Author Topic: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18  (Read 5340 times)

Offline Tim Bell

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Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« on: February 14, 2014, 07:33:30 PM »
Hi All,
One of my Grandad's cousins was killed in action.  It's a bit strange to start this new branch of family research and I would welcome any help.  Alfred's brother Ernest was discharged from 20th Bttn. with chronic diarrhoea after 54 days.  This is diffferent.

Here's Tony's bit:-
Remembered today:

21st January 1918

1095 Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge, 18th Battalion.Previously served with the 1st Battalion. Son of Isabella (Grandad's Mum's sister) and the late Alfred Ridge of 39, Caton Street, Hulme.Killed in action 21st January 1918 aged 31. Buried in Harlebeke New British Cemetery Belgium.

                                                             "Not forgotten"
SDGW
Name:    Alfred Ridge
Birth Place:    Holy Trinity, Manchester
Residence:    Hulme, Manchester
Death Date:    21 Jan 1918
Death Location:    France & Flanders
Enlistment Location:    Ashton-under-lyne, Lancs
Rank:    L/Corporal
Regiment:    Manchester Regiment
Battalion:    18th Battalion
Number:    1095
Type of Casualty:    Killed in action
Theatre of War:    Western European Theatre

Alfred's photo was published in M.E.N. on 30/5/18.  If Atherton sees the post the pic would be great. 

In the 1st Battalion, Alfred went overseas on 27/8/14 and received a clasp 2/2649.  Can anyone tell me what this means? I have one of my strange hunches that Alfred was probably wounded with 1st before transfer to 18th Battalion.  Does anyone have an idea if this was the case?

I will report circumstances of Alfred's death if I can see it in the records.

Cheers

Tim




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Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2014, 08:10:07 PM »
For January 1918 the host site says:-
13th
Moved to Nesle arriving on the 14th. Whilst training here, a draft of 98 men joined.
The Battalion made a number of moves until the 29th when it relieved the 15th French Cavalry Regiment in the trenches in the Foret d’Epinios remaining here until the 9th February.

The Official History of 18th confirms that the Bttn was away from the front in billets at Libermont between 19th and 26th Jan.  This is near St Quentin - nowhere close to Harlebeke, close to Ypres.  It makes little sense for Alfred to have being serving with 18th Bttn when he was killed.
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Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 07:24:32 AM »
The 1911 Census shows Alfred serving in India with 1st Battalion.  His date of entry into France is similar to the date the 1st returned from India.
T
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Offline mack

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Re: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 10:35:52 AM »
the plot that alfreds buried in,was made in 1923/1924 from graves exhumed from german cemeteries in belgium.

mack ;D

Offline mack

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Re: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 10:42:16 AM »
wayne cant help with the picture from the M.E.N,they havent digitised the papers for 1918 yet

mack ;D

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 12:39:10 PM »
wayne cant help with the picture from the M.E.N,they havent digitised the papers for 1918 yet

mack ;D
And they've closed the actual paper library in Colindale....
I imagine the Obit. will clear up the mystery.  If any one has a copy, or access to a library copy, their help would be appreciated.
T
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Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2014, 12:53:01 PM »
the plot that alfreds buried in,was made in 1923/1924 from graves exhumed from german cemeteries in belgium.

mack ;D
I read the CWGC details about this possibility.  Alfred's card also says missing. This would tie in with being taken prisoner, dieing in German hands and being buried in one of their cemeteries.

It doesn't make sense that the 18th Bttn were 140 Km to the south when Alfred died.  I  wonder if he had been attached somewhere else, but still posted to 18th for the CWGC records.  Is this possible?

Tim
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Offline mack

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Re: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 04:12:51 PM »
the point is,where was the battalion when he went missing,he could have been missing for months or more and theres the fact that he would have been transported many miles away by the germans

mack ;D

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2014, 05:45:35 PM »
Mack,

Thanks for this.  I'm still confused and imagine the M.E.N. article will provide my answer.  Could the date of death mean the date he went missing - rather than the date he was confirmed dead?

It's a little strange that SDGW says KiA, when he more likely died of wounds after being recorded missing.  I'd thought that records of dead PoWs were exchanged via the Red Cross.  This then let me assume Alfred probably died very soon after being captured and was initially buried nearby. The Germans then reported the death and he was treated as KiA rather than DoW.

If German records of Alfred's death weren't forthcoming, it makes sense he was initially treated as missing and hearing no news of his capture, this was changed to KiA.  In the interim a wounded Albert may have been transported north from Arras and perhaps temporarily held in a camp near Ypres.

The wounded Alfred may have also died in a German Clearing Station near Ypres where the Battalion left for Arras on 7th Jan. The date in January would then have been the date he was re-recorded as KiA instead of Missing. I'll have a look at their action in December / November to see if there is a note of missing men.

Edit . A number of men were missing at Polderhoek on 14th December.  If the SDGW casualty should be DoW, rather than KiA, it would make sense Alfred was seriously wounded when captured and then treated by the Germans.  He then died on later in the next month. Speculation though..

T
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 05:56:18 PM by Tim Bell »
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Offline mack

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Re: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2014, 07:35:33 AM »
theres nothing strange about SDGW getting the death wrong,the book has many errors,a couple of examples,mark hones recent post about one of his soldiers who is listed as killed on 8th august 1915 when in fact he was killed in october 1915,read the report about our research into the men killed with the 18th manchesters,search the forum for "a safe place to shelter"these men are listed in SDGW as dying on three different dates,some are listed as killed,which isnt correct,they suffocated

mack ;D

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2014, 08:22:57 AM »
Thanks Mack,
I'd read that post before.  I'm learning to follow your tip that most records are not always accurate and cross referencing is needed to be sure of anything.
We have a grave near Ypres for a man exhumed from somewhere else in Belgium that was probably a German Cemetery.  The January 1918 date of death is more likely the date he was re-posted as "assumed killed in action" rather than initially posted missing.

Unsatisfactory way of remembering one of the pre-war Regulars. :(

Tim
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Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2014, 04:43:18 PM »
This is the action where it's possible Alfred was mortally wounded andd captured.  From 18th Bttn History on Host site.

11th December 1917
The Battalion relieved the 2nd Bedfordshire’s in the Polderhoek sector of the front line. At 2.00am on the 14th a message was received from Brigade HQ that the enemy was preparing an attack on the Battalion’s sector. The troops in the line were stood to and at 6.00am the attack began accompanied by a heavy trench mortar and artillery barrage. The German troops appeared on the wire some 30 to 50yards away and tried to bomb their way towards and along the trenches, but were beaten off. About 10.00am the battalion was reinforced by 2 companies of the 17th Manchester’s-about 70 in number- and between 4 and 5pm 2 companies of the 2nd Royal Scots also reinforced. About 8.00pm a counter attack took place and, although the enemy put up stiff resistance they were beaten back.
Bombing blocks were established and the battles continued all of the day. In the early hours of the 15th the men, greatly exhausted were replaced at the bombing blocks by the 2nd Royal Scots. At 8.00am the enemy had established themselves in shell holes only 20 yards in front of the front line. They were held at bay until the supply of bombs ran out and the men then fell back to the support trenches. It was decided that this position was to be evacuated and the line was established in a stronger position 100 yards to the rear.
Losses in the above actions were:
1 Officer and 119 Other ranks Killed, Wounded or Missing.
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Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Lance Corporal Alfred Ridge 1st & 18th Bttn. KiA 21/1/18
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 07:54:27 PM »
Thanks to Roy the Medal Rolls are available here http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?topic=7758.msg50848#msg50848

"There is a Militia file for a Alfred Ridge 16 years old joining the 6th Militia Bn 25th March 1906 then moving over the the regular Bn 1907.

His medal roll page for the BWM & VM puts him in the 1st Bn, 12th Bn & 11th Bn."

We have a substantial record of 12 years with the Regiment in the Militia, Regulars and Service Battalions.  I've found with help from  http://manchesterfamilyhist.proboards.com/  that Alfred and his brother spent time in the Chorlton workhouse in 1902 when their father died.

Further updates if we find anything else about the circumstances of his death in 1918.

Tim
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