CWG: Sapper Herbert Ridge

Sapper Herbert Ridge

Herbert Gladstone Ridge was born in December 1886, the youngest of three children to Alfred and Sarah. Alfred was from Lancashire and had met and married his wife in Ireland, which is where Herbert’s older siblings had been born.

Sarah had died when Herbert was only eleven years old. Alfred’s skills were as a machine engineer, and, after his wife had passed away, he brought his family down to Somerset. Initially living with his father in Taunton, Herbert had found work as a piano tuner, and moved to a boarding house in Bristol to further his trade.

War was close, however, and, in July 1915, Herbert enlisted. Joining the Welsh Field Company of the Royal Engineers as a Sapper, he was quickly posted as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. He served nearly a year in Egypt, before being sent back to England in September 1916.

By this point, Sapper Ridge was suffering from a bout of tuberculosis, and had been sent back to England for treatment. The condition refused to clear up, however, and he was eventually discharged from the army on medical grounds three months after returning home.

Details of Herbert’s life after the army are sparse. It can be assumed, however, that he remained dogged by tuberculosis, and this is what eventually killed him. He passed away on 18th March 1918, aged just 31 years old.

Herbert Gladstone Ridge lies at rest in St Mary’s Cemetery in his adopted home town of Taunton in Somerset.


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