“Taffy” Richard Henry Pick (1907-2000)


Taffy Pick was born in Barry  Wales, UK, in 1907 to Frederick and Emily Pick.  He left school when he was 13 years old.  His first job was to look after pit ponies at a coal mine. A year later he worked down the pit. Following a mine accident, he and his family moved to Raglan where he attended Raglan School and  worked on Gwenerthig farm on Chepstow Road.  

When Taffy was 16 years old he went by ship to Brisbane, Australia, with one of his uncles and obtained farm work. Six months later his uncle died and Taffy had to fend for himself.  He worked on the Arltunga  Goldfield near Alice Springs.  There he married Ada Smith and they had 3 children.  Taffy said that Christmas 1935 at Arltunga was a ‘League of Nations’ Christmas, and one of the best he ever spent.  A dozen miners of eight nationalities spend the day with him, Ada and their two daughters.  The prospectors came from Albania, Germany, America, Sweden, China, Scotland and Australia, while Taffy came from Wales.  

Soon after World War II broke out, Taffy enlisted in the army and was sent to the Middle East, serving at Tobruk, Greece and Crete. When Crete capitulated the island was handed over to the Germans to save loss of life. Taffy and Snow were sent to the POW camp in Salonika, Greece, where one day while their guards were arguing, they walked out of the gate. Some Greeks hid the two 'Diggers' then betrayed them to the Germans for payment. The two soldiers were taken back to the camp and put in different compounds. They were unable to meet again until after the war.  From Salonika the POW’s were sent to Germany.  Taffy was held as a POW for four years of the war, but even there could not be hemmed in.  During the time he made four escape attempts, but each time was forced to surrender himself.  His punishment was time in solitary confinement, something he said he found easier to endure than most because of his experience of being alone out bush.

He was finally freed by the Americans and went back to Wales to see his parents, Frederick and  Lillie whom he had not seen for 21 years.  When he returned to Alice Springs he found that his wife, thinking he was dead, had remarried.  Taffy felt he could not interrupt the alliance and arranged for a divorce so that Ada could marry Jack, but he maintained Ada's friendship and 'kept an eye' on his children.  Taffy never married again.  He worked on the roads and settled his own farm at what is known as Casino Crossing.  He also build the first Todd River crossing in the area.  This crossing was named after Taffy in 1996.   Taffy loved living in the outback of Australia but never forgot his Welsh roots.  After he died, his ashes were brought back to Raglan and interred in the St Cadoc’s Churchyard  (Ashes. P1050063, R6-9).  

Born on Barry Island, Wales, 2nd June, 1907.  (Richard Pick, b. 1910?  Barry, 21 Laura st. Cadoxton Barry, Glamorgan, Wales, parents:  Frederick Pick aged 33, Emily Pick, 30. Percy Pick, 10, Gladys Pick, 7, Reginald Pick, 4, Edith Pick, 2, Richard Pick 10/12 Ancestry.co.uk)

Passed on at Alice Springs Northern Territory, Australia, 15th March, 2000

Aged 92 years.

Dad of:  Ruth (dec), Gwen and Kevin.  Sadly missed ‘Bandy” (grandfather) of Carol, Lorraine, Diane and Lewis and Beloved Great Grandfather of Siobhan, KenRrick, Alex, Kyle and Cade

‘Now the labourer’s task is 0’er

Now the battle day is past

Now upon the farther shore

Lands the voyager at last’

Ancestry records

1934 and 1949 - Richard Henry Pick, Alice Springs, Northern territory

Aus Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980

Return to Graveyard:  PICK, Richard (Taffy)

Ancestry.co.uk Richard Henry “Taffy” Pick

BeJ13 Taffy Pick Ashes

Bev Jones - visiting Taffy’s Burial in St Cadoc’s Churchyard