On this day in 1915, Benjamin Ridgwell (sometimes Redgwell) signed up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He was born in Walthamstow, England on July 24th, 1895 to Charles Redgwell and Alice (née Jaggard). The family (Charles, Alice, their four sons: Beniah, Sidney, Frederick and John and their daughter, Lilly [Lillian]) left Liverpool, England for Canada on the SS Dominion which arrived in Montreal on July 14th, 1907.

Postcard of SS Dominion

SS Dominion, courtesy of GreatShips.net

Ben’s younger brother Sidney had signed up in Kingston in October 1914. Ben was described as having a medium complexion, brown eyes and brown hair when he enlisted. He was five feet, three and three quarter inches tall and had scars on his face. He joined the 53rd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the regimental number 440095. He gave his next of kin as his father, Charles, in Deseronto. His service record shows that he left Canada on March 29th, 1916 on the SS Empress of Britain and joined the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles in France on June 10th.

He would not come home.