Born: 18th January 1900, Ipswich. William wrote the 18th January 1898 on his attestation papers.

Died: 6th November 1917; age 17; KiA.

Residence: Alton, Ontario – a small community south of Orangeville.

Occupation: Farm Labourer.

Enlistment Details: Location: Ravina Barracks, West Toronto; Date: 6th September 1916; Religion: Presbyterian; Age 18 years & 8 months. Next of Kin: Mother: Mrs. Tricker, Bramford Lane, Ipswich, England. Height: 5ft 5ins, fair complexion, hazel eyes & light brown hair.

Unlike other British Home Children who list their employers as their Next of Kin, William lists his mother at her home in Ipswich.


Embarked – from the Port of Halifax on board the S.S. Scandinavian’ – Arrival in England – 18th April 1917 – attached to the 12th Reserve Battalion – 29th April 1917.


Rank: Private: Service Number: 1024315

Regiment: Canadian Infantry, 1st Central Ontario Regiment, 3rd Battalion.


Memorial Reference:

Panel 18-24-26-30.

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial,




Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Mrs. S. E. Tricker, of 2, Coe’s Cottages, Bramford Lane, Ipswich & the late Edgar William Tricker.




1901   Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich.


William was a year old and living with his parents & sister.

Edgar William Tricker, 23, a Quay Labourer, born Ipswich.

Sarah Elizabeth Tricker (nee Kates), 21, born Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Alice Elizabeth Kates, 2, born Ipswich.


1911   St. John’s Home for Boys & Girls, Bloomfield Street, Ipswich.


William was 11 years old and an Inmate at the Workhouse School.

His sister Alice, 12, was also an Inmate.


2, Coes Cottages, Bramford Lane, Ipswich.

William & Alice’s mother Sarah, 30, and their sister Violet Elizabeth Tricker, 9, born Ipswich were living at the home of Sarah’s employer, Arthur Hammond, a bricklayer, and a widower with 5 children. Sarah was the Housekeeper.

Living at 3, Coes Cottages, Bramford Lane was William & Alice’s 5 year old brother Stanley Charles Tricker. He was living with their maternal aunt & uncle, Lewis George Green a cold iron sawyer at a structural engineering works, and Alice Green (nee Kates). Lewis and Alice Green had no children of their own. Alice Green died in 1925. Lewis Green died in December 1947, probate was to Stanley Charles Tricker.

St John’s Children’s Home

Ipswich Union first proposed a separate home for pauper children in around 1870. This was an unusual step for non-metropolitan unions at this time and may have resulted from a space shortage at the Great Whip Street workhouse. Plans were produced in 1871 and 1873 for a long building with a central block flanked by separate wings containing boys’ and girls’ accommodation. The building, eventually erected at Bloomfield Street in 1879, accommodated 80 boys and 50 girls. The boys were taught to work on the land and in tailoring and shoe-making. The girls were taught needlework and other household skills to equip them for domestic service. A small infirmary was later added.

Edgar William Tricker was not unfamiliar with the Ipswich Police Courts, he had many convictions. First appearing in court as a young lad for stealing fruit and vegetables from gardens, then numerous times as an adult for being drunk and disorderly in the streets of Ipswich, and disturbing the peace; to stealing clothes displayed outside shops and then selling the stolen goods on; and for being a pauper chargeable to the parish of Ipswich. The Police described Edgar Tricker in 1909 as “a continual trouble wherever he went.” At the same time, the workhouse master described him as “a perfect trouble whenever he was in the workhouse.” When Edgar Tricker, of no fixed abode, was sent to the workhouse he would be sent to the farm to work – he did not like this and after being sent to work, he would walk off, giving no notice of his wish to leave. Sometimes he waited and ran away the next day. Edgar would tell the courts that he did not know where his wife and children were.

Edgar was also described by the courts and the N.S.P.C.C., as a CALLOUS FATHER – who wilfully neglected his children. In 1900, Edgar was sent to prison for 4 months of Hard Labour for wilfully neglecting his two children in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering. He provided very little, and sometimes gave nothing to his wife and children, and often went away deserting his family. His children were left staving but for the kindness of the relatives of his wife. One of the children had been taken care of by a relation, and the other was in such a state that the doctor told the court that the child required medical attention, an abundance of fresh air, and good food.

In 1901, Edgar Tricker, a blacksmith, was once again summoned back to court by the N.S.P.C.C., for wilfully neglecting his children. He was sent to prison for 6 months of Hard Labour.

In 1902, at the October Quarter Sessions for the Borough of Ipswich, at the Town Hall, Edgar Tricker was before the Recorder T.C. Blofeld, Esq., who was accompanied on the Bench by Colonel J.H. Josselyn, J. May. R.M. Miller, and S.R. Anness, Esqrs. Edgar William Tricker, aged 24, a blacksmith, was indicted for wilfully neglecting his children – Alice Keates, aged four years, William Edward Tricker, aged two years, and Violet Tricker, aged six months. William pleaded not guilty. Mr. W. Stewart appeared for the prosecution, on behalf of the N.S.P.C.C.

It transpired that Edgar had drawn some money from his employer, then absented himself from the town, not giving the slightest warning to his wife, Sarah Tricker. Nothing was heard from Edgar again until the 6th September. During his time away, Sarah fell into a condition of serious destitution, and but for the assistance of her sister, Mrs. Alice Green and an Inspector of the N.S.P.C.C., who day by day brought food to her house, the children would have been totally unprovided for. This state of things could not last, however, and in July the children were taken by their mother to St. John’s Home, where they had been taken care of since. Happily, no serious injury had ensued from the father’s neglect.

Edgar Tricker, when arrested, said he had been earning 36s. a week at Colchester, Canterbury and London. Despite the earnings, he had not sent a single farthing for the maintenance of his wife and children. The Jury found Edgar Tricker “Guilty” and expressed acknowledgement of the services of Mrs. Sarah Tricker’s sister in providing the family with food. The N.S.P.C.C. stated that Sarah Tricker had done all she could to keep the home together, and her sister and the N.S.P.C.C. had frequently lent the family assistance. The Recorder sentenced Edgar William Tricker to 14 months’ hard labour.



On the 6th June 1914, 15 year old William was 1 of over a hundred boys embarking at the Port of London aboard the S.S.’Corinthian’ of the Allan Line bound for Canada as a Barnardos British Home Children. On arrival in Canada William was sent to the Barnardos House in Toronto, Ontario.

In January 1915, William was sent from the Barnardo’s House to Mr. Daniel McFaul, of Alton, Ontario be a Farmer’s Helper.


William’s sister, Alice Elizabeth Keates was also onboard the S.S. ‘Corinthian’ with over one hundred girls bound for Canada. It is not known what happened to Kate.


Extracted from the Canadian website click on the red writing below :

April 18, 1917. On arrival in England, they were taken in by the 12th Reserve Battalion on April 29, 1917. Without having this man’s service record, I don’t have details of his service until November 6, 1917. On that infamous date, he participated with the 3rd Battalion in their attack on Vine Cottage guarding the Goudbery Spur, a location that consisted of several concrete German pillboxes with concentrated machine gun fire. Here a Victoria Cross was awarded to Corporal Colin Barron for his attacks during the attack. The 3rd Battalion suffered a total of 240 casualties during this attack of which 87 were either killed or missing, one of the latter being our young William Tricker, who is thought to possibility be one of several unarmed 3rd Battalion soldiers interred in New British Passchendaele Military Cemetery, within a couple of hundred yards from Vine Cottage Farm. I believe he is lying next to ex-Toronto policeman Sydney Churchward, also from the 234th Battalion and the familiar soldier with three gold teeth. Private William Tricker’s name is perpetuated on the Menin Gate Memorial, in Ypres—age 17.




      1st Central Ontario Regiment, 3rd Battalion     

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