The information displayed here is at the time of death.
Arthur Vickers, born 18 July 1888, was brought up at Habmer Nab and Newton Grange Farms, Sadberge, near Darlington, where his descendants still live. He was the fourth son of Robert and Anne Vickers who owned and farmed there (113 acres in 1881). Arthur entered Bede College in 1907: while at the college he was a member of the Rowing Club and crewed against York in the June 1909 Regatta Finals; in common with most of his fellow students, he also spent two years as a volunteer in the college’s A company in 8 DLI. Upon completion of his training and qualification in July 1909, he then joined the staff at Trimdon Grange School as an Assistant Teacher. (A photograph of Vickers with his fellow teachers at the opening of the school in 1913 is published in Trimdon Snippets by Eveline Roberts Johnson.) He enlisted 19 September 1914 at Spennymoor, aged 26, in 18 DLI, a ‘Pals’ Service Battalion, and was quickly promoted to lance corporal. The battalion shipped out to Egypt for training on 6 December 1915, before re-embarking and entering France on 11 March 1916, arriving in time to fight in the Battle of the Somme. The battle started on 1 July 1916. The 18th Battalion was in action on the first day attacking German forces in Serre, suffering heavy losses. They remained in shattered trenches under heavy bombardment until relieved during the night of 4 July. Losses were 14 Officers and 357 men (over half of the battalion’s strength killed and wounded). In the chaos and slaughter of 1 July it is perhaps not surprising that the exact circumstances of Vickers’ death are uncertain. He was reported wounded that day, and later posted missing. Bede Magazine published the report of a fellow Bede student who saw him having his wound dressed in the trenches, but ultimately the location of his grave was lost. Consequently he is commemorated on the war memorial at Thiepval.
Newton Grange Farm, Sadberge, County Durham
Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France
Plaque in St Andrew's Church, SadbergePlaque formerly erected in the Miners’ Hall at Trimdon Grange, but now located in St Alban’s Church there
Bede College 1914-1918 Cross , Plaque, and Roll of Honour
David Butler, Joyce Malcolm; Colleen Stansfield, Michael Stansfield
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