By 1940 all but emergency construction work was halted and the war quickly claimed most of his students. In 1942 Carrick finally retired, settling with his wife Janet at the family's holiday home, 'The Onsteads', at Midlem in the Scottish Borders. Anne Scott told me there was talk of setting up a small studio in the house but this never happened. Sculpture, particularly the work of the monumental mason, is physically demanding and was often undertaken in yards with basic protection from the elements. Such work must take its toll and must have contributed to Carrick's early retirement.
Carrick took up gardening and, being something of a coinnoisseur, took pleasure in growing his own food. The couple also took in evacuees, young children sent from the cities which where being bombed, to the safety of the country where Alex would show them how to model in clay. Carrick had been a keen athlete and ran for Edinburgh Harriers in his youth. He enjoyed going to Rugby games at the Greenyards in Melrose and organising athletic games for his grandchildren in the garden. He had a lifelong love of angling especially with his brother in law at Loch Eck in Argyle and Glen Etive.
Later with failing health and eyesight he had to give up gardening and he and Janet moved to a smaller cottage in nearby Darnick.
Alexander Carrick died in Galashiels in 1966. Following the publication of some very short obituaries friends and fellow artists attempted to have an 'Appreciation' of Carrick's work and life published in The Scotsman newspaper, but the piece was refused and never published.