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  • Christina Drummond

Captain Arthur Gerald Ritchie, 1st Battalion, the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1914, Captain Arthur Gerald Ritchie, 1st Battalion, the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), died at Boulogne from wounds received three weeks earlier during the fighting near La Boutillerie, west of Lille in France.

His parents’ second son, he was educated at St. Paul’s School where he was a Foundation scholar, winning the John Watson and Landscape prized three years in succession, and the Shepard Cup for athletics. He was a keen sportsman and an artist, and ever since he was a child he would illustrate his letters and diaries with a variety of sketches for his own and others’ amusement.

Captain Ritchie joined the Scottish Rifles in 1899, achieving the rank of captain in 1905. In 1909 he was appointed Adjutant of the East Indian Railway Volunteer Rifles, the post he held at the outbreak of the Great War. Although his service had been mainly in India, he was in England in 1914 and saw service with reserves of his regiment. He rejoined his original battalion on the Western Front on the 11th of October, 1914. Twelve days later he was given command of " C " Company, holding an advanced trench and farmhouse near La Boutillerie. On the 29th they were attacked by the enemy, and although they held their ground, Captain Ritchie was grievously wounded by a sniper. Taken to hospital in Bolougne, he later succumbed to his injuries. He is buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, his grave being inscribed “God proved them and found them worthy for himself”.

Arthur, from Kensington, was 35 years old.

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