8 October 1916 – Ridley Resurfaces

2nd Lieutenant Claude Alward Ridley who went missing in action on 3 August 1916 has reappeared in Holland.

Claude Ridley

Claude Ridley

The 60 Squadron pilot had attempted to deliver a French agent behind the lines near Douai. After a daytime reconnaissance, he landed in his chosen field near Douai but discovered the Germans had just taken over a nearby field as an airbase. Worse than that, his engine died and refused to restart, and the two men  were forced to abandon their aircraft.


For the next three weeks the two moved discreetly about enemy country picking up what military information they could. Towards the end of August they crossed the frontier into Belgium. Ridley ended up disguising himself by acting deaf and dumb and painting his cheeks with iodine and bandaging his head. At one point he was arrested on a tram-car near Mons, but escaped by punching the military policeman, and jumping from the car. He lost his agent comrade but, eventually carried a ladder to the frontier and climbed over the electrified wire into Holland, early this morning.


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