & are under shell fire aeroplanes pass over & get shelled.." etc. A young mans view of a terrible but important period of the War. The envelopes and cards have a number of different censor marks etc. (51 letters and the relevant envelopes)."

These letters have been acquired by the National Army Museum in Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea (next door to the Royal Hospital, home of the Chelsea Pensioners) and Tony hoped to be able to find more information in due course. We would appreciate any comments or information that any one can add that would shed more light on the "Sixes" or Mr Hicklenton.

On 30th June 2008, Tony received this fascinating email from David Hicklenton. David was born in 1960, and is an old Alleynian, where he was at the school from 1971-1978, which supports the information that had been guessed at above. These days David is a teacher at Ponteland Community High School, Northumberland. We are indebted to David for this additional information which gives more of the history of the cup; in particular, the fact that both Howard's father and uncle were articled in a publishing company further strengthens the link to Stationers.

"I am a surviving relative of the Howard George Hicklenton that presented the Sixes cup to the school in 1921. I stumbled across your website when searching for a ‘phone number for my sister and found the item about the sixes cup found in the loft and can certainly shed some light on the background to it. As you correctly surmised, our unusual surname makes family genealogy a fairly simple task – in short all Hicklentons in the world are related to each other! At risk of boring you, I’ll give you a quick background:

In mid Victorian times John Knights Hicklenton married Martha Emma Beaney Wigger and they subsequently had 10 children. John died relatively young and Martha emigrated to Canada with 8 of her children and some of their descendants now make up the Canadian branch of the Hicklentons in Vancouver. The two who remained in this country, George Ernest (b.1870) and Herbert John (b.1868) were articled to Jarrold’s publishing company in Norwich. Herbert John Hicklenton was my great grandfather on my father’s side. George Ernest became a partner in ‘Hicklenton and Phillips’ – a jewellers in East London and it was his son, Howard George, that presented your cup. Howard George was, as you found out, in the London Fusiliers in WW1 and his collection of letters from the trenches was bought at auction recently and is now part of the national archive. Following the war he became part of his father’s jewellery business and subsequently churchwarden of St. Mary’s le Bow (of the famous Bow Bells). His name is engraved on one of the bells to this day from when they were re-cast in 1956. When the sixes cup was presented to the school in 1921 he would only have been a young man (we don’t know his d.o.b.) and we don’t know if he, or his father, were old boys of the school. However, we do know they lived locally and it is likely that the cup was donated by Hicklenton and Phillips and then presented by the young Howard George Hicklenton. The jewellers – Hicklenton and Phillips survives in name to this day in Dorset, having been bought out after Howard’s death. Howard’s daughter (now in her 80’s) has been in contact with my mother, who has been researching the family tree for several years. As to the nature of the sport, I can only guess that it might have been cricket sixes – as still played in Hong Kong for instance, rather than six a side football."