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Private: 6933 Charles William Maurice RICKS

Born: 1888. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Birth Cert:

Died: 4th of April 1918. Killed in Action Villers-Bretonneaux, France.


Mother: Annie Ricks. nee:..


Charles William Morrice Ricks enlisted with the 20th Reinforcements, 20th Battalion on the 9th of June 1917 and left Sydney on board HMAT A16 "Port Melbourne" on the 16th of July 1917. Pay Book No:500195. Charles was transfered to reinforce the 35th Battalion and was Taken on Strength in France wad was Killed in Action at Villers-Bretonneaux on the 4th of April 1918.

17th May 1918

Informant; Sergeant: 942 Richard Patrick CAHILL During the bombardment on the 4th April he was buried by a shell up to his shoulders, and wounded about the face and head. I tried to pull him out but owing to the enemy being right on top of us, had to leave. He said "Let me go, let me die". He may be a prisoner or dead. The Huns on a few yards away. He belonged to a firm of florists in Sydney, but his people are in England, his father being a barrister.


29th May 1918.

Informant; Private: 6856 George William WALSH B Company No:8 Platoon. They were about 5 yards from me in a trench at VILLERS-BRETONNEUX at 7:00am, and were buried by practically a direct hit from a shell. It was a shallow front line trench and there were just the 5 of us in it. I was the only man who got out. Sergeant: 942 Richard Patrick CAHILL of B Company, No:8 Platoon, 35th Battalion came up after it happened and we could see some of the helmets, etc cut to pieces, lying in the dirt.

They were not dug up as we retired 5 minutes later. They were all B Company No:8 Platoon. Private: 3768 Samuel John MOORE tall, thin only Moore in Company, people live in England. Private: 6993 Charles William Morrice RICKS, short, black hair, curious walk. Private: 6618 Joseph "Jack" RYAN 5' 9", well built, original 2nd Battalion, and had been in Gallipoli and re-enlisted. Private: 6884 Simon SPRINGER 5' 8", fair, nuggety,about 28, came from 20th reinforcements of 19th Battalion, the only Springerin Company.

Confirmed by Private: 2596 Richard Percy GILBEY B Company, No:8. London, England.

15th June 1918

Informant; Private: 5006 Leslie DANELLS - Private: 6933 Charles William Maurice RICKS was killed whilst in his dug out. The dug out blown in on top of him by a shell. This happened whilst we were in front of VILLERS-BRETONNEUX. Sergeant: 942 Richard Patrick CAHILL tried to dig him out but did not succeed as the firing was to hot. We thought he must be killed, and we had to leave the line at the time and retire so there was no chance of him being dug out. I knew him well and we worked together in the cook house. Description Height. 5' 7". Complexion Dark. Medium Build.

HURDCOTT, England.

20th June 1918

Informant; Private: 2866a James Joseph O'BRIEN- Private: 6933 Charles William Maurice RICKS was wounded in the early morning of April 4th but when we advanced the next day we recovered him and he was sent to hospital in France. He had not returned to the Regiment when I left on May 30th.


Charles was a single 28 year old Messenger from Sydney, N.S.W upon enlistment. His mother Annie was his next of kin who lived at "Grove House" Cokkham Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

Military Records

(Australian National Archives)


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