Rank: Lance Corporal
Number: Z/1220
Unit: 3rd Battalion RIFLE BRIGADE
Date of Death: 31 October 1915
Age: 23
Cemetery: Hedge Row Trench Cemetery, Zillebeke, Belgium

Arthur and Norman Vickers were both born in the Ardwick district of Manchester. Arthur was born in 1892 and Norman in the late summer of 1894. Their parents were James and Hannah and they had an older sister, Bertha. Hannah had died on 10 December 1911 and, by the time of the Great War, the family had moved to 12 Vale Road, Reddish.

With the War less than a month old, Arthur enlisted into the Army at Manchester, on 2 September 1914 and was assigned to the 5th (reserve) Battalion of the Rifle Brigade based at Winchester. After training, he was reassigned to the 3rd Battalion, joining it on active service on 1 March 1915.

On 20 October, Arthur and his mates started another tour of duty in the front line, relieving the 1st Battalion, The Buffs. By then, he would have known that his younger brother, Norman, had been killed a couple of months earlier. It would be a relatively quiet period but the dangers from enemy shellfire would never be far away and casualties were experienced on an almost daily basis. 31 October was no exception and Arthur and another man were both killed.

They were probably buried next to each other but, during the course of the War, the cemetery suffered from extensive damage from shellfire and the location of all the individual graves were lost. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has now grouped the 98 headstones symmetrically around the Cross of Sacrifice.

Arthur’s possessions which included his wristwatch and bible were sent to Bertha at Vale Road. After the War, the family had moved to 28 Sandown Street, Abbey Hey, Gorton.

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