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Richard was born in Calcutta in 1885, the son of Lucy Edridge (from Bilston) and Edward Ridges (from London). Richard had an older sister Lucy born 1882 and a brother John born 1883. By 1891 the family was back in England living at 29 Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton with Richard’s maternal grandparents. Richard’s grandfather after whom he was named was a former tea dealer. Did this explain the family’s stay in India?

Richard’s father Edward Ridges was now a coach builder. On the 1901 census the family was living at Larches Lane, Wolverhampton. Richard’s sister Lucy was a milliner’s assistant. On the 1911 census she and Julia had no occupations. In 1911 the family was living at Karagola, 12 Crawford Street, Wolverhampton. They had nine rooms and on both the 1901 and 1911 census returns there was a female servant, Martha Walker in 1901 and Annie Bishop in 1911. Richard was not recorded at home on the 1911 census, as he was a pharmaceutical servant in London.

Edward and Lucy Ridges had been members of the Queen Street Congregational Church since 1893 and Richard is on the church’s 1914-15 Roll of Honour. Richard joined the Royal Army Medical Corps (unit number 534488) and served with the 4th London Field Ambulance. He was discharged on 11 April 1918 for ill heath and received a pension from 12 November 1918. He had been diagnosed with tuberculosis of the lower dorsal vertibrae, judged to be aggravated by war service, and neurasthenia judged to be caused by the war. His salary before he enlisted had been £3.50 a week and he was granted £5 a week.

The good news is that Richard’s tuberculosis did not prove to be fatal. He married Hettie Fuller in 1925, and on the 1939 National Register was working as a chemist and living at 42 Ashwood Road, Worcester. Probably after retirement he moved to Leigh-on-Sea where he died on 23 June 1967 at 68 Hillside Crescent, leaving an estate after probate of £9534. He does not appear to have had any children.

The research for this blog post has been completed by volunteer Susan Martin.

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