Percy (Percival) Rufus Stickells


Hastings & St Leonards War Memorial, southern end of Alexandra Park. Unveiled March 1922

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Photographer, 139 Bohemia Road, St Leonards. Percy Stickells was born on July 24, 1897 to Mary and Ambrose Stickells. He married Ethel Florence Free at West Ham in London in 1917. Like his father and paternal grandfather, he decided to become a photographer, and in about 1921 set up in business at St Leonards. Although mainly concerned with studio portraiture, he is known to have published a few black and white real photographic cards of St Leonards and its surroundings with his name and address stamped in purple ink on the back. The card shown above of the War Memorial at St Leonards lacks a caption, and may have been published in a hurry immediately after the unveiling of the Memorial in March 1922. Also lacking a caption is a card depicting U Boat, UB131, which was stranded on Bulverhythe beach at Hastings on January 9, 1921. By contrast, cards of Hollington Church and its wooded surroundings have captions in facsimile handwriting. The idiosyncratic lettering style makes these particular cards easy to recognise. It seems likely that a different person wrote the caption on the card of St Matthew's Church at St Leonards that has been selected for illustration. This same person was apparently also responsible for the captions of some cards of the Buchanan Hospital in St Leonards that Stickells published. Whether Stickells issued any cards of St Leonards or Hastings anonymously has not been determined, but he was still in business as a photographer at Bohemia Road in 1936. He died at Brighton in 1988.

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