Private 268184 Wright Ridgeway
10th Battalion Cheshire Regiment.
K.I.A Tuesday 16thApril 1918.
7thBrigade, 25thDivision, 1V Corps, 3rdArmy.
Remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium. The German offensive of March, 1918 met with some initial success but was eventually checked and repulsed in a combined effort by the Allies in September. The battles of the Ypres Salient claimed many lives on both sides and it quickly became clear that the commemoration of members of the Commonwealth forces with no known grave would have to be divided between several different sites. The site of the Menin Gate was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates those of all Commonwealth nations except New Zealand who died in the Salient, in the case of United Kingdom casualties before 16 August 1917. Those United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war. The TYNE COT MEMORIAL now bears the names of almost 35,000 officers and men whose graves are not known.
Son of Wright and Lois Ridgeway of 23, Bulkeley End, Poynton.
They had 3 sons George, Arthur, and Wright, and 5 daughters Sarah, Francis Emily, Dora, Mary Alice, and Lois. Wright was a wood cutter by trade.
George fought with the Australian Imperial Forces. And Arthur with the Army Service Corps, and the 5th Gloucestershire Regiment. Both were wounded and survived the war.
The Battle of the Lys
The German spring offensive continued to steamroll during April 1918. They had advanced 6 miles in a week and were now on the outskirts of the French town of Bailleul on the border with Belgium. At 3am at the start of the battle the 10th Battalion were in reserve in catacombs at Ploegsteert, where they were bombarded with gas shells and heavies for over 2 hours. By 7am the Cheshires were ordered to send 3 companies to the south end of Ploegsteert wood, but found the enemy were already there. An attempt was made to attack but this failed, and the Cheshires withdrew to an outpost line 400 yards in front of the catacombs. By the evening the Cheshires and the 1stBattalion the Wiltshire Regiment were still holding a salient pushing towards the wood. Just after midday on the 11th, orders were given to withdraw from their positions in the catacombs at Hill 63 at 5pm.Somehow there was a misunderstanding and the Cheshires on Hill 63 believed they were to hold out to the last. The enemy attacked and surrounded the catacombs with only small groups managing to fight their way out to a position west of Neuve Eglise where a composite battalion was being formed. Over the next few days the fighting became very confused, with The Germans attacking along the whole front taking advantage of the heavy fog. By the evening of the 16th the composite battalion were withdrawn into reserve at Mont Noir. Further details of this day do not exist in detail, but the Battalion suffered a further 30 casualties probably killed by shellfire. Wright was one of those soldiers killed.
Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank Phil Underwood for compiling this page on Wright.