Stop 5.

Who was A.E. Kerridge?

Saxmundham’s on-line Roll of Honour suggests that it may have been Private 1489, Arthur Kerridge, 1st /13th Kensington Battalion who perished 9 May 1915 and whose parents lived in Willesden, London.  Michael Wood suggested another possible, and more likely candidate, namely Albert Ernest Kerridge, born 1881 and resident in the Plomesgate Union House in 1891.  

This is Albert Ernest Kerridge, born 12 June 1881 to John Kerridge and Eliza nee Pallent.  Albert’s birth was registered in Saxmundham on 27 July 1881.   Likely Eliza lived in Hazelwood, Aldeburgh albeit there does not appear to be a record of John and Eliza’s marriage.  John was bricklayer’s labourer whose family lived in Rendham Road in 1871.  His father, Daniel died in 1867 and John and his sister Julia Jane lived with their widowed mother, Eliza.  Regrettably, there is no trace of John in the 1881 census, but Eliza is registered with her now married daughter, Julia Jane, and her son-in-law William Golding Orford.  (Their son, Frederick Gerald, Albert Ernest’s cousin also perished during World War One).    

By 1891, Albert Kerridge resided in the Union Workhouse in Wickham Market and his father, now recorded as a widower lodged at the Coach and Horses Inn, High Street, Saxmundham.  Clearly John Kerridge, without a settled home, was unable to care for his son.  Neither Albert nor John is visible in the 1901 census.  However, an Albert Kerridge aged seventeen is recorded in the Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital Admission and Discharges.  On 14 April 1900 Alfred Kerridge from Saxmundham served on the vessel the London City and was hospitalised for a week for treatment of a mouth abscess.    Thus, it seems that Albert entered the merchant navy.   Similarly, to the 1901 census the 1911 census records provide no clues to the whereabouts of John and Albert.  John died in 1920 (Plomesgate, 4a, p.1018, Qtr.4.) and no tangible records exist for the death of Albert Ernest Kerridge. 

Is it possible that this is the A.E. Kerridge recorded on the Saxmundham War Memorials?  There are some clues; his aunt Julia Jane Orford lived in the town and if her nephew perished during the war or because of the conflict she would have submitted his name for inclusion on the memorial.  Secondly it seems likely that Albert entered the merchant navy and may have perished at sea whilst delivering goods to war arenas.  In this case it is quite possible that his death was never recorded.    Alternatively, Albert enlisted and died after demobilisation due to wounds or illness attributable to his war service.  

If anyone knows different, please let us know to enable us to correct the record.