Richard Kirby Ridgeway VC CB

b. 18/08/1848 Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland. d. 11/10/1924 Harrogate, Yorkshire.

Richard Kirby Ridgeway (1848-1924) was born in Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland on 18th August 1848, the second son of Richard Ridgeway, FRCS, and Annette, daughter of a Mr R Adams from County Cavan. He was educated privately, and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and was gazetted to the 96th Regiment of Foot as an Ensign on 8th January 1868, and was promoted to Lieutenant on 14th February 1870.

Richard K Ridgeway

In 1871, he married Emily Maria (who he called Amy), daughter of S.W.Fallan. He was then transferred into the Indian Staff Corps in 1872, and was Adjutant, 44th Gurkha Rifles from 1874 to 1880. In 1875, he served in the Naga Hills Expedition where he was mentioned in despatches, and in 1879-1880 in the Second Naga Hills Expedition, where he was severely wounded and mentioned in despatches. It was also during the Second Naga Hills Expedition that he would be recommended for, and awarded the Victoria Cross (gazetted, 11th May 1880).

On 22nd November 1879 at Konomo, India, during the final assault, Captain Ridgeway, under heavy fire, rushed forward to a barricade, and attempted to tear down the planking surrounding it. It allowed him to create an entrance. In doing this gallant action, he was shot through the left shoulder.

Sadly, Ridgeway’s wounds meant that he could not attend an investiture, and his medal was posted to him in Ireland on the 2nd June 1880. He then passed the Staff College in 1883, and became a Deputy Assistant Quartermaster-General in 1884, then Major in 1888. He was then given command of the 44th Gurkha Rifles from 1891-1895, taking part in the Manipur Expedition, and was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1894.

He later served in the Tirah Campaign in 1897. He was created a Companion of Bath in 1905, before he retired from the Army in 1906. Ridgeway retired to Yorkshire, where he lived in Harrogate until 1924. He died at home in Harrogate on 11th October 1924, aged 76. He was cremated at Lawnswood Crematorium, Leeds and his ashes were scattered. His medals are not publicly held, but replicas are displayed at the Gurkha Museum, Winchester.





Thomas Stewart – Image of the Ridgeway VC Medal Group at the Gurkha Museum, Winchester.