Family History


Albert William 1890

   Family of Albert William RIDLER and Margaret MILLS


Husband:                Albert William RIDLER (1890-1964)

Wife:                Margaret MILLS (1887-1974)

Married: 23 December 1910 

Children:               James Albert RIDLER (1911-1992)

Mame Emily RIDLER (1914 - )

John William RIDLER (1920-1941)

Father:  William RIDLER (1867-1891)

Mother: Kate Ellen ANCRUM (1867-1920)

Birth 8 Jan 1890        35 Regent St, St.Philip & Jacob,Bristol

Death 21 Oct 1964 (age 74)                Bristol Homeopathic Hospital

Occupation Booking Clerk

 Wife: Margaret MILLS (1887 - 1974)

Father: James Mills

Mother: Margaret Ann ????

Birth 28 Dec 1887                Kingswood, Bristol

Death 12 Jan 1974 (age 86)                27 Cleave Rd, Filton, Bristol

Albert William Ridler 1890 – 1964 (Pop)

Pops father, (WILLIAM Jnr) died, 13/09/1867, when Pop was only 1 year 10 months old and his brother Fredrick, was only one month old.

His mother (KATE ELLEN) remarried James Heath and Pop was brought up by Aunt Luke, (EMILY ELIZA), William Jnr's sister who had no children of her own. There is a reference in Aunt Luke's obituary that Pop was an adopted son but there were no official papers.

After leaving school Pop worked for WALTER RIDLER the builder but had to eventually leave due to health problems caused by the paint fumes.

His next job was with Fry's, at the Bristol chocolate factory where he was employed as an artificer (craftsman’s apprentice).

He met Margaret Mills (Nan) whilst at Fry's, she was working in the hand made chocolate's room.

In September 1910 he emigrated to the United States of America on the LUSITANIA from Liverpool. 

He was employed by the City and County of New York as a conductor on the horse drawn trams..

Pop rented rooms at 269 West 11th Street and sent to England for his Fiancée, Margaret Mills. Aunt Nell (Nan's eldest sister, HELEN), also had rooms in 269 West 11th.

Margaret departed on the 14th December from Southampton on the St.LOUIS arriving in New York on the 23rd of December 1910, Pop met her and they went straight to City Hall and were married. The marriage ceremony was performed by James J Smith, an Alderman of the City of New York.

JAMES ALBERT (Jim) was' born on the 26 September 1911 at 269 West 11th Street.

Aunt Luke had a second miscarriage in 1913/1914 (Aged 50) and was not expected to live. She sent the money for the boat fare home to Pop so the family could come home to see her before she died.

Pop, Nan and their young son, Jim, returned to the UK just before the outbreak of the Great War in 1914.

When the family returned from America they lived at Nan's mothers house (127 Easton Rd), by this time JAMES MILLS had died and she had remarried CHARLES TILLING.

By this time Nan was pregnant with MAMIE EMILY who was born on' the 19th of September 1914.

Aunt Luke's health improved but before the family could move back to the USA, Pop was called up to serve in THE ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY. He survived the war in France, returning to England in 1918. From his photo he has the signallers badge on his lower arm showing he was a Regimental Signaller.

For some time after the war he was on the reserve list and the family never went back to the USA.

In 1915 Jim and Mamie both caught Whooping cough and were very seriously ill, Nan could not cope with both young children and Jim was looked after by Aunt Luke at 4 Horfield Rd.

When Pop returned from the war he moved to Weston - Super - Mare with Nan and Mamie. Jim was still living with Aunt Luke and again like his father, Jim was unofficially adopted and brought up by Aunt Luke.

JOHN WILLIAM was born in 1920 at Weston.

EMILY LUKE (Aunt Luke) ran a newsagent business from 4 Horfield Rd, St.Michael's for which she paid rent to WaIter Ridler, her brother. When he died (24/03/1933), Walter bequeathed the property to Albert. About this time Pop lost his job (living at 52 South St Weston-Super-Mare) and the family moved into 4 Horfield Rd. When Emily Luke died Pop carried on the newsagent business.

It would seem Albert did not have his Aunts business skills and was not long before he was a Coach Driver. There is tale in the family that the house was sold and the profits disappeared with drink.

Albert retired as a booking clerk for the coach company. At the time of his death he was living at 55 Effingham Rd, St. Andrews, Bristol

 From an article in Bristol Evening Post Monday 19th December 1960. There are several discrepancies in the article but it has been reproduced in its entirety.

New York wedding

Huddled in a topcoat, the small, slim English girl stood on the steps of the City Hall in New York. In a few minutes-at 3 p.m., just five hours after arriv­ing in America-she was to be married. Snow, already knee-deep on the streets was still falling and Margaret Mills was crying.

That is the scene Mr and Mrs Bert Ridler, of 55, Effingham Road, St. Andrew's, will recall this week when they celebrate their golden wedding on December 23.

"I was crying for a number of reasons," Mrs. Ridler told me today. "Because of the terrible Atlantic crossing I had just experienced; because I was so cold I had to wear my top coat and leave my wedding dress still unpacked in my luggage; because I really only wanted to go home to Bristol.

But the wedding went on before two "professional" witnesses (men who waited on the steps of the City Hall to perform such a service for a five-dollar fee). The honeymoon was spent looking at shops in Broadway.

Stormy crossing

The first steps that led Mr. and Mrs. Ridler to a New York wed­ding were taken when both left school and went to work at Fry's -Mr. Ridler as an apprentice in the architect's office, and Miss Mills in the "almond" room.

After three years he decided to seek his fortune in America and there worked on the rail­road. In November 1910, he wrote to Miss Mills and asked her to marry him.

"I left England in the St.Louis on December 14 and we should have landed in New York exactly a week later," Mrs. Ridler recalled.

"But we encountered a terrible storm-once we were battened down for 24 hours-and we docked Friday, December 23, at 8 a.m. The wedding was to be after Christmas but because I had nowhere to stay in America we decided to get married that very day."

They spent four years together in America before returning to Bristol For most of his working life Mr. Ridler worked with a coach firm as a driver and, subsequently, booking clerk

 Return trip

"I should love to go back to America for a trip-but I don't want to die out there," his wife remarked


 Child 1: James Albert RIDLER (1911 - 1992)

Spouse: Doris Marion EAMER (1913-1983)

Married: 24 August 1937 

Occupation Aero Engine Fitter / Tanker Driver

Birth 26 Sep 1911        261 West 11th Street, New York City, USA

Death 21 Feb 1992 (age 80)                Southmead Hospital, Bristol

 Cause: Acute on Chonic renal failure, Bronchopneumonia, Congestive cardiac failure, Perepheral vascular diesease


  Child 2: Mame Emily RIDLER (1914 - 2003 )

Spouse: Wilfred George Vincent (1914 - 1974)

 Married: 01 August 1937

Birth: 19 September 1914


 Her first job was in a bakery at the age of 16, training to be a pastry cook. Albert lost his job (living at 52 South St Weston-Super-Mare at the time) and Mame was the only one working. She learnt to drive working for a cafe in Weston making deliverys.When Uncle Walter died Albert was bequethed 4 Horfield Rd, St Michaels and the family moved to Bristol in 1933. 


 Child 3: John William RIDLER (1920 - 1941)

Birth  24 Apr 1920       

Death 20 Feb 1941 (age 20) Aircraft Crash

 At the age of 3 John went to Corpus Christy Infants’ School at Weston – Super – Mare and later St.Johns grammar school also at Weston. The family lived at 72 Locking Rd, WSM until 1923 moving into 78 Alfred St, WSM and finally on to 52 South Rd for a year.

Following the death of Walter (Pop’s Uncle and Aunt Luke’s brother), Pop inherited 4 Horfield Rd, St. Michaels, so in 1933 at the age of 13 the family moved to Bristol.

John went to St. Michaels School and at the age of 15, he went to Temple Technical School. He was in the St. Michaels scout troupe with his brother JAMES. John went on to be a King’s Scout.

1936 he became an apprentice with BRECKWELL MUNRO & ROGERS (1928 Ltd). They were Engineers and Founders of Pennywell Road, Bristol 5.

In 1939 just before the outbreak of the Second World War, John was given temporary release to join the Fleet Air Arm. He was accepted in September but he severed a tendon in his arm and as a consequence he did not start his Pilot training until January 1940. His first station was HMS Vincent at Plymouth and after passing out as a pilot on Tiger Moths he was transferred to 755 Squadron Fleet Air Arm HMS Kestrel (RN Air Station, Worthy Down, near Winchester)


We are not sure whether he was returning from a mission but on the 20 February 1941 his Blackburn Shark aircraft crashed near Bristol, killing both himself and Naval Airman E.W.E. Burton. 

The photo on the right is a Blackburn Shark in Royal Canadian Air force livery. It had a top speed of152 mph and carried one pilot and one air gunner,