WAR MEDALS RETURNED TO FAMILY
By Blue Line News Week
By Blue Line News Week
402 words – MR
War medal returned to Six Nations family
A war medal given to a Six Nations soldier a century ago has been reunited with his family, years after his death. The medal is a reminder of the thousands of Aboriginal soldiers who fought for Canada in World War One.
The medal was awarded to Private David Lickers for bravery after he was wounded in battle. Lickers was born on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford and served in the war for two years.
The medals were discovered in a Toronto apartment by Jean Feisthaur. “When this tenant left he left behind a sock full of coins, they found out that two of those coins were in fact WWI medals,” Feisthaur’s son, Sgt. Ralph Feisthauer, stationed at Canadian Forces Base Borden, advised his mother that the medals must be returned to the families of the soldiers.
Christopher Harvie, researcher and project director of the retired soldiers group “If Ye Break Faith,” was given the task to research the medal and revealed the Lickers connection in a ceremony held at the Woodland Cultural Museum. He found that Pte. David Lickers and his two brothers, Joseph and William, joined the 58th Battalion sometime between November 1915 and January 1916. They came from a large Six Nations family of 24 siblings.
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.
In November 1916 David 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.
In a Brantford ceremony, Six Nations Chief of Police Glenn Lickers was on hand to receive the lost medals.
“Contributions of First Nations people has often been overlooked and marginalized,” said Lickers. “The fact this happened today is huge.”
“There are no words to describe how happy I am,” Jean Feisthauer said after presenting the framed medals to the Lickers family.
“Pretty exciting, very proud chapter of the family that I wasn’t aware of,” said Lickers. “I can’t think of a better place for these medals to be than the Woodland Cultural Centre Museum so it’s shared with our young people and all Canadians.”
The British War medal and Victory Medal awarded to David Lickers