Taunton man calls for all war heroes to be honoured

Taunton man calls for all war heroes to be honoured

PTE Archibald Vickery who died in the Battle of the Somme and his medals.

PTE Archibald Vickery's grave in the Grove Town Cemetery in Meaulte, France.

First published in News Somerset County Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

A TAUNTON man who has been researching his wife’s uncle, killed in the Battle of the Somme, said all war heroes deserved to be named and remembered.

David Macdonald, who lives in Galmington with his wife, Joan, said he had always been interested in the First World War.

His grandfather was a stretcher-bearer in the conflict but he was unable to find out much more about his life and death.

He said: “The records of those who worked as stretcher-bearers were destroyed so I never got to find out much about him.

“I’ve always been very interested in the war and when my wife told me about her uncle Archie and showed me his medals I wanted to find out more.”

Joan’s uncle, Archibald Vickery, was born in Taunton and died at the age of 19.

“He was just 17 years old when he joined the Somerset Light Infantry and left Southampton for France with the original draft on July 24, 1915,” said David.

“He died on October 5, 1916, from injuries and sadly his parents, James and Emma, could never afford to go and visit his grave.”

David and Joan went to visit his grave at Grove Town Cemetery in France in 1984 to pay their respects.

David added: “Joan had a few minutes alone at his grave and then I joined her. I was lucky that I was able to go back a few years ago with the Royal British Legion.

“I think Archie deserves to be known as a Taunton boy for giving his life during the war.

I will keep researching the war and read what I can.”

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