Jessie Louisa Rickard - 1876-1963.
Born in Dublin as Jessica Louisa Moore, younger daughter of
Canon Courtenay Moore M.A.,.
She next married Lieut. Colonel Victor Rickard, (Roman Catholic) a professional officer of the 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers who featured prominently in the painting 'The Last Absolution of the Munsters' by the war artist Matania. Lieut. Colonel Victor Rickard
was KIA 9 May 1915.
Jessie spent her youth in Mitchelstown, and when only 18 (1894)
wrote a series of hunting sketches which appeared in the Cork Examiner.
married Robert Dudley Innes Ackland, by whom she had a daughter,
and later divorced him which caused a rift with her father.
Now widowed and with a son to support, she reverted to writing
as a source of income. She first published The Story of the Munsters
(1915) which provided the subject for this well-known Matania picture,
depicting the Chaplain of the Munsters, Father Francis Gleeson,
giving the Munsters their last absolution. She also published a
series of articles in New Ireland during 1915 entitled The Irish
at the Front, in which New Ireland claimed several soldiers received
medals as a result.
Illness and publishing difficulties due to the WW2 brought an end to her industrious output. She came to live at Lower Montenotte in Cork city in 1948 where she wrote her last novel.
She was a close friend of Lady Hazel Lavery (1880–1935). A debilitating stroke in the 1950's left Jessie
paralysed on one side and she taught herself to write with her left
hand, with characteristic courage. In her later years, she lived in the
Montenotte home of Denis Gwynn whose wife was a daughter of Lady Lavery by her first marriage.
Times Saturday January 8th 1921.
Times Saturday January 15th 1921.
Rickard has presented to St. Lukes, Pinner,
a memorial painting of 'The Last General Absolution
of the Munster Fusiliers', which represents
an incident which occurred before the engagement
in which her husband, Colonel Rickard, was killed.(London
However some years ago the Parish
priest of St. Luke's, Father Robert Plourde advised
me by email the copy of the Last General Absolution
presented by Jessie Rickard, has been long lost. To date a definite
with St. Luke's R.C. Church, the 'memorial painting'
and Jessie Rickard has not been established. Soldiers
names on the Pinner war memorial were checked,
but none identified as having served with the Munster
Extract from Wikipedia.
Having moved to England for some years, she
was received into the Catholic Church in 1925 by
Rev. Joseph Leonard C.M. who at that time was
stationed with the Vincentians at Strawberry Hill, London.
The Times, Wednesday, Jan 30, 1963.
obituary appeared in the London Times.
Mrs. Victor Rickard's passed away on Monday 28 January
1963, Jessie was aged 86 and is buried in Rathcooney Cemetery, Greater Cork.
Photo right her grave in Rathcooney Cemetery,
Portrait Jessie Rickard Dublin
Victor Rickard obituary Times digital
Mrs Victor Rickard's grave J. Prendergast.