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Remembered Today:

James Felix Vickers


Hett65
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Found this article in the North-Eastern Daily Gazette of January 1918.

A very interesting and pleasing ceremony took place at the Imperial Hotel, Middlesbrough last night when James Felix Vickers, who had recently returned to Middlesbrough Fire Brigade after much service in the army, was presented with a gold watch suitably inscribed, and a gold chain subscribed for by his friends.

In making the presentation, Councillor Turner, chairman of the Fire Brigade Committee, said they had all heard of brave deeds at the front which had gone without recognition, but there had not been many braver deeds than those performed by Pte Vickers. He went to the front with the North Yorks in August 1914 (I believe he was Pte 7443 Yorkshire Regiment later Private 86248 RE) and after some time was transfered to a tunneling company, most precarious work. He had taken part in the battles of Mons, Ypres, Neuve Chapelle, Cambrai, Loos and the Somme.

He had been wounded four times and there were 17 wounds on his body. The lower part of his stomach had been blown out, and he now wore a steel plate over the wound 21 inches by 18. After being wounded on the last occasion he was unconcious for 21 days, his case had been placed on record by a large Glasgow hospital as the most wonderful cure they had ever turned out.

Vickers had 57 relatives fighting, his father aged 57 was still fighting, as were two uncles both over 50, and two brothers, another brother had been discharged. His grandfather, now dead, had fought in the Crimea.

The watch was only a very small token of what the boys who had been left at home thought of him. Vickers, who replied briefly thanking them for the present, and saying that he would be proud of it.

What an amazing piece of repair to his body, how did his insides cope with a steel plate, and how did he continue to work with the Fire Brigade with this attached to his body. I think the journalists have gone overboard with this one, unless someone out there knows better.

John

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