Richard M.A. Ridge was born in the December quarter of 1923 in the Oswestry Registration District (Oswestry Vol. 6a Page 1016). He was the son of John & Mary Elizabeth Ridge (nee Parry) who had married in the same registration district in the December quarter of 1912 (Oswestry Vol. 6a Page 1590).
The National Register was taken on the 29th September 1939, which is a source of birth dates and occupations of each household. I believe that he was part of a large family. Two brothers that were born before him were William T. Ridge, born on the 8th February 1916 and Sydney R. Ridge, born on the 22nd March 1918 who are seen on the 1939 National Register, but there are 6 closed or redacted records on the register and I believe that Richard M.A. Ridge was one of the 6. Head of the household was John Ridge, born on the 17thOctober 1888 and he was a Dairy Farmer. His wife Mary E. Ridge had been born on the 9th February 1891 and was also a Dairy Farmer. William T. Ridge, above, was a Steelworks Labourer (Heavy Worker) and also Sydney R. Ridge was a Contractor’s Labourer, (Heavy Worker).
As stated previously re the Closed records, the National register states that “For individual people, records remain closed for a century after their birth (the 100-year rule), unless it can be proven that they passed away before this milestone.”
So I have no information about Richard, born after the 1921 census, which hasn’t been released yet, which would have been a good source to refer to, so his early & teenage years are a mystery, but he would have been only about 14 or 15 years of age when war declared. Any information on his life would be gratefully received so we can, perhaps, show the person, rather than just his name, who made such sacrifices for us all to have freedom.
Sadly, also, as you can see on the WW2 War Memorial, he was not the only member of this household who was to sacrifice his life for us all, his brother, Sydney Robert Ridge, seen on the 1939 National Register was also to lose his life and ironically, 2 days before Richard, but in Germany.
He was to find himself in Belgium in the Royal Army Service Corps, who are vital to keep our army on the move.
Royal Army Service Corps – – https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/units/4495/royal-army-service-corps
THE ROLE OF THE RASC. – Military Training Pamphlet No23 Part 1.
The role of the RASC in the field falls into two main parts, supply and transport.
Supply embraces the provision of food, petrol and lubricants, fuel and light, hospital supplies and disinfectants.
Transport is concerned with the conveyance of the above supplies, together with ammunition, engineer stores, ordnance stores and post, from railhead, or from base if no railhead exists, to all units of a field force.
In addition RASC units are provided for the carriage of infantry, tanks and heavy bridging equipment. The mechanical transport of medical and certain other units is also found and operated by the RASC.
To enable these services to be undertaken effectively, the RASC are responsible for the provision, repair, and maintenance of their own mechanical transport.
General Transport Companies are allotted to divisions for the transport of ammunition, supplies and petrol. Similar companies are allotted to higher formations and for employment in Line of Communication areas as required.
Personnel of the RASC are trained to fight as infantry and RASC units are responsible for their own local defence.
ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS – Introduction
Discussion in ‘RASC’ started by Trux, Aug 29, 2010.
The Royal Army Service Corps was responsible for supply and transport in the army. Supply
included the provision of consumables including food, fuel and other such items. Transport
included the carrying of any supplies, stores, equipment or personnel.
I couldn’t find out what exactly he was doing on the day he died, but the Casualty List (Page 22) states that he “Died,” which normally means that he died of illness or natural causes, rather than being wounded or being “Killed in Action.”
His family could send for his service records by
Disclosures 1 (MP 520)
Army Personnel Centre
65 Brown Street
Tel: 0345 600 9663
The British Overseas War Deaths (Army – Other Ranks) 1939 – 1945 list his name with no further information than his rank and number etc., but he is listed above his brother Sydney’s name.
His parents were alive to bear the horrific news, possibly on the same day, if not, consecutive days, of their two sons dying.
I believe that John Ridge died on the 11th January 1961 and was buried at Vron (Fron) Bache Cemetery, where I believe Mary Elizabeth was to follow him a few years later.
Mary Elizabeth Ridge died on the 16th April 1966 as her probate shows:-
RIDGE, Mary Elizabeth of the Hollies, Vron Vache, Llangollen, Denbighshire died 16th April 1966 at Meadowslea Hospital, Penyffordd, Flintshire. Probate London 6 June to John Edwin RIDGE, Agricultural Fitter and Dudley Raymond RICHARDS, solicitor.
Richard was loved and missed by his family, who made sure that he and his brother Sydney were remembered by adding their names to the Hope WW2 War Memorial, to be remembered for perpetuity.