RICKERS, James Arthur

Private James Arthur Rickers
120524 Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)

RickersAJ servedsmlJames Arthur Rickers was born in 1895 at Pye Hill son of Samuel Noah Rickers a coal miner holer born Madeley, Shropshire and his wife Elizabeth Ann (nee Dexter), born at Codnor Park. James was christened at Pye Hill Primitive Methodist Chapel when he was just one month old. He was one of 11 children of whom all had survived by 1911. Brothers and sisters were Margaret, George, Elizabeth, John William, Hannah, Samuel, Jane, Emily, Isaac and Nellie. Both in 1901 and 1911 the family was living at Pye Hill.

In 1911, at the age of 16, James Arthur was working as a labourer on the pit bank. His family has confirmed that he started work as a miner as soon as he left school and during the First World War he was taken out of the mines and sent to France where he served with the Notts and Derby Regiment. During his service abroad he was gassed and this was to have serious consequences on his health in later life. He was awarded the British War and Victory Medals

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He returned to the mines after the war and on 19th February 1921, married Harriett Powell in St Helen’s Church, Selston. They made their home at Pye Hill and had a daughter named Lona.

Arthur died of pneumonia on 28th June 1935, aged only forty years and is buried at Ironville, Christchurch.  The grave marker was a vase on a plinth with the inscription, “To my dear husband.”  Arthur’s encounters in the Great War were a contributory factor to his premature death.

Harriett re-married on two further occasions and lived locally up to her death in the early nineties. His daughter Lona continued as a Jacksdale resident all of her married life.

Photo Below: Arthur with some local pals posing by a farm gate. Left to Right – Back Row:- Frank Storer, Lawrence Crawford, unknown. Front Row:- ? Parkin, Reg Bonsall, Arthur Rickers.

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Information & Photos Courtesy G. Toplis (grandson of Arthur.)