Ralph Elsmere CLARIDGE


CLARIDGE, Ralph Elsmere

Service Number: 223
Enlisted: 22 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 50th Infantry Battalion
Born: Auburn, South Australia, 11 July 1892
Home Town: Hectorville, South Australia
Schooling: Prince Alfred College
Occupation: Poultry Farmer
Died: Killed In Action, Villers-Bretonneux, France, 25 April 1918, aged 25 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide The 50th Battalion Commemorative Cross, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Campbelltown WW1 Memorial, Payneham Road Uniting (Methodist) Church Honor Roll, Payneham Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

22 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 223, 10th Infantry Battalion, Morphettville, South Australia
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 223, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 223, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 223, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
19 May 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 223, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli, GSW (arm)
20 Sep 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 10th Infantry Battalion
28 Jan 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 10th Infantry Battalion
24 Feb 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Corporal, 50th Infantry Battalion
1 Mar 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 50th Infantry Battalion
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 223, 50th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
16 Aug 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 223, 50th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières , 2nd occasion - Shell wound (arm)
12 Jul 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant
1 Mar 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 50th Infantry Battalion
25 Apr 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN 223, 50th Infantry Battalion, Villers-Bretonneux

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Lieutenant (Lt) Ralph Elsmere Claridge, 50th Battalion from Hectorville, South Australia.

A 22 year old poultry farmer prior to enlisting on 22 August 1914, he embarked for overseas as a Private with E Company, 10th Battalion from Adelaide on 20 October 1914 aboard HMAT Ascanius.

While serving with the 10th Battalion at Gallipoli, he was wounded in action on 19 May 1915 (the Turkish counter attack which sought to drive the ANZAC line into the sea)  and evacuated to Egypt for medical treatment. Two months later he returned to Gallipoli where he was promoted to Lance Corporal.

Back in Egypt, he was promoted to Corporal, transferred to the 50th Battalion, was promoted to Sergeant and then went to France in June 1916. After being wounded in action on 16 August 1916, he was evacuated to England for medical treatment. On recovery, he attended officer training and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on 12 July 1917.

Two months later he re-joined the 50th Battalion in Belgium. After being promoted to Lieutenant on 1 March 1918, he was killed in action near Villers-Bretonneux, France on 25 April 1918 during the famous counter attack by the Australian 13th Brigade (of which the 50th battalion was part) and the 15th Brigade.  Many of the bodies of those killed were not recovered as they had fallen in scrub covered ground to the south of the town.  Ralph Claridge is commemorated on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux with others who have no known grave.

Information from AWM image caption