yeovil at War

Charles Stanley Ricketts

Died from a sudden illness


Charles Stanley Ricketts, known as Stanley, was born at home in Market Street, Yeovil in 1882, the son and youngest of the children of general labourer Charles Ricketts (1838-1898) and dressmaker Jane née Lamb (1842-1898) originally from Corton Denham. Stanley was baptised on 30 November 1882 at St John's church.

Charles and Jane had seven children; Agnes Ruth (1867-1945), Kate Eliza (b1867), Sarah Jane, known as Jane (b1868), Rosa Emma (1868-1912), Sidney Albert, known as Albert (1873-1911), Annie Kate (b1874) and Stanley.

In the 1891 census Charles and Jane were living at North Terrace, New Town with their children; Albert, Annie and Stanley as well as their married daughter Jane Connock, her husband and son, both called William Connock.

Stanley's parents both died in 1898 and I couldn't trace him in the 1901 census. It is known that he worked as a wheeler for Thring Brothers, glove manufacturers of Waterloo Lane.

In the spring of 1906, at Yeovil, Stanley married Margaret Ada Higgins (1883-1964) of Mudford. They moved to Melksham, Wiltshire, where their three children were all born; Gerald Stanley (1906-1993), Leonard James (1908-1982) and Margaret Joyce (1916-1997).

In the 1911 census Stanley, Margaret and their two sons were living at Broughton Gifford, just east of Melksham. Stanley gave his occupation as a "Licensed Hawker & Oil Merchant".

On 1 September 1916, at Melksham, Stanley enlisted in 13th Reserve Battery, Royal Field Artillery, as a Gunner. His Service Number was 164012.

Just a few weeks later, on 5 October 1916, while at Portsmouth Barracks, Stanley was taken seriously ill and rushed to Milton Infirmary, No 5 Southern General Hospital, Portsmouth. Sadly Stanley died within the hour. He was aged 33. His death was reported in the 13 October 1916 edition of the Western Chronicle and is shown, in full, below.

Stanley's name is inscribed on the Melksham War Memorial. His name was added to the War Memorial in the Borough in 2018.

In 1925, at Bath, Somerset, Margaret married Frederick Lawford (1883-1963). She died at Christchurch, Hampshire, in 1964 aged 81.




The entry of Charles Stanley Ricketts' baptism in the register of St John's church.


North Terrace seen from Grass Royal, where Stanley grew up. Photographed in 2013.


Stanley and Margaret with their two sons, Gerald (right) and Leonard, photographed around 1914.


Stanley Ricketts, enlarged from the previous photograph.


The notice of Stanley's death as reported in the 13 October 1916 edition of the Western Chronicle.


The Commonwealth War Graves Commission certificate in memory of Stanley Ricketts.


Stanley's Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone.