Shaftesbury Grammar School War Memorial

John Riddey

Surname: Riddey
Other names: John
Other people in this story:
John Augustus Riddey
Mary Riddey (nee Robinson)
Locations in this story:
Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
Shaftesbury Grammar School, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Arras Memorial, France
Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire

John Riddey was born in 1896 in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. He was the son of John Augustus Riddey, a bank manager, and Mary Riddey (nee Robinson). He lived his very early life in various places finally settling in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, where his father was the local Bank Manager for the Capital & Counties Bank.  He attended Shaftesbury Grammar School from January 1908 to July 1912, and was a boarder there at the time of the 1911 Census. On leaving school he entered a firm of ironfounders.

He enlisted on 25 Nov 1914 as a Private in the Honourable Artillery Company (Service No. 2669) and served in the Lewis Gun Section. In October 1915 the Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine reported that “John Riddey was wounded in the thigh in France on September 30th while guarding a bridge,” and that, after passing through various field hospital units in France, he was at the time recovering in an English Hospital. In February 1917 it was reported that he had recovered from his wounds and had returned to duty in France on 25 Oct 1916. His death was recorded there on 29th April 1917 but there is no record of his body being recovered for burial. The Grammar School magazine informed its readers that “John Riddey was hit on the head by a bullet when advancing over the open with his gun.”   John's personal effects that could be found were returned to his father but, despite further inquiries by his parents, certain other known possessions could not be located.  He was awarded the Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals and his name appears on the Arras Memorial in France (Bay 1).

As a former pupil his name was recorded on the Shaftesbury Grammar School war memorial, now in Shaftesbury School.  A "First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces" was produced by Shaftesbury Grammar School in September 1915. It shows the regiment in which John served and the date and term in which he left school. Throughout the war a hand-written list was also compiled of Shaftesbury Grammar School old boys serving in the armed forces. An asterix can be seen next to John's name, indicating that he had died. The board is now at Gold Hill Museum.

Printed Sources:
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, October 1915
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, February 1917
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, June 1917
First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces, September 1915

  • List of Old Shastonians 1
  • List of Old Shastonians 4
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 6
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 1

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives