Bickers, Frank

3rd Battalion CEF
Badge of the 3rd Battalion CEF

404020 Pte Frank Bickers served with the 3rd Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War.

Son of James Bickers and Lucy Bickers (nee Calder) he was born 24 August, 1874 in Hull England. He had a common law wife Esther Ealey and was a Mason.

Enlisting in the 35th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force on 12 April, 1915, in Toronto, Ontario he was in France and transferred to the 3rd Bn CEF by 31 June of that year. By 11 February, 1916 he was tried and convicted by Field General Court Martial of Desertion and sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to 5 years penal servitude; however, the sentence was suspended due to gallantry in action on 13 June, 1916. After likely participating in the Battle of Vimy Ridge on 9 April 1917 he was gassed on 28 April, 1917 at Farbus Wood.

After spending many months in hospital recovering, he was discharged 21 January, 1918 Medically Unfit. He died less than a year later of a brain tumor on 13 February, 1919 and is buried in the Toronto Necropolis Cemetery, Section X. 1323.

Timeline of Service:

  • 11 years Duke of Wellington’s Regiment British Army;
  • 1915, 12 April, enlisted for active service with 35th Bn CEF;
  • 1915, 31 June, taken on strength of 3 Bn CEF in the field;
  • 1916, 11 Feb, Tried and convicted by Field General Court Martial of Desertion and sentenced to death. Sentence commuted to 5 years penal servitude;
  • 1916, 14 Jul, penal sentence was suspended due to gallantry in action on 13 June, 1916;
  • 1917, 9 April, would have taken part in the Battle of Vimy Ridge;
  • 1917, 28 April, admitted to hospital as a result of gas poisoning at Farbus Wood;
  • 1918, 21 January, discharged as medically unfit.

Bickers Grave Marker

With information from Library and Archives Canada his Personnel Records can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/personnel-records/Pages/list.aspx?RegimentNum=404020&

"In Pace Paratus – In Peace Prepared"