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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Serbian Red Cross - Major William Robert Ridley


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As part of my community project research into the names on the Rothbury War Memorial in Northumberland, I have come up against a brick wall that I hope someone may be able to help me with.

One of the names on the memorial is William Robert Ridley and I was unable to find any clear information about him through the normal channels. However, I have just found out from the book of Remembrance in the church that he is recorded as serving with the Serbian Red Cross and his rank is Major.

I will have a look at Kew for his officers records but if anyone can give me some background information on the SRC and how a British Officer came to serve in their ranks, I would be most grateful.

Best Regards


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There might be a MIC for him.

I have found an MIC for each of: a local minister who served with Huts and Canteens; a very distant relative who was living in France at the beginning of the war and served (under age, I think) as a driver for the French Red Cross; two sisters who served in different theatres with the French Red Cross, although they were actually attached to the Scottish Women's Hospital.

Having said that a quick search using Discovery did not come up with anything that looked hopeful, but I may have missed him.


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  • 1 year later...
Guest CosmeMcMoon

I have much information about Dr Ridley's work, and death, in Serbia. He was nursed by Flora Sandes, who was working as a nurse before enlisting in the Serbian Army. If you're still carrying out research, please get in touch.


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Two online books/extracts copied from the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Salonica and the Balkans (First World War)

( http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Salonica_and_the_Balkans_(First_World_War)), which should at least give some background, even if not directly relevant.

My Balkan Log by J Johnston Abraham 1922 Archive.org

"With the First Red Cross Mission to Serbia". Extract from Chapter X , Surgeon's Journey by James Johnston Abraham, in charge of The First British Red Cross Serbian Mission in 1915. vlib.us

Also the two books by Flora Sandes

An English woman-sergeant in the Serbian Army by Flora Sandes 1916 Archive.org. LibriVox audio recording Archive.org

The Autobiography of a Woman Soldier: A Brief Record of Adventure with the Serbian Army 1916-1919 by Flora Sandes c 1927 Archive.org



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