Ritchie, Francis Michael (Frank)
No. 26839, 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Killed in action on Friday 29 March 1918 (aged 34)
No known grave
Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France (Panel 38 to 40)
Francis Michael (Frank) Ritchie was born on 23 March 1884 in the townland of Ballyminstra, Killinchy and he was a son of Mary Ritchie. Mary’s grandmother, Jane Ritchie, was with her when Frank was born.
Francis Michael Ritchie worked as an agricultural labourer and he and Annie Maria Middleton were married on 25 March 1905 in Kilmood Parish Church of Ireland Church. Francis Michael Ritchie, a labourer from Ballyminstra was recorded as being a son of Frank Ritchie, a labourer. Annie Maria Middleton, a servant from Ballyminstra was recorded as being a daughter of Henry Middleton, a labourer.
Annie Maria Middleton had a son named Henry Middleton who was born on 7 January 1905 in Ballyminstra. After his mother got married, Henry Middleton was given the surname Ritchie.
Francis Michael Ritchie and Annie Maria Ritchie (nee Middleton) had at least six other children:
Francis (Frank, born 4 May 1906 in Ballyminstra)
Eliza Jane (born 14 August 1908 in Ballyminstra)
James (born 16 August 1910 in Ballymaglaff)
John Allen (born 22 April 1913 in Ballystockart)
Mary (born 13 October 1915 in Commons)
Samuel (born 12 November 1918 in Corporation South)
The Ritchie family lived in the townlands of Ballyminstra, Ballymaglaff, Ballystockart, Commons and Corporation South, Newtownards.
Francis Michael Ritchie enlisted before October 1915 in Newtownards and he served with the 9th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 109th Brigade of the 36th Ulster Division.
Lance Corporal Francis Michael Ritchie (No. 26839) was 34 when he was killed in action on 29 March 1918 during the early stages of the German Spring Offensive. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.
In the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website his age is recorded as 28.