Born in Chelsea, London, he was apprenticed to architect J Lovell at the age of 15. After studying at the RA
Schools he worked for a number of architects, including
and George Sherrin
and William Flockhart
for whom he designed the lantern on the dome of the Brompton Oratory, London (1894).
In partnership with H V Lanchester
and James Stewart
, he won the competition for Cardiff City Hall and Lawcourts (1899-1903), one of several of the firm's huge Neo-Baroque buildings which incorporated sculpture by
, including Deptford Town Hall (1903).
A frequent designer of public monuments he collaborated with
on the Lord Roberts
Monument, Calcutta (1894-8) and, after visiting Vienna, published The Art of the Monument (The Builder, 28 May, 1910).
He collaborated with
again on public sculpture at Bristol, a public fountain (1907) and a statue of King Edward VII
(1913), for which Rickards designed the pedestal, and the Lord Roberts
Memorial, Glasgow (1916), which was a copy of the Roberts Monument in Calcutta on which
. They also produced the monument to World War I air ace Captain Albert Ball VC
at Nottingham (1918).
Rickards volunteered for service in World War I but was invalided back to England in 1916. His final architectural work was done for the war effort and included the Army Transport Depot, Slough (1918-19).
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