Vincent FLETCHER
Rank: Private
Number: 11971
Unit: D Company, 1st Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 7 June 1915
Age: 20
Cemetery: Dickebusch New Military Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium

Vincent was the son of Henry and Ann Jane Fletcher, 4 Stamford Street, Wellington Road South, Stockport. He worked for Messrs Rhodes & Co, Prince's Street, Stockport until he volunteered for the army in August 1914. He went overseas on 13 April 1915 and was dead less than two months later.

On 7 June, the Cheshires were in front line positions at Dormy House, Zillebeke - just to the south of the town centre of Ypres (now Ieper). The Battalion's War Diary records that "Weather still very hot and sultry, the trenches are becoming very unsavoury. This evening whilst visiting the trenches, the Brigade Major, Captain Johnston VC, was killed in the communication trench between 47 and the first Rifle Pit. Two of our stretcher bearers who went to his assistance were also killed."

Vincent was one of the two stretcher bearers. His mate, Sam, wrote to Mr & Mrs Fletcher "Vincent was in the attack at Ypres and got fatally wounded, whilst assisting the Brigadier General (sic) down a communication trench. The Germans had a Maxim gun trained on this particular trench. The Brigadier General happened to be in this trench and Vincent and a comrade were taking him to a place of safety when he was shot in the lower part of the body. Vincent died almost immediately. It will be a great help to his parents and friends to know that he died the death of a hero, assisting others and never wavering the first moment he started. So much for brave Vincent. He has got a soldier's grave with a little cross, not far from where he died. I must say that his grave is nicely looked after by his chums."

Dickebusch Cemetery is about 9 kilometres to the rear of the Cheshires' positions at Zillebeke. It is probably that he was being evacuated by the Field Ambulance unit, but died before he could reach full surgical facilities.

   
           
   
     
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