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WEST MIDLANDS POLICE GREAT WAR MEMORIAL SITE

 

 

ERNEST JOHN RANDALL

FREDERICK RATCLIFF

SAM CHIDLER RAVENHALL                                                                                                                                                        FULL REPORT
MGC badge
Sam Ravenhall was born circa 1894 in Castle Bromwich and baptised there on 5th August 1894.  His parents were John Joseph and Clara Louisa Ravenhall nee Shuttleworth and he had three older siblings, Clara Elizabeth (1888), John (1890), and George Joseph (1891).  The family lived in a cottage in Little Heath, Castle Bromwich and his father was a coal merchant's carter.
Sam joined Birmingham City Police on 18th September 1914 as a 20 year old labourer, and served on the ‘B’ Division with warrant number 8538.  He resigned 15th November 1915 to enlist in the Army, assigned to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers but later transfers to the 64th Company of the Machine Gun Corps.  He married Bertha Eliza Wilson in 1916, presumably prior to going to France.
The Battle of Morval commenced in the early hours of Monday 25th September 1916, aiming to seize the German held Grid Trench and the Gueudecourt-Le Transoy Road near Flers.  The attacking battalions, the 10th King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and the 1st East Yorkshire Regiment were held up by the wire entanglements in front of Grid Trench. These tenuous positions were held through the day and overnight.  At 6.30am the following morning a tank made its way up Pilgrims Way and assisted in the capture of Grid Trench and the Brigade managed to advance into and capture part of the Gueudecourt-Le Transoy Road with the village of Gueudecourt being entered during the afternoon. Casualties of 22 men killed are recorded, with Sam being among them.  His body was lost and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

WILLIAM REASON

GEORGE REDDING                                                                                                                                                                 FULL REPORT
George ReddingGeorge had served in the Royal Artillery in the early part of the 1900s but, upon leaving the army in 1911 he joined Birmingham City Police on 18th April 1911, serving on the ‘A’ Division with warrant number 7859.  On the outbreak of war he was immediately recalled to the colours, joining the Royal Field Artillery and going to France on 16th August 1914 with the BEF.
After just three weeks in France, George was captured on 4th September at the very beginning of the Battle of the Marne and immediately taken back to Germany, arriving there on 5th September and being incarcerated in a camp at Erfurt.
George remained a PoW throughout the war and was repatriated in 1919, whereupon he rejoined Birmingham City Police on 3rd March 1919.

FREDERICK REDLEY

HERBERT GEORGE STANLEY REED

JOHN S REYNOLDS

LEONARD RHODES

M HUBERT RICHARDSON

FREDERICK GEORGE RICKETTS

JAMES EDWARD RILEY

EDWIN ROBERTS

HARRY A ROBERTSON

ALBERT GEORGE ROBINSON

ARTHUR STRATFORD ROGERS

ARTHUR ROGERS

JOHN AUSTIN ROLLINS

WILLIAM ROSE

EDWARD J (GEORGE?) ROSSITER

JOHN ROWBOTHAM

EDWARD THOMAS ROWLEY

REGINALD ROWLEY

GEORGE HENRY RUFFLES                                                                                                                                                        FULL REPORTRoyal Warwickshire Regiment cap badgeGeorge Ruffles was born in 1894 in Plumtree, Nottinghamshire, and baptised on the 18th June 1894, at St Mary the Virgin Anglican Church in Plumtree.  As a child he resided 233 Mapperley Plains, Nottingham, his parents were George Alfred and Anne Ruffles (nee Brammer).  George had an older sister, Mary Frances (1892), and a younger sister, Doris Annie (1897).  George's father was working as a domestic gardener and in the 1911 census the 16 year old George was working in the family gardening business.
George joined Birmingham City Police on 17th March 1914 as a 19 year old; he served on the ‘C’ Division with warrant number 8451 and collar number C224. He resigned on 20th May 1915 and enlisted in the Army in Birmingham.
By July the following year he had already risen to the rank of Company Sergeant Major, service number 12099, in the 11th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
The Battle of the Somme had opened just over a week before and, at 4.30pm on Monday 10th July 1916, George's battalion launched an attack on the village of Contalmaison from the west, successfully gaining the village and repulsing a counter attack from the Prussian Guard. At 7.35pm that day a further attack was made against Bailiff Wood. The battalion was relieved the following day by the 10th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment to brigade reserve at Tara-Usna Ridge. George's battalion moved into support trenches near Contalmaison Wood during Thursday 13th July 1916 and took part in an attack on Pozieres at 9.20am on Saturday 15th July 1916 advancing east of Contalmaison Wood behind the 8th Battalion, East Lancashire and 6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiments. The attack was initially unopposed but then the attacking battalions encountered severe machine gun fire as they crested Chalk Pit. The machine gun fire coupled with a narrow frontage eventually forced the retirement at 2.30am the following morning. Casualties of 275 men were taken in George's battalion with the survivors being relieved to Albert later the same day.
George was killed, probably during this withdrawal, on 16th July 1916.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

JOHN HENRY RUSSELL

JOHN RUSSELL

JAMES COCKBURN RUTHERFORD

JOSIAH WILLIAM RUTHERFORD

CHARLES RUTTER

ALBERT VICTOR RYDER