#

2nd Lieutenant, 6th Battalion Australian Imperial Force.

Died of wounds Tuesday 12th May 1915, age 28.

Remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial, Turkey.

Former student of engineering.

i-a-ridgway-unimag ridgway-april1915-awm


 

Issac was born at Wildersmoor, Manchester on 24th August 1886. He was the youngest son of Thomas Joseph, a Justice of the Peace and Registrar of Warrington County Court, and Emily Ridgway of Lymm, Cheshire. Isaac was educated at Mostyn School House and Brighton College. A keen sportsman he represented his school in boxing and shooting contests at Aldershot and Bisley. He entered the University of Manchester gaining a B.Sc. Engineering in 1907 and an M.Sc. in 1910.

In 1907 he was articled to Mr Anthony G. Lyster, the Chief Engineer of Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. In 1910 Isaac was a Resident Engineer under Mr Lyster as part of the Wallasey embankment extension project following which he returned to Mersey Docks as Chief Assistant to the Resident Engineer for the construction of the New Gladstone Graving Dock. In July 1911 Isaac accepted the position of Chief Assistant to the Engineer for Freemantle Graving Dock, Western Australia. The unsatisfactory nature of the ground proposed for the dock and the prohibitive cost involved saw Isaac move to the Western Australian Government as Chief Assistant to the engineer responsible for the four principal harbours of Western Australia. In December 1913 he became District Engineer for the Queensland coast in the lighthouse service department.

Isaac was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Manchester University Engineering Society, the Manchester University Geological Society, the Liverpool Engineering Society, the Western Australian Institute of Engineers, and on the Convocation of the University of Western Australia.

When war broke out Isaac requested a commission and was gazetted to the 6th Battalion of the 2nd reinforcement of the Australian Imperial Force on 16th December 1914. His service record shows that he had previous military experience with the 1st Cheshire Regiment, 1st Sussex Regiment, Liverpool Rifles and a cadet force. He was 5ft 11 inches tall with a 39 inch chest and he weighed 12 stone 7lbs. He left Melbourne aboard the Clan Macgillivray on 2nd February 1915.

On 8th May 1915 Isaac’s unit was occupying dugouts in support of the firing line, during which time stray bullets caused some casualties. Late afternoon they received orders to attack the enemy with the objective of capturing a hill to the rear of Krithia. Isaac was wounded during this period by gunshot to the abdomen, causing damage to his bladder and intestine. Evacuated from the front he died aboard H.M.S. Braemar Castle and was buried at sea.His personal effects included a locked tin trunk, keys, scissors, a watch, a gold ring, a suitcase,  uniform and a spirit level, but it is not clear whether his father received everything as there is correspondence which suggests some of it may have gone missing. Probate states that Isaac left effects worth £1497 to his father.

Mr Joshua F. Ramsbotham (Director of Australian Commonwealth Lighthouse Service and a former engineer for Mersey Docks) wrote of Isaac that he “was a man of high ideals, strong and clear in his judgment, with a great capacity and love for his profession, and his friends are consoled by the knowledge that he died fighting gloriously for his King and Country”. Shortly before the war Isaac had been involved with work to light the Great Barrier Reef. He had carefully examined what was required for lighthouse foundations and written a detailed report on a number of proposals in connection with that. In 1918 a paper on this topic, written by Ramsbotham, was read at the Liverpool Engineering Society in memory of Isaac.