- Name: Robert Edward RYDER
- D.O.B: 17th Dec, 1895
- D.O.A: 26th Sep, 1916
- D.O.D: 1st Dec, 1978
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Private, 12th Battalion The Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment), 54th Brigade, 18th Division
- Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
Thiepval, France 26-28 September 1916
26-28 September 1916
The First World War 1916
On 26 September 1916 General Gough attacked the German line running west from Courcelette towards Thiepval in what has become known as the Battle of Thiepval Ridge. By 2.30pm Lieutenant Colonel F A Maxwell had established his HQ at Thiepval Chateau but when night fell the north-west of Thiepval village was still in enemy hands. At 5.45 next morning 7th Battalion The Bedfordshire Regiment, together with the 1/5th West Yorks, attacked and captured the village. The ultimate goal of the British was the Schwaben Redoubt which was also eventually captured.
For most conspicuous bravery and initiative during an attack. His company was held up by heavy rifle fire, and all his officers had become casualties. For want of leadership the attack was flagging. Private Ryder, realizing the situation, without a moment’s thought for his own safety dashed absolutely alone at the enemy trench, and, by skilful manipulation of his Lewis gun, succeeded in clearing the trench. This very gallant act not only made possible, but also greatly inspired the subsequent advance of his comrades, and turned possible failure into success.