Thomas Ricketts (1901–1967) was a student from Middle Arm, White Bay, Newfoundland, who joined the Newfoundland Regiment in September 1916. His elderly father was in prison, and his older brother was already in uniform, which may explain why the 15-year-old Ricketts lied about his age and went to war. He embarked for England in January 1917 and was eventually promoted to Sergeant. Ricketts was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions near Ledeghem, Belgium, on October 14, 1917. He was still only 16 years old, making him one of the youngest recipients of the Victoria Cross. After being discharged on July 1, 1919, Ricketts settled in St. John's, Newfoundland, where he worked as a pharmacist.
Service Record Details
(LAC acknowledges the participation of the Provincial Archives Division, The Rooms Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador, for the links to their Digitized Personnel Files.)
Date of Birth: April 1901
Date of Attestation: September 2, 1916
Age at Enlistment: 18 years
Prior Military Service: None
Height: 5 feet, 5 inches
Weight: 126 pounds
Home Address: Middle Arm, White Bay, Newfoundland
Next of Kin:
Theatre of War: Europe
Ricketts was severely wounded by a gunshot to the leg at the Battle of Cambrai on November 21, 1917.
Interesting Details from the Service Record
Ricketts's service file includes a copy of an anonymous poem entitled “A cheer for Tommie Ricketts VC.”
The London Gazette
The London Gazette, Supplement 31108, Page 309
The London Gazette, Supplement 31409, Page 7813
Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1812–1969)
Victoria Cross (Newfoundland)
French Croix de guerre with golden star
Croix de guerre with golden star
No records located.