Gunner, Canadian Artillery
Born: March 29th 1875
Died: July 9th 1916
Age at Death: 41
Killed in action, France, July 9th 1916
Son of Rev. C.Wickham of Compton Rectory, Winchester.
A donation to the memorial statue has been made in honour of this soldier.
Obituary Brightonian XV December, 1916
Ralph Kendall Wickham entered the Junior School, Brighton College, in 1894; from there he went into the Upper School, which is now the Junior House. Ten years ago he went to Canada, and was attached to a Survey party on the Grand Trunk Railway. He was in England at the outbreak of war, and immediately tied to enlist, being refused on account of age. He went back to Canada and returned with the Field Artillery, 1st Contingent, going with them to France, where he was killed while on aeroplane patrol on July 9th, 1916.
Bombardier Ralph Kendall Wickham
Ralph Wickham was born in Compton, Hampshire on March 29th 1875. He was one of 14 children of the Revd Charles Wickham, parish priest of Compton and also briefly a housemaster at the College, and his wife Clara (née de Havilland). Two of Wickham’s nephews, John Wickham and Lister Wickham, also attended the College and gave their lives in the war. Wickham’s life after he left school is unclear, although there is a record of him departing Britain in 1902 to visit his brother’s family in Australia, in which he lists his occupation on the passenger Manifest as ‘book keeper’. Sometime afterwards he moved to Canada and was living there when war broke out in 1914.
On the 22nd September 1914 he enlisted in the Canadian Army and was posted to the 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery. After crossing the Atlantic in October 1914 and then a period of training in Britain the unit arrived in France on 11th February 1915 and, along with the rest of the Canadian Corps, took up a position near Ypres. On 9th July 1916 Wickham was killed when his battery was attacked by enemy aircraft east of Zilibeke in the direction of Mount Sorrel.
His grave is in the Bedford House Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium.
Source: LEST WE FORGET PROJECT, Brighton College 2014/15