Author Topic: Great Central Railway Personnel, Manchester who served & were lost in WW1  (Read 7265 times)


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Hello, I am new to the forum so don't know the protocol but hope someone can help me with my quest.

My husband's grandfather, James Battle Ritchie, was lost in the 2nd Scarpe Battle for Arras on St. George's Day, 23rd April 1917. He served as an Accounts Clerk in Manchester for the Great Central Railway before the First World War however I can find no mention of him on any Great Central Railway memorial in Manchester.  His name is listed on the 'Arras Faubourg-d'Armiens Memorial', like so many others, he has no grave.

I have attached a photo of him, (seated middle of pic), together with what I assume are his Army pals, before leaving for France. Also, a copy of his Memorial Certificate.

I would be very grateful for any information about Lance Corporal James Battle Ritchie and/or his service with the Railway. 

Thank you.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 10:01:16 AM by Nonnapaula »

Offline charlie

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Hello Nonnapaula and welcome to the forum.

James Battle Ritchie was employed by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln Railway and Canal Company which he joined on 26.02.1894 aged 15 and 3 months.

He enlisted into the 17th Battalion on 24.05.1915 and was posted to France on 18.12.1916. He was killed between Henin and Wancourt and left 129 pounds and 5 Shillings to his widow Annie.

The documents are all available on Ancestry which should be available at your local library if you do not have an account. James has been abbreviated to Jas on some records.

I wonder how he gained the name Battle.



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Hi folks, many thanks for all your replies. It's amazing!
The name 'Battle' comes from James' Grandmothers maiden name & was passed onto the second generation son - hence my husband's middle name is Battle.

We believe that the house where they are sitting in the photo is James's family home in Openshaw, Manchester No. 17. He is accompanied either side in the photo by his sisters and his son, my husband's father, John Charles Ritchie is the boy in the front on the floor.

We do not know who the other soldiers are but would be very interested in knowing. We have just returned from Arras following a week trip to the Monument and War Cemeteries for the 100th Anniversary of James's death. We took quite a few photos of the names of the Manchester Regiment hoping to find out if any of the soldiers in the photo were amongst them - we hope not! 


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James Battle Ritchie, Lnc Corp. 17th Bn Manchester (PALS 2nd City)
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2017, 03:17:38 PM »
Just a little more info on James. Before the war he was known for his Baritone Solo's and won the attached Certificate for such a concert.

Offline mack

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the other men in the photo are all 7th manchesters,james was in the 17th battalion



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Thanks for letting me know.  I assume they were his friends as they were with him & his family. It's great to hopefully, find out who they are/were.