Name: Robert Cecil Vickery
Battalion/Unit number: 8th Battalion
Date/year of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Place of Residence: St Augustine
House, Priory Avenue
Date of Death:
15th September 1916
Place of Death:
Vicinity of Flers-Courcelette, Somme, France
Son of William and Sarah
Vickery, Robert Cecil was one of three children. William was a carpenter and
builder with his own business and in 1911 eighteen year old Albert was working
with his father as a carpenter and joiner while Robert, aged sixteen, was
working as a hairdresserís assistant. His sister, Cicely May, was a
dressmakerís assistant. Both of Robert's grandmothers were living with the
family at St Augustine House.
Albert was a mechanic in
the RAF, while William was a pioneer
sergeant in the 1/5th Somerset Light Infantry.
As part of the 8th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment, Robert saw action in
the Battle of the Somme. He died during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette,
part of the overall Battle of the Somme. Flers-Courcellete began on 15th
September 1916 and lasted for a week, is notable for witnessing the first ever
use of a tank in military action and saw over 29,000 British casualties.
The following obituary was printed in the Somerset County Gazette on 14th
"On Tuesday Mr. and Mrs. WM.
Vickery, of St. Augustine House, Priory, Taunton, received official information
that their youngest son, Private Robert Cecil Vickery, of the Bedford Regiment,
was killed in action on the 15th September.
This was the first information to reach them, and the news of their sad
news naturally came as a great blow to them, although they had feared something
had happened owing to the absence of letters.
Private Vickery, who was 21 in March last, served his apprenticeship to
the hairdressing with Mr Clements, High Street, and was in a situation in London
when the war started. He thereupon
enlisted, and since then had been twice home on leave, the second time being
exactly twelve months ago to the date of his death.
He was an old boy of St. Mary's School (now the Askwith Memorial), and a
former chorister at St. Mary's church. A
bright lad, much liked by his friends, Private Vickery is another of Taunton's
sons to lay down his life in the great war.
His father, Mr Wm. Vickery, is well known for his long service in the
Volunteers and Territorials (a record of 25 years).
The last twenty months of his service has been spent in India during the
present war. His only other son,
Second Air Mechanic Albert H. Vickery, is serving with the Royal Flying Corps."