Private 2023 1st Australian Pioneers
Charles was born in 1898, the son of George and Agnes Ricketts.
The 1911 census records the family living at Oakley House, North Town, Aldershot. George Ricketts, and his older sons George and William were all butchers.
The Aldershot News of 26 October 1917 reported the death of Charles Ricketts. His parents were Mr and Mrs Ricketts of Aberdeen House in Tongham (the building which was later Sturt’s butchers). Two of his brothers were also serving in France (George and William). Charles attended Tongham School and East End School Aldershot. He had worked for his father at his North Town butcher’s shop before going to Australia in 1912. He enlisted at the end of 1914 aged under 17, and was posted to Gallipoli. He had gone to France in April 1916 and had been wounded on four separate occasions. On 3 October he was badly wounded in the chest during preparations for an offensive on 4 October. A shell killed four infantrymen and seriously wounded Charles and his corporal, who also died of his wounds. They were taken to the Dressing Station, where, according to his lieutenant, “he was quite calm and conscious, in fact he never murmured”.
The Australian First World War Nominal Roll records that Charles enlisted 1 January 1915, and the Embarkation Roll records that Charles embarked with the 7th Infantry Battalion on 17 April 1915 at Melbourne on HMAT Hororata. His age is given as 21 and his address as Pyramid Hill, Victoria.
Image courtesy of the Aldershot News