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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

1/9th Londons, Queen Victoria's Rifles,

Jim Hastings

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Good evening,

Two local brothers, 2574 Thomas WICKENS and 2576 George WICKENS were killed on the Somme in 1916 with this Regt. My research on Sussex Rolls of Honour have brought up many Sussex men with the QVR. My research so far into the London Regiment has identified that some units were associated with occupations - eg 8th Bn Post Office Rifles, 15th Bn Civil Service and 6th Bn newspapermen and printers - does any member know of any occupational link to the recruiting within the QVR? I am assuming these Sussex men were commuting to work in London, as they enlisted there, rather than Uckfield, Lewes or Eastbourne where most local men enlisted.

I would appreciate any information on QVR recruitment

Many thanks


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Jim, it might be worth getting this through the Amazon/Abebooks link on the GWF header....

History and Records of Queen Victoria's Rifles 1792-1922 £26.60

C.A.Cuthbert Keeson. Paperback: 692 pages

Publisher: Naval & Military Press Ltd; New Ed edition (Dec 2001)

Language English. ISBN-10: 1843422174. ISBN-13: 978-1843422174

Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.8 x 4.8 cm

Alternatively, maybe order through your local library?

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I wonder if it has anything to do with both 1/9th and 2/9th being in Crowborough at different times in the Autumn of 1914 and into 1915?

Are any of them pre-war enlistments? In that case I would guess they may have been early commuters.


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Hi Phil,

Sadly I have just started looking into these two men as have so far concentrated on local Royal Sussex men and my grandfather's and great-grandfather's war. Only one was born locally, the other in Crawley Down, so there may be something in that - their father/family may have moved about for business and the sons commute for their work once old enough too. I will dig deeper. From my reading and the Forum I have gleaned that by 1918 latest the regimental system had broken with regards to local recruiting, but many local men joined the Royal Sussex. I will investigate further, thank you for the direction, Crowborough is so near here.

All the best


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  • 7 years later...

Jim I don’t know if you are still looking but these men were my great uncles.  There were 3 brothers the other, older was Ralph Wickens was also in the QVR as was my Grandfather , their brother in law. Arthur Norman Elliott.  Married after the war. They all worked in London. 

The 3 brothers family home was Rockville in Uckfield  High Street Sussex. I am not totally sure but I think they all worked in the city, I seem to recall it being a company HQ for cloth production. My brother may well have more information about how and when they were recruited.


Colin Elliott

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