Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Second Lieutenant Eric Leslie Vickers, 8th Battalion, the Rifle Brigade, died from wounds received nearly four months earlier on the Somme.
One of five children of the Reverend Nathanael Vickers, of St. Simon’s Church in Southsea, he had enlisted as a private with the Rifle Brigade at the outbreak of the Great War. In January of 1916 he was commissioned as a Temporary Second Lieutenant, and was mentioned in Sir John French’s Despatches. In September of 1916 his battalion saw action in the battle for Flers and Courcelette during the third main phase of the Battle of the Somme and suffered heavy losses. This battle saw the first significant use of tanks by the British. Second Lieutenant Vickers was grievously wounded during the fighting and was hospitalised but passed away from his wounds almost four months later.
He is buried in the St. Sever Cemetery at Rouen in France, and remembered on the war memorials at Stretford and St. Simon’s Church in Southsea. His widow, who passed away in 1969, never remarried nor spoke of her husband; a member of the family wrote that it was too painful for her to talk about her memories.
Eric, from Southsea in Hampshire, was 24 years old.