REMEMBRANCE DISPATCH NO. 14 HAS BEEN POSTED IN HOUSES TO COMMEMORATE DRIVER THOMAS FERRAR RICKETTS (DAY BOY 1874-1891) WHO DIED OF DISEASE WHILE ON ACTIVE SERVICE ON 11TH JUNE 1916
Thomas Ferrar Ricketts was born in Llandefalle, Bronllys in 1874. He was from a local farming family and joined Christ College as a Day Boy in 1887. He played for the 2nd XV in the 1889/90 season and again in the 1890/91 season, when he was also selected to play for the 1st XV.
After leaving school in 1891, Thomas went to work at the Neath branch of the London and Provincial Bank. He continued to play rugby football and he turned out regularly for the Neath ‘A’ team. He later went to South Africa to work for the Standard Bank of South Africa in the Natal province. Whilst there, he was called out with the Natal Militia during the native rebellion of 1906.
After eleven years in South Africa, he emigrated to Canada but he travelled home to enlist. From 12th September 1914 he was in training at Aldershot until 5th November 1914. The next day he was sent to France. He suffered illness in March the following year and was sent home to recover. Declared medically fit once more, he was sent to Basra in January 1916 attached to the 39th Field Ambulance, a field unit of 10 officers and 224 men.
Perhaps already weakened by his earlier illnesses, Thomas was admitted to hospital on 30th March 1916. He died of enteric fever on 11th June 1916.
Driver Thomas Ferrar Ricketts is buried in the Basra War Cemetery and is remembered on the War Memorial at Christ College.
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