Joseph William Vickery was born in the spring of 1865 in the Somerset village of Isle Abbots. He was the older of two children to farm carter James Vickery and his wife Sarah. James died when Joseph war around six years old, and Sarah remarried, going on to have five children with her new husband, John Kitch.
The new family moved to North Curry, where Joseph found work as a farm labourer when he finished school. The years passed and, on 15th September 1894, Joseph married Elizabeth Ann Saturday, a labourer’s daughter from Chard. The couple settled in the town, and went on to have five children.
By the time war broke out in 1914, Joseph was approaching 50 years old. He still felt a duty to play his part, however, and enlisted towards the end of the following year. Little information survives of Joseph’s military career, but he enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry and was assigned to the 1/5th Battalion.
Sent to Salisbury Plain for training, Private Vickery was billeted at Tidworth, Wiltshire. While there, he contracted bronchitis and was admitted to hospital. Sadly, the lung condition was to prove too much for his body to bear, and he passed away on 12th December 1915, at the age of 50 years old.
Joseph William Vickery was brought back to Somerset for burial. He was laid to rest in Chard Cemetery.
Joseph and Elizabeth’s son Victor also played his part in the conflict.
Born in 1900, he was too young to enlist at the start of the war, but, by April 1918, he had joined the Scots Guards as a Private. There is no evidence of him serving overseas, and his service seems to have passed uneventfully. He was demobbed in February 1919, and returned to Somerset to continue his work as a furnaceman.