Private Arthur Charles Ralph

Date of Birth c. 1886
Age at Death 30
Date of Death 3 November 1917
Service Number 57950
Military Service 19th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers
Merton Address 154 South Park Road, Wimbledon
Local Memorial Rutlish School, Merton

Additional Information

Born in Battersea in 1886, Arthur was the youngest child of George and Alice Ralph. He had three older siblings - Ada, Sydney, and Percy. By 1891, the family had moved to 98 Kingston Road, Merton, where Arthur’s father ran a grocery shop with the help of his wife and a hired assistant. Arthur’s paternal grandfather James, a carpenter, also lived with the family for a time.

Arthur was educated at Rutlish School, however the 1901 census show that by the age of 15 he was working as a grocer’s assistant for his father. His brother Percy also worked at the family store, whilst Sydney became a plumber. Between 1901 and 1910 the grocery transferred to 193 Kingston Road. It remained in business until at least 1915 but may have closed following the death of George Ralph in September 1917.

Arthur married Kitty Harding c.1907 and the couple moved to a three room house at 154 South Park Road. By 1911 they had two sons, Gordon, born on 26 January 1910 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Wimbledon; followed by Leslie who was born in the summer of 1915. Perhaps in need of more space, the family moved to 49 Faraday Road and later to 69 Florence Road, Wimbledon.

During the early stages of the First World War, Arthur served with the Royal Engineers (Service No. 186707), however he soon transferred to the 19th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. This was a Service Battalion also known as the 2nd Tyneside Pioneers. He was killed in action on 3 November, 1917 during the Third Battle Ypres (Passchaendale). He is commemorated both on the Rutlish School memorial, and at St. Mary’s Church in Merton.


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