Harry Ridgway was born on 22 February and baptised on 30 March 1892 at Christ Church, Macclesfield, the son of Harriet and George Ridgway, a fustian cutter of 134 Crompton Road, Macclesfield.
In 1901, nine-year-old Harry was living at 8 Crown Street West, Macclesfield with his parents and brothers Arthur (17), Alfred (14), and Frederick (11). Harry also had an older brother, George.
By 1911 the family had moved to 34 Longacre Street and Harry was employed as a smith's striker for a coachbuilder. Harry's parents later lived at 5 Anderson Street, Macclesfield.
Harry attested in Macclesfield on 15 December 1915, joining the 3rd Cheshire Regiment with service number 34901. At the time of enlistment Harry stated that he lived at 34 Longacre Street, Macclesfield, and was employed as a packer. On 30 August 1916, after his training, Private Ridgway was drafted to France and transferred to the South Lancashire Regiment.
On 14 October 1916 the Macclesfield Courier reported that Private Ridgway had been wounded:
Private Harry Ridgway, the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Ridgway of 5 Anderson Street, Macclesfield, has been wounded in both legs and the face and is now in hospital in France. Private Ridgway enlisted in the 3rd Cheshires but was later transferred to the South Lancashires, with which regiment he was drafted to France about six weeks ago. He has three brothers serving, one of whom is in France, another in Egypt, and a third in training at Canterbury.
On 18 October 1916 Private Ridgway was repatriated to England for treatment and recuperation. After his recovery, Private Ridgway returned to France on 16 April 1917.
Private Ridgway received gunshot wounds in the back on 1 September 1917 and died of his wounds the next day at Casualty Clearing Station number 54, which was then based in the vicinity of Merville, France.
Private Harry Ridgway is buried in Grave Ref. IV. J. 15. of the Estaires Communal Cemetery Extension in France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Harry Ridgway, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Private Harry Ridgway is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church and St Andrew's (now All Saints) Church war memorials.
Brother of Alfred Ridgway, who served as Private 41190 with the 11th Manchester Regiment and was killed in action on 13 June 1917; Frederick, who served as a Private with the Cheshire Regiment and was wounded at Gaza on 26 March 1917; and George, who served as Private 21465 with the Grenadier Guards.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers (FindMyPast): Christ Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920 (Ancestry)
WWI Absent Voters Lists (FindMyPast): Macclesfield Parliamentary Division
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Research by Rosie Rowley, Macclesfield.