PRIVATE WILLIAM HENRY RICKARD
4TH OCTOBER 1917 AGE 25
BURIED: LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY, BELGIUM
William Rickard's father chose his inscription: the words have to have been his son's. Rickard volunteered at Blackboy Camp, Western Australia in April 1916; he was 24. He served with the 24th Battalion Australian Infantry, originally raised in Blackboy in April 1915. Rickard went out with the 16th reinforcements.
By 1916 Australian recruitment was beginning to dry up, so much so that in October 1916 the Government tried but failed to introduce conscription - it lost the referendum 49%-51%. Rickard had not volunteered initially but you can see how his mind was working by April 1916.
He arrived in France on 22 December 1916 and was wounded in the thigh three months later. Hospitalised in England, he rejoined his battalion in August 1917. The battalion took part in the attack on Broodseinde Ridge on 4 October 1917 where Rickard was again wounded. He died the same day at No. 10 Casualty Clearing Station, Lijssenthoek of 'shrapnel wounds on the head'.
Rickard, an engine driver from Fremantle, Western Australia, was his parents only son.