|Date of Birth||September 27, 1884|
|Place of Birth||Ballaymore, Co; West Meath|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Francis Ramsay (Sister) 180 Carter St., Knowel RD, Sheffield, England|
|Trade / Calling||Railroad Trainman, Conductor|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||No 1 Section Skilled Railway Employees|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Railway Troops|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||February 3, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||32|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||July 27, 1958|
|Age at Death||74|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Richard Henry Redding was born on September 27th, 1884 in Ballaymore, Co; West Meath, Ireland. His father’s name was Richard Redding also, and when Richard enlisted he still lived in Ireland.
As a young man, 18 1/2 years old, he enlisted with the 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars on January 11th, 1902. He suffered a few illnesses while serving, including diphtheria in 1905, pleurisy also in 1905 and a contusion on his leg in 1909. His service was exemplary, and upon retirement from his work with the army, he agreed to be transferred to Army Reserve in 1909- ‘with his consent before expiry of army service.’ His last rank was Lance-Sergeant. The comment on his discharge papers – ‘exemplary conduct, thoroughly sober and reliable.’
Redding returned to England as a reservist with the British Army once WW1 started and a news article in the Kenora Miner and News of August 1914 describes Corporal ‘Dick’ as a brakeman for the CPR and a reservist in an Irish Brigade. British army forms from 1915 show he was rejected for active service because of ‘an insufficient development of the chest-under standard.’ A later article in the Miner News stated that he worked as a training officer in England until 1916. He returned to Canada, arriving on April 2nd 1916 on the Missanabie. On the passenger list he stated his occupation as trainman, for the CPR.
In 1917, Redding once again re-enlisted but this time in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His experience with the CPR destined him to join the Canadian Railway Troops, No. 1 Section Skilled Railway Employees. He was needed in France, to assist with the war effort to build railways to transport goods and soldiers where required.
His records state he embarked from Canada on March 4, 1917 and disembarked in England on March 15th. His experience was acknowledged and he was made a Corporal on March 1st, and an acting Sergeant on March 13th. This rank was confirmed on April 13th. On April 19th he landed in France. That same month, he suffered from the mumps and was hospitalized, first in the #5 General Hospital in Calais, then transferred to Wimereux. It is interesting that a note on his record states that he is now part of the 58th BGR- Broad Gauge Railway Battalion.
Redding returned to his battalion on June 11th, 1917. He had two leaves of absence for 14 days each, in March 1918 and January 1919. He probably had one before that as he was married to Violet May Pearce on March 2, 1917 at West Green Christ Church in England. He had made out a will to S. Pearce, 132 Harringjay Road, West Green London, England. Redding continued to serve until he was taken on strength to Rhyl, pending return to Canada, which finally occurred on July 11, 1919, arriving in Quebec on July 13th. In 1921, on the census form, he and his wife Violet were living in Kenora, where he worked as a trainman. There were no children. Sadly, Violet died later that year of tuberculosis of the throat. In 1924, Redding married Nellie Peters, daughter of David Peters. They had three children. Nellie Peters, his second wife, had a brother David Peters who died at age 18 at Passchendaele, on November 1st, 1917. He is commemorated on the Kenora Great War Project.
Dick Redding continued to work for the CPR, and a subsequent article in the Miner and News acknowledges his retirement from the CPR in 1949. There it states he would be staying in town as he had one child, Ronald still in high school, and two adult children, Harold and Noreen May. Redding, who died on 27 July 1958, is buried in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora along with Violet and later Nellie who died in 1984. His obituary noted that upon retirement from the railway, he continued to work with W.H. Marr and co. where ‘he enjoyed the friendly association of his fellow workmen.’ He was a member of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, a member of the Canadian Legion, and also a member of the Anglican church. At the time of his death, he was visiting his daughter Noreen (Letang) living in Toronto. His son Harold resided at McDiarmid, Ontario and his youngest Ronald still at home.
On Ancestry.ca, a family tree lists son Harold as dying in 2009, in Chilliwack B.C., and according to the family tree, he was married with children. Noreen May has a gravestone in Kenora as well, marked Noreen (Letang) Redding, 1925-1994.
by Penny Beal