Private (later Sergeant) A. Vickers, VC
Arthur Vickers was born in Aston in Birmingham in 1882. Due to his small stature, he was just over 5 foot; it took him 6 attempts before he was finally accepted into the 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1902. He was known affectionately as ‘Titch’. He served for 6 years until 1908 and then re-enlisted a few days after the outbreak of War in 1914. He was posted to France in 1915, and after only four months he was in action in operations before Hulloch in France for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross and the French Military Medal.
His citation reads “On 25th September 1915 during the Battle of Loos the 2nd Battalion attacked at 6.30am. In the face of terrific fire, they reached the first line of trenches to find that the wire was not cut.
Private Vickers, on his own initiative and with the utmost bravery, ran forward in front of his company and, standing up in broad daylight under heavy fire, cut two gaps in the wire.”
His gallant action contributed largely to the success of the assault, which resulted in the capture of 60 prisoners and the achievement of the objective. An indication of the severity of the fighting that day is that after the attack the Battalion could only muster 5 officers and 140 men. The rest were either killed, wounded or taken prisoner.
Private Vickers received his gallantry award from King George V at Buckingham Palace in 1916. He continued to serve with the Regiment until 1935 when he retired as a Sergeant. After leaving the army he worked for Messrs Lucas Ltd, and served in the Home Guard during World War II. He died aged 62 in 1944 and was buried at Witton Cemetery in Birmingham.