b. 12/04/1844 Forest Hill, Worksop, Nottinghamshire. d. 01/03/1880 Cannes, France.
Arthur Frederick Pickard (1844-1880) was born 12th April 1844, little is known about his early life though it appears he was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. He enlisted with the Royal Regiment of Artillery, and as a young lieutenant of just nineteen was posted with his Regiment to the Waikato-Hauhau Maori War of 1863.
On 20th November 1863, during the assault on the enemy’s position at Rangiriri, New Zealand, Pickard crossed the entrance of the Maori keep under intense enemy fire, with the aim of giving medical aid to the wounded, and in particular Captain Mercer of the Royal Artillery, who was lying in the open. Pickard crossed and re-crossed the parapet to procure water for the wounded, and he supported Assistant Surgeon William Temple in his efforts to save the life of Captain Mercer, though sadly this was in vain, as Mercer died later of his injuries.
His citation appeared in the London Gazette on 23rd September 1864, and he received his medal from Major-General Ridley at the Royal Barracks, Dublin, Ireland on the 13th April 1865.
Brother Pickard was initiated into the Friends of Council Lodge No. 1383 on 27 July 1872, was passed on 3 October 1872 and raised on 8 April 1973. He became a joining member of the Lodge of Friendship (now The Royal Lodge of Friendship) in 1875, by which time he had been promoted to Major. He “called off” from Friendship in January 1876 (calling off was a common practice formilitary brethren which meant they could return to a lodge without the need for ballot should they return at a future date).
Arthur Frederick Pickard was eventually promoted Colonel, and created a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB). He was Equerry to H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught (also a member of Friendship) and later Equerry to Her Majesty Queen Victoria. He died on 1st March 1880, in Cannes, France,from tuberculosis, and is buried in the Cimetière du Grand Jas de Cannes, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur Region, France. Pickard’s medals were owned by a military collector in New Zealand called Daryl Hicks. Following his death, Hicks’ collection was auctioned in New Zealand at Dunbar Stone in Wellington. Pickard’s medals were sold for $190,000 and purchased by the Ashcroft Trust and are now part of the Ashcroft Gallery in the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: CIMITIERE PROTESTANT DU GRAND JUS, CANNES, FRANCE.
Arthur Pickard's medals including VC at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London
RA Chapel, Woolwich
Worksop, Nottinghamshire (Brian Drummond)