One of the things Michael wanted to do from an early stage in the research of the Group history was to locate the graves of the founding Leaders, George and Frederick Greenacre and the Group sponsor Col Ritson.
Col Ritson’s grave was the last of the three to be tracked down, but I’m pleased to say it has now been found and visited.
How was it found
Tracking the grave had been a bit of a mystery as there was no record of Col Ritson’s death in the North Tyneside area or in the Durham area which was his military discharge address.
However during an internet search, Michael stumbled across a story in the Hexham Courant relating to a church in Broomley, St. Margaret’s, which had been converted into a house.
The story mentioned a Ritson family window which had been moved to St. Peters church in Bywell and also mentioned that Bywell was referred to on old paperwork as being part of Hindley.
A visit to the Northumberland county records office at Woodhorn Colliery turned up some family papers, amongst which was a letter and map from Col Ritson relating to the purchase of a burial plot at a church in Hindley.
It also mentioned that he had contributed “very liberally” to church funds since becoming resident at Hindley Hall.
Once putting the two pieces of information together, thanks to Mrs Sue Kirsopp, Group Scout Leader at the 15th Tynemouth and Church Secretary at Christ Church, Michael found an e-mail address for the Revd Bill Rigby, the Vicar of Bywell and Mickley, who confirmed that the family window was in his church, St. Peters, and that Col Ritson’s grave was still at the grave yard at the back for the former church.
Michael and his children Mathew and Frances visited the two churches on Saturday 27th August 2011. The photos from the visit are below.