Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Remembrance 2016

Letter to Mabel
Alfred Bull RN

Alfred Bull RN 1916

Ryde Social Heritage Group has produced two Rolls of Honour listing the men of Ryde who lost their lives during the major battles of 1916, Jutland and the Somme. These lists are work in progress and we expect to find more names as we continue with our research.

The young people of 3rd Ryde Girls Brigade and Year 6 at Greenmount Primary School have shared our research so far and made two Books of Remembrance with information on the battles and those lost. They have added many pictures, some printed and others are their own hand drawn images. They also composed letters to the soldiers, sailors and their families.

Chief Shipwright Alfred Bull was one of those lost on H.M.S Invincible  on 31 May 1916. He was the son of James and Matty Bull who ran a grocery shop at 53 St. John’s Road. Alfred and his wife Mabel Blanche lived at 9 Nelson Street with their two young children Mabel and Constance. Alfred is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and on the family headstone in Ryde Cemetery which reads “Death divides but memories linger.”  In our Book of Remembrance someone wrote –

“Dear Mabel, I’m so sorry about Alfred who died at Jutland.”

Another Jutland loss was Richard George French, the son of Annie Elizabeth French of 6 St. John’s Place. In our Remembrance Book are the words –

“To Richard George French, Thank you for your time in the Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI) serving on board HMS Black Prince.”

Private Albert Weston, husband of Gertrude of 42 Hill Street, died at the Somme. A poignant message in our Remembrance Book reads –

“On the day Private Albert Weston died, his wife Gertrude cried.”weston-message

2nd Lieutenant Francis Chalmers was the son of Thomas William and Mary Ann Chalmers of Ryde. His wife was Minnie Gertrude, of Rose Cottage, Mitchell’s Road, Haylands. They had been married at St. Michael’s Church in January 1916 and Francis was killed at the Somme eight months later. He is remembered at the Thiepval Memorial in France. In our Book of Remembrance is a short letter –

“Dear Francis Chalmers, Thank you for serving for us in the war and I wish your family are OK.”

Many thanks to all those who contributed to the Books of Remembrance with such care and attention to detail and the very thoughtful comments that were made.

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.”

Francis and Minnie Chalmers 1916

Francis and Minnie Chalmers 1916