CFHS code : HT609

Parish : Holy Trinity

Inscription : LILIAN MARIA RIDLEY d 20 Oct 1918 aged 36 ELIZABETH MARY RIDLEY d 11 Nov 1918 aged 29

Monument : Stone cross/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Lilian Maria Ridley (May 1882 – 20 October 1918)

Lilian was born in Cambridge and was the daughter of William and Mary Ann.  She grew up at 2 Brunswick Place and her father was a builder/house decorator. Lilian was educated at Rugeley House School and the Perse School  before spending a further year studying  at the L’école normal d’ institutrices in Guéret, France.  She became a teacher and taught at Mill House School, Downham Market, Groebel High School in Sandown and the County Girls’ School, Landovery before moving to Runcorn, Cheshire (1910)  where she was the French and History mistress at the County Secondary School, Runcorn. She was an accomplished violinist and a member of the Runcorn Orchestral Society’s band. Lilian died in Runcorn after a short illness of the flu (possibly the Spanish flu) which developed into pneumonia and was buried at Mill Road Cemetery on 24 October.

An obituary was printed in the Runcorn Weekly News and was written by ‘one who came into daily contact with Miss Ridley’. It read ‘she has spent the best and most effective part of a woman’s life in her service here. That life has been one of the sweetest fragrance and all her professional work has been surrounded by an atmosphere of charm and affection which cannot fail to have left its influence on a great number of lives she has had a share in shaping. Miss Ridley was unsparing of her energy in the fulfilment of duty. Nothing was too trivial to be passed over, and in the guiding of higher studies no task was regarded as unconquerable. A firm believer in the winning of hearts, Miss Ridley based her whole attitude in school on that conception and it can be fittingly be said of her ‘she was loved by all’.  The school doors were no limit to her activities, for the welfare of the girls and the hockey team owed everything to her tireless enthusiasm as coach.  It has frequently gone unbeaten through the whole season and one of Miss Ridley’s proudest moments was on the occassion of the annual photograph when she became the cental figure in the hockey group, That her name loomed large in the affection of her pupils was ever in evidence at the Christmas gambols, when it had become almost a school tradition to set the ball rolling by making Miss Ridley the invariable ‘first call’ for the game.  By all associated with the school she was held in the greatest esteem and her loss is a staggering blow to the institution. Miss Ridley’s private life was full of the same spirit as her professional one. The Runcorn branch of the Girls’ Friendly Society has lost an active member and her loving enthusiasm, wise counsels and ever ready help will be much missed by all the girls’.

There was a large outbreak of the flu through the school and on 25 October 1918 it was closed  due to eight members of staff being ill.  Other schools in Runcorn were also closed by order of the County Medical Officer of Health, including one school where 70 of the children were ill.

Elizabeth (Bessie) Mary Ridley ( 1889 – 11 November 1918)

Bessie was the only other child of William and Mary and died at 29 Maid’s Causeway less than a month after her sister. She was also said to have died of the flu (possibly Spanish flu) and her funeral took place on 14 November 1918. An obituary in the Cambridge Daily News read : ‘Very great and widespread sympathy has been extended to Mr. and Mrs. Ridley in their very great sorrow, as it was only three weeks previously that their elder daughter had been laid to rest – both from influenza. Few people were better known and more loved in Christ Church parish than Miss E.M. Ridley and her sweet, bright, unselfish life and work will be greatly missed by the many among whom she worked. She endeared herself to all with whom she worked, and it will be difficult to replace her keen, indefatigable work on behalf of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Dr. Barnardo’s Homes, the C.M.S and other societies for whom she worked and collected. Miss Ridley possessed the secret of at once winning sympathy and practical help for any society in which she was interested.

The women were the only daughters of William and Mary Ann, who are believed to have been buried in the same grave as their daughters.

William Ridley (1849 – 1 June 1922) died at 29 Newmarket Road and was buried in the Holy Trinity area of Mill Road Cemetery on 3 June 1922.

Mary Ann Ridley ( 1847 – 6 June 1922) died at 29 Newmarket Road and was buried in the Holy Trinity area of Mill Road Cemetery on 8 June 1922.



Newspaper archives

Parish burial records transcribed by CFHS

by Claire Martinsen

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Elizabeth Mary Ridley; Lilian Maria Ridley
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