Laurence Hicks was born in 1912 in London to a father who was a clarinet player in the British Army. At the age of 14 years he was a band boy for the Cameronian Scottish Rifles. The following year he attended Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall learning the clarinet and cello. He subsequently joined the Cameronian Scottish Rifles as a clarinetist and toured Egypt for two years and then India. He returned to study at Kneller Hall undertaking a bandmaster course and graduated in 1938.
In January 1951, his band recorded Black Watch Military Band (Royal Highland Regiment) Conducted by Bandmaster Laurence H. Hicks, which included a composition by Hicks, "Jubilee March". The following month they toured Australia and New Zealand. In April 1952 he was appointed the inaugural Director of Music for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and re-established the Central Band. He recruited new members and designed the band's uniform. By March 1956 the Central Band were practising every national anthem for the forthcoming Summer Olympics in Melbourne. On 1 January 1963, Hicks was awarded The Order of the British Empire – Officer (Military), "in recognition of his loyal and valuable service", with the citation "For service as Director of Music with the RAAF"