Arthur Frederick Pickard
Arthur Frederick Pickard
Arthur William Pickard, circa 1875
|Born||12 April 1844|
|Died||1 March 1880 (aged 35)|
Cimitiere Protestant du Grand Jus, Cannes
|Battles/wars||Invasion of Waikato|
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Order of Saint Stanislaus (Russia)
Order of Leopold (Austria)
Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Frederick Pickard VC, CB (12 April 1844 – 1 March 1880) was a British Army officer and courtier. For his actions in New Zealand in 1863, he was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. After further service and promotion in the Royal Artillery, Pickard was appointed an Equerry to the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn in 1871; seven years later, he was made Assistant Keeper of the Privy Purse and Assistant Private Secretary to the Queen and promoted to lieutenant-colonel, but died of tuberculosis in France, aged 35, less than two years later.
Pickard was born on 12 April 1844 at Forest Hill in the Nottinghamshire town of Worksop. He was the third son of a former officer in the Royal Artillery, Henry William Pickard (1794–1873), JP, of Sturminster Marshall, Dorset, and 11 Carlton Crescent, Southampton, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of John Fullerton, of Thrybergh Park in Yorkshire. The Pickard family claimed descent from a medieval Lord Mayor of London; in the 18th century, Jocelyn Pickard, a barrister from Lincoln's Inn, moved to Bloxworth House in Dorset and married a Dorsetshire heiress; Henry William Pickard was his great-grandson in the direct male-line, although he was his father's youngest son.
Military and court career
In 1858, Pickard was promoted from being a gentleman cadet in the Royal Artillery to the rank of lieutenant. In May 1871, Pickard was appointed Equerry to Prince Arthur, later the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn; later that year, he was promoted to the rank of second captain, and in 1872 to brevet major. In December 1877, the Queen appointed Pickard a groom-in-waiting after the resignation of Lieutenant-Colonel William Henry Frederick Cavendish; the following year, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and in July he stepped aside as Connaught's Equerry, when he was appointed Extra Equerry and Captain Alfred Mordaunt Egerton replaced him. Later that year, the Queen appointed him Assistant Keeper of the Privy Purse, and her Assistant Private Secretary, and shortly afterwards, he was promoted to the full rank of major. In March 1879, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath.
When Pickard was a 19-year-old lieutenant, he was serving in the Invasion of Waikato (one of the campaigns in the New Zealand Wars); he and Assistant Surgeon William Temple were awarded the Victoria Cross, the United Kingdom's highest bravery award, for the following deed, which took place on 20 November 1863 at Rangiriri, New Zealand. His citation reads:
For gallant conduct during the assault on the enemy's position at Rangiriri, in New Zealand, on the 20th of November last, in exposing their lives to imminent danger, in crossing the entrance of the Maori keep, at a point upon which the enemy had concentrated their fire, with a view to render assistance to the wounded, and, more especially to the late Captain Mercer, of the Royal Artillery.
Lieutenant Pickard, it is stated, crossed, and re-crossed the parapet, to procure water for the wounded, when none of the men could be induced to perform this service, the space over which he traversed being exposed to a crossfire; and testimony is borne to the calmness displayed by him, and Assistant-Surgeon Temple, under the trying circumstances in which they were placed.
On 1 March 1880, Pickard died at Cannes, in France, reportedly of tuberculosis. He was buried at the city's Grand Jas Cemetery. His medal group – consisting of his Victoria Cross, the insignia of the Order of the Bath, the Russian Order of St Stanislas and the Austrian Order of Leopold, and his New Zealand Medal – were purchased at auction in New Zealand on behalf of the Michael Ashcroft Trust in 2002. They are on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery in the Imperial War Museum in London.
- "Arthur Frederick Pickard, VC", Lord Ashcroft Medal Collection. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
- Hampshire Telegraph, Wednesday 10 March 1880, p. 3.
- Hampshire Advertiser, 6 September 1873, p. 4.
- B. Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, 6th ed. (1879), vol. 1, p. 252.
- The London Gazette, 16 July 1858 (issue 22162), p. 3286.
- London Gazette, 2 May 1871 (issue 23733), p. 2122.
- London Gazette, 10 October 1871 (issue 23783), p. 4200.
- The London Gazette, 5 January 1872 (issue 23815), p. 40.
- London Gazette, 28 December 1877 (issue 24536), p. 7457.
- The London Gazette, 11 June 1878 (issue 24591), p. 3557.
- London Gazette, 5 July 1878 (issue 24602), p. 3968.
- The London Gazette, 11 October 1878 (issue 24632), p. 5513.
- The London Gazette, 15 October 1878 (issue 24633), p. 5560.
- The London Gazette, 18 March 1879 (issue 24697), p. 2240.
- "No. 22896". The London Gazette. 23 September 1864. p. 4552.
- D. Harvey, Monuments to Courage: Victoria Cross Headstones and Memorials (Kevin and Kay Patience, 1999), vol. 1, p. 163.
- "Lord Ashcroft VC Collection". Retrieved 15 January 2013.