Lewis Ratcliffe was born in 1887 in Bradford the oldest of four sons of Sam and Clara, nee Horsfield.In 1901 Lewis at the age of 15 years was working as a grocer’s assistant. In 1910 he married Mary Elizabeth Ingham in Bradford and they went to live at 70 Undercliffe Street where three children were born, Alice in 1911, John in 1915 and Douglas in 1917. When Lewis enlisted he was employed by the Bradford Co-op Stores.He enlisted in October 1916 as Private 3037594 in the 2/7th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington West Riding Regiment.
His Regiment landed in France in January 1917 and took part in the Operations on the Ancre 11th January to 13th March 1917. There followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line 14th March to 5th of April 1917 and the Arras Offensive 5th April to 9th June 1917. His Regiment appears to have been resting during the Ypres Offensive but were in action again in the Cambrai Operations in the capture of Bourlon Wood when Lewis was killed in action on the 27th November 1917. He was 30 years of age.
Lewis is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial which stands on an elevated terrace at Louverval. It commemorates more than 7,000 servicemen from Britain and South Africa who died in the Battle of Cambrai whose graves are not known.He left his effects to his widow Mary Elizabeth who received £3.17.5d on the 7th September 1918 and a War Gratuity of £4.0.0d on the 13th December 1919.
Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks