Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
9 May 1918
Media files and documents
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
Soldier or Civilian
Thomas Alfred Ernest Rickard was the eldest of 4 children born to Thomas Ernest an iron foundry labourer & Charlotte Eliza a straw hat machinist.
In 1911 he is living with his parents & siblings, Nellie Rose aged 10, Frederick Aubrey Cecil aged 5 & 9 month old Violet May at 34 North Street Luton.
On 12th March 1915 he attested at Bedford into the 2/1st East Anglian Division Signal Corps of the Royal Engineers as a driver. He was 19 years old & 5ft 7 1/2 inches tall, using Alfred as his first name.
His role as a driver would have been to look after the horses, as they were needed to pull gun carriages as well as various other loads. It was whilst Alfred was stationed in Guisborough in Yorkshire that he met with a tragic fatal accident. 2 eyewitness accounts are attached to his service record that tell of how he died. A summary of the accident was reported as follows:
" On Wednesday 8th, inst: the following accident occurred No. 528334 Driver Rickard A. No 2 Section, 69th Divisional Signal Co R.E was leading his pair of mules to water. The animals shied and attempted to bolt. Driver Rickard had in some way his arm entangled in the chain by which he was leading one and was dragged for some distance, and severely kicked in the head. A Medical Officer of the 322nd Field Ambulance was at once fetched and Driver Rickard was removed to the 1st Northern General Hospital (Aux) Darlington immediately. He died there are 3.45pm on the 9th. An inquest was held in the workhouse, Darlington by the Coroner on the 10th. inst. at 4.30pm. A verdict of Accidental Death was returned"
He was brought home & buried in the cemetery on Crawley Green Road with full military honours.