RIDGE, Robert – Gresford War Memorial

by Mavis Williams




Pic by John Davies 19/04/2014

Robert Ridge was the son of John & Jane Ridge and was born circa 1889.    He first appears on the 1891 census living with his family at 2, Chirk Mill, Chirk, Denbighshire.    Head of the household was John Ridge, 36 a Miller’s Waggoner who had been born in Llanfair, Montgomeryshire. His wife Jane, 30 had been born in Llangollen, Denbighshire. Also in the household were their children , Catherine, Ann, 9 and Mary Ellen, 7, both born in Llangollen. Jane, 5, John Daniel, 4, and Robert, 2 had all been born in Chirk, Denbighshire.

The family were living at Mill Cottages, Chirk, Denbighshire on the 1901 census, again, John Ridge, 46, was head of the household and still a Mill Waggoner (Carrier), Jane was 40, and  this census tells us that John & Jane were bilingual, speaking English and Welsh. The rest of the family spoke only English. The family had grown with Jane, 15, John Daniel, 14, David, 8, Emily, 5, Dora, 2 and baby Gladys Winifred 4 months. Robert, who would have been age 12 is nowhere to be seen on this census, so any help would be appreciated.

The 1911 census tells us that the family had moved to live at 8, Cleveland Street, Ruabon, Denbighshire. (6 Rooms).    John Ridge was now 56 and a Horse Driver for a Brick and Terracotta Works, Jane, 50 tells us that they had been married 31 years and 11 children had been born, but sadly 3 had died.   Daughter Jane, 25 and single, John Daniel, 24, single, a Lampman (Above Ground in the Colliery as was  Robert, 22 and single were all bilingual on this census.    Daughters Emily, 15, Dora, 12 and Gladys Winifred, 10 spoke only English.


The following year – 1912 Robert married in St. Mary’s Church, Ruabon:-

Ruabon Parish Registers

Page 7 No 13 13th May 1912 Robert RIDGE, 23, Bachelor. Lampman, Ruabon, John RIDGE, Carter & Elizabeth Ann EVANS, 21, Spinster, Ruabon, , Benjamin EVANS, Watchman.    After Banns.

Witnesses:- John D. RIDGE & Lucy MARTIN


Their son John D. Ridge was born the same year (Wrexham County Borough (Wrexham) RBN/089/83).

By 1913 Robert had enlisted in the Army – The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, as his Attestation Papers show the date as 6th June 1913 at Ruabon, Regimental Number  7262, however I think it was for the 2nd time as he states on the form  – Previous Army Service ? – Yes 4TH R.W.F. Termination of Engagement (6329*)

*Was this his old regimental number?    I have been unable to find any papers for that number.


There is a description of Robert:-

Next Paper – Medical Inspection Report

Height – 5 feet 10 inches.

Chest Measurement – 36 inches, Range of expansion – 2 inches.

Vision – Good

Physical Development – Good.

6th June 1913 at Ruabon.


7262 RIDGE, Robert   4th R.W.F.

Born – In the Parish of Chirk in the town of Ruabon in the County of Denbighshire.

Age 24 years.

Trade – Collier

Employer – Vauxhall Colliery Coy.

Reside? – No. 8 Park St., Ruabon

Married? – No.

Previous Army Service – Yes 4TH R.W.F. Termination of Engagement (6329)

Paper ripped no proper date but I think it was in 1913.


Next Paper – Receipt signed by E.A. RIDGE on the 16th April 1919 for the 14 Star.

Next Paper – Letter from War Office to Infantry Records No. 2, Coleham, Shrewsbury infoming them that any personal property and medals to be sent to Mrs. Elizabeth A. RIDGE, Royal Oak Inn, Gresford.  7th August 1918.

Next Paper – Private Property of Roberts.

Letters, Photos in Case, 1 Notebook, 1 Mirror in Case, Mons Ribbon, 1 Key, 1 Metal Check, 1 Pair Scissors, 1 Watch (Damaged), 1 Flask.

Next paper – Casualty Form, see Folder.

Next Paper – Receipt for Medals dated 24th March 1922 signed by Elizabeth Ann as Mrs. E.A BEBBINGTON, 22, Newtown, Gresford.


Next paper – Statement of the Names and Addresses of all the Relatives of the above-named deceased soldier in each of the degrees specified below that are now living

Widow of the Soldier – Elizabeth Ann RIDGE

Children of the Soldier – John Denis RIDGE, 19th September 1912 Royal Oak, Gresford

Father of the Soldier – John RIDGE – Duke Street, Ruabon

Mother of the Soldier – Jane RIDGE – Duke Street, Ruabon

Full blood brothers of the Soldier – John David RIDGE, 32, School Lane, Exhall?

NO Half-blood brothers

Full blood sisters of the Soldier – Catherine HATTON, 36, Chapel House, Ruabon

Mary Ellen HAMPSON, 34, Cinders Lane, Ruabon

Jane ROWLAND, 33, Kerry Street, Ruabon

Emily RIDGE, 23, Duke Street, Ruabon

Dora, LINES, 21, Glebe Place, Kirkstall, Leeds.

Gladys RIDGE, 19, Duke Street, Ruabon

 NO Half-blood sisters.

No Grandparents

10 Nephews and 6 Nieces.

Uncles and Aunts BY BLOOD of the Soldier – I regret I am unable to fill in these details, as I am not in touch with all my husbands relatives.

Declaration filled in and signe by E.A. RIDGE, Widow, Royal Oak, Gresford at Gresford on the 10th January 1920 and witnessed by J. PARRY ADAMS, J.P. for County, The Orchards, Gresford.

Next Paper – Receipt for the King’s Message and Memorial Scroll signed by E.A. RIDGE, 28th June 1920

Next paper – Pension – See Folder.

Lots of papers with little or nothing on them.

Next Paper – Died of Wounds Received in Action at 5th London Field Ambulance, France.22nd March 1918

Next Paper – Military History Sheet – Home 6th June 1913 – 4th November 1914 – 1 years 152 days

France 5th November 1914 – 22nd March 1918 – 3 years 138 days – Total 4 years 290 days

(Wife) Elizabeth Ann RIDGE, 8, Park St., Ruabon 7, Cunliffe Walk, Garden Village, WSrexham


Robert Ridge in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 tells us that he was in the 4th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was born in Chirk, Denbighshire and enlisted in Ruabon, and that he died of wounds.

Robert Ridge in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his widow Elizabeth Ann who received £7 18s 1d on the 3rd August 1918 and also his War Gratuity of £ 17 on the 21st November 1919. (This confirms to me that he had been in the Army longer/before as the average War Gratuity for new recruits was £3.)

Robert Ridge in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 tells us that he was awarded the Victory & British War Medals  and the 14 Star, but doesn’t tell us what Theatre of War he was first in, but he entered it on the 6th November 1914.

Elizabeth Anne was to remarry in the December Quarter of 1921 at Wrexham, her new husband was John Bebbington. (Wrexham Volume Number:       11b Page Number: 534).

Elizabeth Ann Bebbington died age 79 in March 1970 in Wrexham Registration District (Volume: 8a

Page:     2672 ), this source also gives her birth date as 4th November 1890.


Researched and compiled by Mavis Williams

HERMIES HILL BRITISH CEMETERY, FRANCE.

History

Hermies was seized on the morning of the 9th April 1917, by a surprise attack of the 2nd and 3rd Australian Infantry Battalions. It was held against the advancing Germans on the 22nd March 1918, by the 17th Division, but evacuated on the following day; and it was retaken in September 1918. It was later “adopted”, with Havrincourt, by the County Borough of Huddersfield. The cemetery was begun in November 1917, and carried on by fighting units until March 1918, and further graves were added in the following September. These original burials comprise nearly the whole of Plot I; the remaining three Plots were added after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from a wide area round Hermies and from certain small cemeteries, including:- DEMICOURT GERMAN CEMETERY, BOURSIES, at the North end of the hamlet of Demicourt, which contained about 100 German graves and those of 15 unidentified men of the 7th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. HAVRINCOURT COTTAGE GARDEN CEMETERY, made by the 47th (London) Division in the Southern part of the village, which contained the graves of 30 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 5 Germans who fell in the winter of 1917-1918. HAVRINCOURT WOOD BRITISH CEMETERY, about 1 kilometre South-West of Havrincourt village. It contained the graves of 70 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell on the 20th November, 1917, the first day of the Battle of Cambrai, and all but 5 of whom belonged to the Infantry of the 62nd (West Riding) Division. HERMIES AUSTRALIAN CEMETERY, on the North-West side of the village, which contained the graves of 1 officer and 20 N.C.O.s and men of the 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion, who fell on the 9th April 1917. There are now over 1,000, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, nearly 300 are unidentified and special memorials are erected to 28 soldiers from the United Kingdom and 3 from Australia, known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of 6 soldiers from the United Kingdom, buried in two German Cemeteries, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery covers an area of 3,629 square metres and is enclosed by a brick wall.


Pic by John Davies 19/04/2014

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