A War Hero
Tommy Ricketts is a great war hero from World War I. He faced the enemy with impressive
courage, leading him to obtain the victoria cross.
Tommy was born on April15, 1901 in Middle Arm, White Bay. The son of John and Amelia
(Castle) Ricketts. He enlisted in 1916 to the Newfoundland Regiment. At this time he was only 15
years old. He had lied about his age, many other soldiers had done the same.
According to research by MacLeod and Brown (2005) Tommy Ricketts earned the Victoria Cross in
1918, during the Battle of Courtrai, towards the end of World War I. Tommy had volunteered to
clear out a German battery but during his attempt he ran out of ammunition. Deciding not to give
up, he returned to his front line. Once he obtained more bullets he was able to make a second effort
to clear out the German battery and he succeeded in their retreat. This success lead to Tommy's
platoon advancing with no harm and capture "four German field guns, four machine guns and eight
prisoners"(MacLeod & Brown, 2005, p.133). Tommy's courage on this day resulted in him being
awarded the Victoria Cross.
In 1919, Tommy Ricketts was awarded, by King George, the Victoria Cross, he was the only
member in the Newfoundland Regiment to receive this award and the youngest winner in the British
Army. The Victoria Cross, which is still awarded today, is the highest award for bravery in the face
of the army. It was first awarded during the Crimean War 1856-1857.(James Camsell, personal
communication, November 7th, 2006)
After the war Tommy returned home and went back to school, entering Bishop Field College in
1920, followed by Memorial University. After completing his time at Mun, he was employed at
McMurdo's Drugstore, in St. John's, where he went on to pass his pharmacy exams. According to