Personal information about Richard Wickens

Below is all the information we have about Richard Wickens. As far as we know, the information is correct. However, if you find any errors or have additional information, certificates or pictures, please contact us so that we can update this page. Thank you.

Burial Information

Name on burial register:
   Richard Wickens
Burial register image
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Age at death:
Date of burial:
   28 December 1926
Abode at death:
(according to burial register)
   10 Kimber's Almshouses, Newbury
Burial register information:
Book number: 1917
Page number: 112
Record number: 10490
Official at burial:
   L.R. Majendie (Rector)
Source of information:
  Burial Register

Memorial Details

  Richard WICKENS
  24 December 1926
  4 kerbstones
  South facing Kerbstone: In Loving Memory Of Eliza Wickens who died Jan. 5th. 1918 aged 66. North facing Kerbstone: Also of Richard Wickens, died 24th. Dec. 1926 aged 76. At Rest.
  Poor condition. Heavy vegetation. Inlaid text.
  LS(D) 8
  28 August 2015
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Other people list on this memorial




Obituaries and Newspaper announcements

Richard Wickens
Article source:    Newbury Weekly News
Date of source:    30 December 1926
Copyright:    © Newbury Weekly News







The finding of the body of Mr Richard Wickens, aged 76, of Kimber’s Almshouses, in the Kennet and Avon Canal, near the Newbury football ground, on Christmas Eve, was described to the Borough Coroner (Mr S V Pinniger) at the inquest held in the police court on Tuesday afternoon.  Deceased was a victim of chronic rheumatism, and walked with the assistance of a stick.  It is thought that whilst walking along the canal towing path on Friday morning he stumbled and fell, and could not prevent himself from entering the water.  The sudden shock of immersion was too much for his heart, and he expired before help was forthcoming. 

A verdict of  ”Accidental Death” was returned.  Much sympathy is felt for the relatives on the sad event occurring, as it did, on the threshold of the festive season.


Evidence of identification was given by Richard Alfred Wickens, builder, of 73 Bartholomew Street, Newbury, who said deceased was his father, Richard Wickens, aged 76, and formerly a carpenter by trade, and for the past seven years he had lived at 10 Kimber’s Almshouses.  He last saw deceased alive about ten o’clock on Thursday morning, when he came to witness’ house.  Deceased then complained of his throat, and of feeling sick when about to eat food.  Witness advised him to see a doctor, which he promised to do.  For 14 years he had suffered from chronic rheumatism, and lately he had not felt safe or competent to walk without his stick.  But he had been in the habit of taking walks in the town, and regularly visited witness three four times weekly.  As likely as not he would have walked along the towing path amongst other places. Once or twice recently he had fallen down when out walking. He was not depressed except for occasional short intervals and witness knew of nothing to worry him beyond his rheumatism. Witness had ascertained that deceased left the almshouses on the morning of 10 15.

Doctor Charles Spears pm he was called to the canalside to see a man who had been drawn out of the water and he found him dead when he arrived. Artificial respiration had already been administered by the police. The body was still warm. Witness considered death was due to heart failure from the shock of a sudden immersion in cold water.

Thomas George Prosser, a Grammar School boy, of 38 Bartholomew Street, Newbury, said on Friday, about ten minutes past twelve, he was walking with a friend along the towing path near the Four Hatches, when he noticed a hat in the water and a stick on the bank about two yards from the edge of the water.  His friend pointed out a body in the water, and witness got it to the bank with the stick, whilst his friend went for help.  Three young men came along, and the four of them got the body out of the water.

Cyril James Carr, formerly a scholar at the Grammar School, of 37 Market Place, Newbury, corroborated the evidence of the previous witness, and added that he informed the police of the occurrence.

Police-Constable Lovelock said on Friday about 12.15 pm he received information from the witness Carr, and hurried with Constable Bushnell to the Four Hatches.  The body was lying on the bank; it was still warm, and they applied artificial respiration until Dr Speers arrived and stated that the man was dead.  The body was then conveyed to the Mortuary, and later identified as Richard Wickens.

  Witness mentioned that the lad Prosser acted smartly and to the best of his ability in trying to restore warmth to the deceased.


The Coroner said unfortunately there was no eye-witness of the occurrence, but from the evidence given he did not think there was any ground for calling it a case of suicide, neither would it be quite right to return an open verdict of “found drowned” but from deceased’s son’s evidence as to the somewhat crippled state of his father, the probabilities were that deceased stumbled or fell when in such a dangerous place as the canal towing path, and that he accidentally fell into the water.  He was 76 years of age and the sudden shock of falling into the icy cold water would be sufficient to cause heat failure.  He would therefore record a verdict of “Accidental death from shock following immersion through falling into Kennet and Avon Canal”  The Coroner said he would like to express his great sympathy with the deceased’s relatives in the sad ending of Mr Wickens’  life especially at this season of the year.

Mr R A Wickens, on behalf of his sister and himself, thanked the Coroner for the kind and sympathetic way he had dealt with the case, and P C Lovelock, who had been most kind and thoughtful throughout.    



Pictures and photographs

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Richard and Eliza Wickens and children Emily Richard and Winifred

©Ann Fletcher
Richard and Eliza Wickens and children Emily Richard and Winifred
Click to enlarge
key to Richard and Eliza Wickens and family

©Ann Fletcher
key to Richard and Eliza Wickens and family
Click to enlarge
Richard Wickens death cert

©Ann Fletcher
Richard Wickens death cert


Biographies & History

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