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Tracing Your Roots To Gallipoli

Remembering some of the Bolton men who lost their lives in the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915

Frederick Ribchester

Frederick RibchesterFarnworth Weekly Journal 13 August 1915

FARNWORTH SOLDIER MISSING

Mrs. Ribchester of 11, Short-st., Farnworth has received intimation from the War Office that her son, Lance Corpl. Fred Ribchester (2474), of the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers, was posted as missing on June 29th, after an engagement in the Dardanelles. She has also had a letter from a young lady in London, who says that one of his companions in arms declares that he was killed. This statement remains to be verified, and Lance Corpl. Ribchester's sister has the assurance of the War Office that they will do their best to get further information. Ribchester has been in the Army for four years, and prior to this war was in India. He had two days furlough at home before going on active service. His father, Private John Ribchester, is with the National Reserve, guarding German prisoners at Leigh. He was wounded on May 17th in the Dardanelles, but only slightly. He had previously written to say:- "We are fighting at last, and such fighting I never dreamt of, or even thought possible. We effected a landing yesterday (Sunday). I don't know what date. I have lost count of everything. And what a landing it was too. They waited until the boats were about 30 yards from the beach and then the fun commenced. In my boat were about 40 men besides the sailors and a machine gun team, and all that got on land was myself and five men. The brutes had a Maxim trained on us and they took advantage of it too. And then snipers were ranged all along the top of the cliff. They, too, did a tremendous amount of damage. When the roll was called we found that 412 men, officers and N.C.O's were left out of the whole battalion. I am all right up to now, and if it lies in my power I always will be. I mean of course, to do my utmost and always to do my duty. To-day is Friday, and we have been in action continually since Sunday morning. We cannot grumble about our food - bully beef and those hard biscuits - but this morning I and three more chaps had quite a feed. I bagged a hare, pinched a ham-bone and with two tins of bully beef boxed up a fine stew." His last letter home, written on June 9th., was a pessimistic one. He said: "We leave tomorrow, June 10th., for the fighting again - my second time on earth. I cannot say very much, as I feel a bit upset about leaving tomorrow. Remember me to all kind friends who inquire after me."

Writing to his wife at 26-Northumberland-st, Farnworth Private H. Langan, also of the Lancashire Fusiliers, says, "I see that Ribchester has died. I daresay his mother will have got to know. If not tell her, and that I am very sorry. There are plenty of young men at home who are not married and ought to be made to fight. That they don't enlist shows that they must be a lot of cowards. Never mind, you and my mother can always say she had three sons who did their duty as young men ought to do."

Frederick was the son of John Ribchester b.1863, a carpenter and joiner, and Annie Ribchester née Aaron b.1861.

Frederick first appeared on the 1901 Census living at 9 Rawson Road, Farnworth with his parents and siblings Agnes b.1891, Mary Elizabeth b.1893, Jessie b.1897, John b.1899 and Frank James b.1900.

By 1911 he was living at 22 Cobden Street, Farnworth with his parents and siblings Jessie, Frank, John b.1903 and Horace b.1906.

Frederick was employed as a piecer in a cotton mill.

Frederick's name is on Farnworth War Memorial.

 

Name Ribchester, Frederick
Rank Lance Corporal
Number 2474
Unit 1st Bn
Lancashire Fusiliers
Born Bolton, Lancashire
1894
Enlisted Bury, Lancashire
Died Gallipoli, Turkey
28 June 1915
Age 21
Grave or Memorial Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey
CWGC DETAILS
Lancashire Fusiliers