John Ratcliffe

John Ratcliffe

Personal Details

Born in Burleydam, Cheshire in 1890, the eldest son of John and Charlotte Ratcliffe of Audlem, Cheshire.

Husband of Elsie May Ratcliffe (nee Ellison) (married 18 May 1917) of Mucklestone Lodge, Oakley Park, Market Drayton, Shropshire and father to Doris Margaret. Elsie May married again to Richard Glassey in 1920.

The 1911 Census shows John as a cowman on a farm, living at Ightfield Hall, Whitchurch, Shropshire.

Military History

Regiment : 75th Company Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Rank : Private
Service Number : 97570

Died of wounds; France 8 September 1917 Aged 27

Medals and Awards

John was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal).

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

Further Information

If you can provide any further information on John Ratcliffe please get in touch by leaving a comment below, using our Contact Form or by calling in to Whitchurch Heritage Centre.

Information provided by Whitchurch Museum and Archives


John Ratcliffe — 4 Comments

  1. I cannot believe I found this memorial. John Ratcliffe would be my grandfather. My mothers (Doris Margaret) dad. My mother told me she never knew her father or what became of him… other than he had died in the war. She died in 2005 never knowing he was killed in France and buried in Belgium this whole time.

    • So glad to be of help Jeff. We may have a bit more info on him in our files – I’ll check tomorrow

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