Tom Ryder was born on 14th March 1899 in Daresbury and baptised on 16th April that same year, at All Saints, Daresbury. He was the son of James Ryder (born Aston-by-Sutton) and his wife Sarah Elizabeth (nee Gerrard) who was born in Manchester.
The 1901 census recorded the family as living on Newton Lane in Newton-by-Daresbury. The father was a stonemason. Two-year-old Tom had five older brothers: Charles (18), Albert (16), Frank (10), James (8) and Arthur Gerrard (5). He also had two older sisters: Ethel (14) and Sarah (12). Charles was an apprentice stonemason and Albert was an apprentice cabinet maker. James lived with his uncle and aunt. All the six brothers would serve in the Great War.
Ten years later they were living at Newton Bank in Newton-by-Daresbury. There was now another son, Cyril (4). Daughters Ethel and Sarah had left home and the two eldest brothers had qualified in their chosen trades. Frank was working as a joiner and Arthur Gerrard was training as an apprentice engineer. James was a canal clerk, living with his uncle. The mother declared that one of her ten children had died previously.
Tom served in the Royal Naval Air Service in the Great War. This was the air arm of the Royal Navy. It existed from 1st July 1914 until 1st April 1918, when it merged with the Royal Flying Corps to form the R.A.F. Tom had the service number M29034. He served from February 1918 until being demobilised in late February 1919. On enlistment he gave his occupation as apprentice blacksmith. He was 5’5 tall, with brown hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. He was stationed at HMS Pembroke 11, which was a shore station at Eastchurch on The Isle of Sheppey in Kent. It was an accounting base.
In early 1924, Tom married Georgina Gregory Lyall, at St. Thomas’, Stockton Heath. She was a year younger than him. They would have three children: Donald, born in March 1925, Frank Lyall in July 1927 and Jean Ann in July 1932.
The 1939 Register showed the family as living at Sunny Hill, Preston-on-the-Hill. Tom was a haulage contractor, Georgina was a housewife and the three children were at school.
Tom had been a bellringer at Daresbury when he was younger and a member of the parish council for a while. He was also a pigeon fancier.
Sadly, his son Donald died in 1951.
Tom Ryder died on 22nd August 1956, at his home at Newton Bank, twenty years before Georgina passed away. He was 57 years of age.