Edward Drayton RIDGWAY

RIDGWAY, Edward Drayton

Service Number: 1703
Enlisted: 2 August 1915, Toowoomba, Queensland
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 1st Field Ambulance
Born: Drayton, Queensland, Australia, 3 October 1893
Home Town: Drayton, Toowoomba, Queensland
Schooling: Drayton State School, Queensland, Australia
Occupation: Locomotive Fireman
Died: Died of wounds, France, 11 August 1918, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, France
Plot 1V, Row A, Grave 2, Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, Daours, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Drayton War Memorial, Queensland Railways Toowoomba Employees Roll of Honour, Toowoomba War Memorial (Mothers' Memorial)
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World War 1 Service

2 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1703, Toowoomba, Queensland
4 Oct 1915: Involvement Private, 1703, 2nd Light Horse Brigade Field Ambulance, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '22' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Mashobra embarkation_ship_number: A47 public_note: ''
4 Oct 1915: Embarked Private, 1703, 2nd Light Horse Brigade Field Ambulance, HMAT Mashobra, Sydney
11 Sep 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 1st Field Ambulance
5 May 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 1703, Gunshot wound to the abdominal wall.
11 Aug 1918: Involvement Private, 1703, 1st Field Ambulance, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 1703 awm_unit: 1st Australian Field Ambulance awm_rank: Private awm_died_date: 1918-08-11
11 Aug 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 1703, Shell wound to the chest and thigh

Help us honour Edward Drayton Ridgway's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Carol Foster

Son of Thomas and Amy Ridgway of Mort Street, Drayton, Queensland; brother C.L. Ridgway

25 January 1916 - to hospital in Cairo with Mumps

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Biography contributed by Sue Smith

Edward Drayton Ridgway was born at Drayton near Toowoomba, Queensland, on the 3rd October 1893, the 4th and youngest son of his parents Thomas and Amy Ridgway.  Besides his 3 brothers, Edward had 5 sisters with Edward being the 8th of the 9 children.  He attended the local school at Drayton and at the outbreak of WW1 he was working for the Queensland Railways and stationed at Bell near Dalby.  In June 1915 he was presented with an award for the best novice in railway ambulance proficiency.

On the 2nd August 1915 Edward enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Toowoomba aged 21.  He’s described as being 5ft 11ins tall with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and fair hair.  His service number was 1703, his rank a Private and his Unit the 2nd Australian Light Horse Field Ambulance, 11th Reinforcements.  The Brisbane Courier reported on the 23rd July 1915 that he was one of 8 men who enlisted from the small town of Bell in the Western Downs Region. 

Edward embarked from Sydney on the HMAT Mashobra on the 4th October 1915, disembarking at Suez, Egypt, on the 6th November 1915.  He then proceeded to the Australian Light Horse camp at Maadi. 

On the 25th January 1916, Edward was admitted to the 2nd Australian General Hospital at Mena Camp with the mumps.  He was transferred to the 4th Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Abbassia, Cairo, and re-joined his Unit at Maadi on the 23rd February 1916.  The following day the Unit moved out to Serapeum.  On the 29th March Edward was admitted to hospital with the skin infection erysipelas.  The following day he was transferred to the 11th Casualty Clearing Station and then to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital at Ismailia.  The next day he was transferred by ambulance train to the 4th Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Abbassia.  Four days later he was discharged to the Australian Army training camp at Tel-el-Kebir. 

Just a few weeks later on the 29th April Edward was admitted to 3rd Australian General Hospital at Abbassia with dysentery then proceeded to the British military hospital at Ras-el-Tin at Alexandria.  Upon discharge 2 days later he returned to the Tel-el-Kebir camp.

Edward was attached for duty to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital for 4 days in mid June 1916 before embarking for England from Alexandria on the 29th July 1916.  He disembarked in England 11 days later off the Mona’s Queen and proceeded to Parkhouse Camp on the Salisbury Plain. 

On the 21st August Edward embarked from Folkestone on the SS Invicta for Boulogne, France.  The next day he proceeded to the Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples. 

On the 11th September 1916 Edward transferred to the 1st Australian Field Ambulance with the first Brigade.  Over the next few months the Unit moved regularly across France including some time in the Somme area.  At the beginning of December they arrived at the Corps Rest Station at Buire-sur-l’Ancre where they remained till late January 1917 when they moved to Albert briefly and then to the Advanced Dressing Station at Bazentin-Le-Petit. 

Edward’s brother John was also serving in France with the 9th Battalion having enlisted in Toowoomba in October 1915.  He was killed in action on the 25th February 1917 aged 34. 

In early March 1917 the Unit moved to a camp near Fricourt and a month later moved to Aveluy and then back to Bazetin-Le-Petit.  By the beginning of May the Unit was at Pozieres evacuating the wounded.  On the 5th May, Edward became one of the wounded to be evacuated when on duty he sustained a severe shrapnel injury to his left side in the lumbar region.  He was taken to the 3rd Casualty Clearing Station and the next day was admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen.  He remained there for 12 days before being evacuated from Boulogne to England on the hospital ship Essequibo.  He was admitted to the military hospital at Devonport where he convalesced until the 25th June when he was discharged and went on leave till the 9th July.  He then reported to the No. 1 Command Post Depot at Perham Downs Camp.   

Edward was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford on the 14th July 1917 and remained there for 46 days being treated for a venereal disease.  In early September he proceeded to Perham Downs Camp and then to Parkhouse Camp in preparation for return to France.  He embarked from Southampton on the 8th October 1917 and re-joined the 1st Australian Field Ambulance in France at Rouelles.

Edward continued serving with the 1st AFA until the 11th August 1918 when he sustained a shell wound to the chest and right thigh.  He was admitted to the 5th Australian Field Ambulance then transferred to the 53rd Australian Casualty Clearing Station where he succumbed to his wounds and died.  He was aged 24.  He was buried in Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, plot IV, row A, grave 2.  His grave headstone reads “God’s Will Be Done.”

After the war his father received the 1914-1918 Memorial Scroll, Plaque and message from the King which was presented to the next of kin of those who died while serving in the Australian Imperial Force in WW1. 

Edward’s name appears on the Queensland Railway Employees Roll of Honour Memorial in Toowoomba, the War Memorial at Bell and on the Drayton Memorial Cross along with his brother’s name.  It is also located on the Roll of Honour, panel 183, at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.  

Edward Drayton Ridgway was awarded for service in WW1 the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Respectfully submitted by Sue Smith 26th May 2021