James, Francis and Arthur were the sons of James and Elizabeth Spicer of Inverell NSW. They were part of a large family all born at Inverell where their father ran the Tattersall’s Hotel.
Arthur enlisted in Brisbane in June 1915 when he was eighteen. At the time he was working there as a Packer. He had previously been employed by Mr. C. Dowe, a Chemist at Inverell. Arthur joined the 9th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement and left Australia on the ship HMAT A33 Ayrshire in September 1915. He was transferred to the 49th Battalion in February 1916 and promoted to Corporal in December. Arthur was killed in action on 7 June 1917 during the Battle of Messines in Belgium. He has no known grave and his name is inscribed on the Menin Gate Memorial.
Francis enlisted in Brisbane in August 1915 giving his age as twenty and occupation as Plumber. He joined the 26th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement and left Australia for Egypt on HMAT A69 Warilda in October. He was sent to France in April 1916 where he was wounded in July and again in 1917. He returned to Australia in April 1919. Francis died in Sydney in 1974.
James, the eldest son, enlisted at Inverell in October 1916. He was a thirty two year old single man who had completed a 5 year apprenticeship with local saddler Mr. Hunt and was working as a Harness maker. He had previously been rejected for service because of his teeth.
James joined the 46th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement and left Australia on the ship SS Port Napier in November 1916. He arrived in England in January 1917 and was sent to France in May. Three months later he was wounded in action and treated for a gunshot wound to his back before returning to his unit. In April 1919 he was transferred back to England and returned to Australia in June. Just a few weeks after his discharge, James died at Inverell District Hospital. Before the War he had been a keen football player.