Piece of Lickers’ family heirloom returned

BRANTFORD — Six Nations Chief of Police, Glenn Lickers received a military memento given a distant relative, Pte. David Lickers a hundred years ago following WWI.

Two medals, a Victory Medal and a replica of the British War Medal, were discovered.

He also thanked Sgt. Ralph Feisthauer, the sergeant’s mother, Jean, and the work of the organization If Ye Break Faith who researched the historical record and directed the medals to the Lickers family.

“Without their efforts these medals could have ended up on Ebay or in someone’s private collection,” said Lickers.

Christopher Harvie, researcher and project director of the retired soldiers group, “If Ye Break Faith” revealed in the ceremony held at the Woodland Cultural Museum that Pte. Lickers and his two brothers, Joseph and William, joined the 58th Battalion sometime between November 1915 and January 1916.

David and William were at the Somme, code-named Regina Trench. Parts of the enemy trench were taken for a short time before being taken back in a counterattack, according to Harvie.

Thirty were killed, including William,144 wounded and 111 missing from the 58th in that battle,

Pte. Lickers was among the missing, and was sentenced to 14 days field punishment for drunkenness.

“In that, David was not at all different than many soldiers, young men away from home introduced to vice, except that he got caught,” Harvie said.

Pte. Lickers went back to fight with his battalion before finishing his sentence and on Nov. 3, he was buried by a shell and hit on the head by a sandbag, and remained unconscious for three weeks, with paralysis on his left side.

After being treated in England, Lickers was sent back to Canada for further treatment. In early 1918, he was granted an honourable discharge.

Pte. Lickers’s Victory Medal and another soldier’s medal were found in a sock with a few coins abandoned in a Toronto boarding room apartment by Jean Feisthauser who contacted her son, Sgt. Ralph Feisthauer, stationed at Canadian Forces Base Borden. Sgt. Feisthauer advised that the medals must be returned to the families of the soldiers.

“There are no words to describe how happy I am,” Jean Feisthauer said after presenting the framed medals to the Lickers family.

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