Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.

R Bourne (1894 - 1917)

Ralph Bourne was born on the 10th January, 1894, the son of Mr A E and Mrs E M Bourne. He was born in the Argentine Republic where his father worked as a mining engineer. By 1901, Ralph was living with his grandmother, mother and younger brother and sister at Hilderstone Manor House, Stone, Staffordshire. It seems likely that they had returned from South America for the children to attend school in England.

Ralph attended Bridgnorth Grammar School from 1908 (by which time his father was working in Mexico) until 1910. I have not found Ralph in the 1911 census, so it is possible that he returned to South America when he left school. His mother and his siblings appear in the census living in Bedford - at the address recorded in the Grammar School admission records. By the time the Commonwealth War Graves records were compiled, Mrs Bourne was living at 101, St. George's Square, London SW1.

Ralph served in the Royal Field Artillery. He originally served as a common soldier, no. 150971, but was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 158th Brigade - a new unit formed in April 1917. He was killed in action on 10th September, 1917 when the battery was at Nieuport-les-Bains (now Nieuport-Bad). He is buried in Coxyde Military Cemetery, close to Nieuport.

Second-Lieutenant Bourne was awarded the Victory and British medals.

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.