872480 Gunner Jack Ridsdale, 17th Field Regiment, RA: 21/12/1945

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Becci Allen, May 26, 2024.

  1. Becci Allen

    Becci Allen Member

    Looking for anything on Gunner Jack Ridsdale 872480. Died on the 21st Dec 1945 in Italy. We were led to believe he was unfortunately hit by a tram whilst out celebrating however some documents we've recently seen suggest he was killed in action.
    I have just discovered a letter from a friend posted to his wife after his death and wanted to try and find out who he was. I'm pretty sure he was Driver 909189 and surname possible Nash. I've attached a photo of his name and address in case I am wrong.
    I know from the letter they were together for 4 years throughout Africa and Italy. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am new to searching and at a bit of a loss.
    Kind regards

    Attached Files:

  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    As hostilities had ended in Italy in early May 1945 it’s unlikely he was “killed in action”.

    Hopefully a member will attach a copy of his entry in the official casualty list to confirm the situation accurately.


    You may be aware that 17th Field Regiment served in 78th Battleaxe Division and saw active service in Tunisia 1942/43, Sicily & Italy 1943/45.

    There is a lot on the forum if you use the search facility.

    Last edited: May 26, 2024
  3. Becci Allen

    Becci Allen Member

    Thank you.
    I did think it strange he was down as killed in action considering the date.

    I will go searching. I'm not sure I'll find anything but you never know.
  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    If you want to know what he did in general terms try and get hold of this book - if you don’t want to buy it you could get it at your local library -

    Battleaxe Division

    If you want his army service file follow the instructions in this link. Could take up to 9 or 12 months.

    Get a copy of military records of service

    My uncle served in one of the other 2 Field Regiments (138th) in 78th Division. 132nd was the third field regiment.

    Last edited: May 26, 2024
  5. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Welcome aboard,

    There are a number of threads on his regiment and if you search online with "17th Field Regiment" site:ww2talk.com they will appear. Note there was Canadian unit of the same name.

    Then "battleaxe" site:ww2talk.com gets results for the division.

    (Error - see next post) A second member of his unit died three days later. See: https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/2816846/frank-glover/

    There is a possible clue in Post 6. my bold and bracketed info:
    From: British Army Transit Camps 1945 - Italy and LIAP

    There are a number of threads on Python here, e.g. Leave - Python and Lilop In brief it was for people who had been away from the UK for three + years.

    I would suggest this information may indicate he was not with his regiment at the time of death, rather in a transit camp. Plus, he could have been in hospital in Milan when he died.

    There are a few pointers to the fact that the 78th Division ended the war in northeast Italy, in Trieste at one point and at some stage moved into Austria. From: 78th Infantry Division (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia

    Reading on the regiment left the division in July 1945! The Royal Artillery reference site: 17 Field Regiment RA - The Royal Artillery 1939-45 shows them in Austria, in August 1945. It also notes it was with the 38th (Irish) Infantry Brigade. Their website confirms working with the 17th in Austria as the war ended. See: Into Austria – Settling Frontiers

    Just looked at the address on the letter. CMF stands for Central Mediterranean Forces; a catch all term for admin and command purposes. On a quick scoot around I could not identify the author.

    The Milan trams were working in 1945; from Google imagery.
    Last edited: May 26, 2024
  6. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

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  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

  8. Redd

    Redd Senior Member

    Hi Becci - welcome to the forum!

    Does anyone have a copy of his death certificate? The one for a great uncle of ours stated cause of death as “Killed in action” (which he was).

    Attached Files:

  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Might be worth checking the usual genealogy sites for a Casualty and/or Tracer card for him.
  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  11. Becci Allen

    Becci Allen Member

    Thank you. I have applied for his service records and will have a look through everyone's suggestions.
    I have some photos of him and his friends that I will try and post.
  12. Becci Allen

    Becci Allen Member

    I don't have any names for the other men. I'd like to think the one who wrote to my great granny is in here. But who knows.
    Jack is on his own and on the left in the group shot.

    Attached Files:

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  13. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

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  14. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

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  15. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Another member of this group has already posted a link to his findagrave entry that has a couple of photos taken by other contributors

    I manage this grave entry and I will update it for Becci (who I presume is Rebecca that posted on the findagrave entry in 2020)
    Last edited: May 27, 2024
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  16. Becci Allen

    Becci Allen Member

    Yes that was probably me. I found photos of his grave a few years back. And my gran was able to visit his grave with he mother (Jack's wife) before she passed in the 80s
  17. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Cheers, my photo anyway

    Attached Files:

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  18. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Thanks for sharing the images.

    Number 1 and 4 are the same photo - taken during the interwar years and in a horse drawn RA unit as the men are wearing spurs. Image 2 look to be taken in the U.K. and Image 3 in a “warmer climate” with his beret worn at a “jaunty” angle on the back of his head.

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  19. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    hE IS LISTED ON FMP casualty list as died as result of accident, his card attached says Chest injuries,

    Attached Files:

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