Wednesday, April 15, 2009
John Ridley 7th Regiment of Foot
When Ann Ridley died in 1879 in Dalbeattie, I obtained her parents names from the death certificate. Her father was John Ridley, a blacksmith and her mother was Jane Mills. From the census and IGI I was able to identify her christening entry in the Brampton parish registers. John Ridley died in 1845. I found the family in the 1841 census. John Ridley’s occupation was listed as Army ?. ? was a O, D, or a P. I figured it would be worth a look to see if I could find him in the army pension records. There is a partial index of WO120 online (WO represents War Office Records) I found him in the pension records rather quickly. He was in the 7th Regiment of Foot (Royal Fusiliers). The pension record is insightful. The record indicates that he was born in Brampton in 1778. The pension record is the only record I have that records his place of birth. I now know that he was in the Army for 17 years. He joined in 1804 and was discharged to pension in 1821. He was 54 inches high and had blue eyes. He was wounded at Albuera and Orthes. These are battles that took place during the Peninsular War. Albuera was the bloodiest battle in the war. From a newspaper account I learned that 62 men were killed and 262 were wounded in that battle from the regiment. The regiment fought in numerous battles and even was at New Orleans in 1815. In 1824 he married Jane Mills. Jane was 17 years younger and out lived him by 40 years. An age difference is an indication that the man may have been preoccupied with the war.