John Herbert Ridgway was born in Farnworth near Cronton, in August 1875, the elder son of John Clare Ridgway, a slate and timber merchant from Great Sankey, and his wife Annie Maria Houghton. In the early years of 20th century the Ridgway family came to live at Daresbury Lodge, which nowadays houses a dental academy.
He was educated at Southport, and began his military career when he joined the South Staffordshire Militia, and later the North Staffordshire Regiment. He served in the South African War of 1899-1902, and also in India and Ireland.
In 1914 at the outbreak of war, he went with his regiment to France, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions on the Somme in 1916.
Acting Lieutenant-Colonel J H Ridgway was attached to the York and Lancaster Regiment when he was killed in action on April 23rd 1917 at the Battle of the Scarpe. He was buried in St. Laurent’s graveyard, Blagny near Arras. His body was later re-buried in the Cabaret Rouge cemetery at Souchez, by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.