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Joseph Vickers was born in Pendleton, Manchester in 1891. His father James, of 24 Borough Street, Whit Lane, Pendleton; was a general labourer at a rubberworks. His mother Ellen had died between 1897 and 1900. He had three brothers, James, Frederick and William; and two sisters, Martha and Mary.

Joseph enlisted in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 08 September 1914 and was posted into 7 platoon, B company of the newly raised 9th (Service) Battalion. Upon enlistment in Manchester, Joseph was recorded as being 5ft 5in tall and weighed 129lbs. He stated his occupation as being a weaver.

The battalion moved to billets in Christchurch in December 1914 and Southbourne in January 1915. In May 1915 they moved again to Romsey and then Aldershot next month. They were inspected by Lord Kitchener on 12 August, and landed in France on 24 September 1915. The 9th Battalion were part of 74th Brigade in 25th Division.

Joseph took part in the following battles;

German attack on Vimy Ridge (1916)
The Battle of Albert (a phase of the Battles of the Somme 1916)
The Battle of Bazentin (a phase of the Battles of the Somme 1916)
The Battle of Pozieres (a phase of the Battles of the Somme 1916)

He is listed as being sent to hospital (not wounded) on 3rd June 1916 and was struck off the company strength, although he got well enough to return to be killed in September.

On 3 September 1916, a large scale attack was made in support of the 4th Australian Division which was assaulting Mouquet Farm. It was during this action that Joseph was subsequently reported missing..

On 3 September 1916 the Australian troops were given their final chance to take the farm. 4th Division AIF had been reinforced by 1 Canadian Brigade, but it was to be the Australian’s own 13 Brigade that would make their attack on the farm.

At 05:10 hours 49th Battalion began their assault on the trench systems to the far right of the farm whilst the 51st Battalion assaulted the farm itself with 52nd battalion between them covering the Fabeck Graben.

The 49th made good progress in the face of stiff opposition linking up with the 52nd who had managed to get up past the farm as the 51st clawed their way into the pile of rubble that Mouquet Farm had become.

Unfortunately a counter attack by the Germans at 08:00 hours was pressed home under the cover of a heavy barrage and the Australians were forced out of the farm and many of the captured trenches. The leading units of the 51st Battalion were never seen again.

The Canadians were pushed into the line to halt the Germans and the Allied front line was secured on the right to include part of the gains made by the 49th Battalion

Source: Webmatters

Joseph is remembered on the  THIEPVAL MEMORIAL,  Pier and Face 11 A.

Rank: Private
Service No: 14773
Date of Death: 03/09/1916
Age: 28
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. 9th Bn.
Additional Information: Son of the late James Vickers, of 24, Borough St., Whit Lane, Pendleton, Manchester.

Joseph was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, these were received by his father James.



Paul McCormick
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