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Ricketts, Desmond Forbes (1920-1943) | by sherborneschoolarchives
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Ricketts, Desmond Forbes (1920-1943)

Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who died in the Second World War, 1939-1945.


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Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.


Details: Desmond Forbes Ricketts (1920-1943), born 9 July 1920, son of Lieutenant-Colonel Edwin Leslie Ricketts OBE (19th Hyderabad Regiment, Indian Army) and Mildred Ethel Ricketts, of Staple Fitzpaine, Somerset.


Attended Grenham House School, Birchington-on-Sea.


Attended Sherborne School (Lyon House) September 1934-December 1938; 6th form; Prefect; 1st XI cricket (1937, 1938); 1st XI hockey (1938); PT Instructor with Badge; Sergeant in OTC.


The Shirburnian, December 1938: 'Characters of the XI, 1938. D.F. RICKETTS (1937-38). Started the season very well, but fell away badly after the Tonbridge match and lost all confidence. Neat in the field at short-leg.'


Royal Military College, Sandhurst.


WW2, Captain, 1st Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles. Killed on active service at Chingleput, Madras, on 5 May 1943, aged 22.


Commemorated at:

Madras (St Mary) Cemetery, Chennai, India, Plot 19. Grave 57. Inscription on his headstone: ‘IN GOD’S KEEPING’,-des...


Yateley War Memorial, Hampshire


Sherborne School: War Memorial Staircase; Book of Remembrance; Lyon House War Memorial.


His housemaster, A.H. Trelawny-Ross, wrote in the Lyon House letter (July 1943): 'Major Desmond Forbes Ricketts (1934-37) had a natural capacity for games and I remember especially his bowling for the House Juniors and his later successes at cricket and hockey when playing for the School. A severe operation on his leg gained him a special mention for courage in adversity, nor did he lack determination to triumph over difficulties of any kind. In April last he was selected as an Instructor at a Corps Battle School in India. In spite of cancelled leave he tackled the new work with enthusiasm. On May 4 he was killed in night operations at the Battle School. He would have gone far in the career for which he was always destined. He had already seen service on the Frontier with his Regiment, the 2nd Gurkhas.'


Old Shirburnian Society Annual Report, October 1943:

'Ricketts, Desmond Forbes (f 1934-1938). A natural capacity for games took him into the Cricket and Hockey teams and would probably have won him distinction at Football but for a very severe operation on his leg which lost him a season. It was then that he received a very special mention "for courage in adversity." Perhaps his greatest ordeal at school was the reading of a paper on the N.W. Frontier to a House Society in the presence of an officer who had spent years of his life there and was to be his future C.O. In April of this year, while serving as a Captain, Gurkha Rifles, he was selected as an Instructor at a Corps Battle School in India, a tribute to his capacity and endurance. In spite of cancelled leave he tackled his new job with cheerful enthusiasm. On May 4th he was killed in night operations at the Battle School. He was essentially modest and courageous and would have gone far in his profession.'

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Taken on August 1, 2013