Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
George Herbert Redden was born in Preston, Lancashire, the son of Frederick and Mary. His parents had come to Preston from London; Frederick was a shoemaker.
Captain Redden does not seem to have had any connection with Bridgnorth until late in his life - when the probate register shows that he had a home address at 27, St Mary’s Street.
Herbert Redden appears to have been a regular in the Shropshire Light Infantry before the war. He had risen to the rank of Colour Serjeant before being commissioned on the 16 September, 1916. At some point he transferred to the 7th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. At the time of his death he held the rank of 2nd Lieutenant (temporary Captain).
According to his medal card, he entered the war in the Egyptian Theatre on 5th November, 1914. By 1917 he was with the East Lancashires in France. The London Gazette of 1st June records the award of his MC – possibly won during the Arras offensive in April. He died on 7th June, 1917, the opening day of the Battle of Messines when the 7th East Lancashires made a successful attack north of Wytschaete. He is buried near Wytschaete at Klein-Vierstraat British Cemetery, Heuvelland, Belgium.
Besides the MC, Captain Redden was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the 15 Star.
KILLED IN ACTION [Bridgnorth Journal, 16th June, 1917] Official information has been received [that] Second-Lieutenant Redden was killed in action the 7th inst. in France He will be remembered as drill-instructor to the 4th Volunteer Batt. (Bridgnorth Coy.) K.S.L.I. up to the outbreak of the war.
According to an article in the Shropshire Star of Nov 11th 1998, the Chaplain of the Regiment wrote to Captain Redden's widow: "He fell while leading his men into action soon after the beginning of the great attack last Thursday morning, the most gloriously successful made by the British Army during this war. He was killed instantly from a piece of shell. His men loved him and one of them who came down wounded to the dressing station where I was cried like a child when he told me of your husband's death."
Captain Redden's grandson believes the Captain started as a band boy and rose through the ranks. The grandson followed him into the K.S.L.I. When it was discovered that he was unaware of his illustrious forebear he was made to "Bull up to the nines" and march into the officers' mess. "There, over the fireplace, was a photograph of my grandfather. I was made to stand there and salute it. I was given a right rocket and told I was to make half the soldier he was."
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.