The AIF Project

Samuel James Thomas RIDLER

Regimental number1036
Place of birthSurrey, England
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationMiner
AddressNorseman, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation41
Height5' 7.75"
Weight122 lbs
Next of kinSister, Mrs Elizabeth Ann Heslin, Battle Street, Cottesloe Beach, Western Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date6 July 1915
Place of enlistmentNorseman, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name32nd Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on 18 November 1915
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT Katuna on 24 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll32nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Age at death from cemetery records43
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot IV, Row B, Grave No 3), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
121
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Samuel and Mary RIDLER. Native of London, England
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Suez, 18 December 1915, from HMAT 'Geelong'.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Reported missing, 20 July 1916.

File states: 'List of British Dead - (Disc handed to German authorities) from N.O.A.O.K.6) forwarded by Comite Internationale de la Croix Rouge at Geneva to His Majesty's Minister at Berne. A.A.G. rules to be reported as KILLED IN ACTION.'

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

Sister wrote to Base Records, 5 January 1921: 'I wish to state that I am the nearest blood relation. There are two sisters younger than myself & a brother (youngest of family) whose address is W.J. Ridler, Hyde St. Yarraville Victoria. Our Mother died in 1878 & our Father in 1897. I reared my brother from the time my Mother died - he being only a child then.'

Base Records wrote to eldest brother, W.J. RIDLER, 21 January 1921: 'I shall be glad to learn whether you would care to have deceased's war medals etc., or whether you would be preapred to waive your claims in favour of Mrs Helsin, who states that she raised the deceased soldier since his mother's death - she appears to have distinct moral claims to these items.' Brother replied, 1 October 1921: 'Mrs Helsin, (my sister), in a letter notified me of her desire that I, being the nearest of kin should have my brother's medals etc. The part of her letter referring to thematter is as follows: "Will there is a Medal coming to poor Sam ... it will be a memento for Hector to remember his Uncle who gave his life for his Country." I am anxious to have the Medals etc ... '

Note on Red Cross File No 2300306: Translation of German Death Voucher received from Capt. Mills and passed on to A.I.F. Hdqrs 10/10/19. "The Austr. Pte Ridler S., No. 1036, Austr. Batt. 32nd A.I.F. fell on 19/6/16 in the neighborhood of Fromelles.'

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 6), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsAttestation Form notes 'Callus at left angle of inf maxilla from badly set fracture when a child'. Embarkation details unclear: ship of embarkation variously given as HMAT 'Geelong' (B103, p. 16) and HMAT 'Katuna' (p. 14) [probably the latter]. Eldest brother, W.J. RIDLER, 239 Hyde Street, Yarraville, Victoria (1921), was granted the medals.
SourcesNAA: B2455, RIDLER Samuel James Thomas
Red Cross file 2300306

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