Service Details
Given Name:
The Reverend
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South African Chaplain's Department
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attd. Kaffrarian Rifles
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Date of Death:
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Date of Birth:
Cause of Death:
Died of pneumonia, following the rigours of active service
Brought to the Notice of the Secretary of State for War
LG Sup 22 August 1918 - "For distinguished service in the Field and in connection with the campaign in German South-West Africa, 1914-15"
Fourth son of Charles Aldridge, F.R.I.B.A., and Kate Nora Aldridge (on the outbreak of war, the family were living at 40, Shrewsbury Road, Oxton, Birkenhead). He received his education at Birkenhead School from 1892-1897. On leaving school he took a B.A. degree at Liverpool University, during which time he had also joined the ranks of the 1st Cheshire Royal Engineers (Volunteers). Serving with this unit, he was gradually promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and went on to take part in the South African War (1899-1902), from 1901-1902. On his return from South Africa, in 1902, Noel Aldridge went to Litchfield Theological College, and was ordained in the same year. Having received his Holy Orders, he returned to South Africa, in 1906, and became a Vicar at Roodepoort. Prior to leaving for South Africa, Noel lived in Birkenhead for a short time, and while the Vicar of All Saints Church was away on holiday, he officiated at the church services. In 1910, he became the Vicar of Cleveland. Following the outbreak of the Great War, Noel Aldridge immediately enlisted as an army Chaplain, which automatically carried the rank of Captain, on 10th September, 1914. He was attached to the Kaffrarian Rifles (5th Infantry Regiment), and served through the campaign in German East Africa. Noel Aldridge had also, at some stage of his service, been attached to the Transvaal Horse Artillery. It is not clear when he left the army, but in the Department of Defence archive, in South Africa, they state that there was no appeal for an extension of his service after 14th June, 1915. Having physically tired himself out during his campaign service, Noel was due to return back to England. Instead, he became the main organizer of the construction of the St. George's Home, which was to become an orphanage. He was due to be appointed "Head" of this establishment. During the buildings construction, he worked as bricklayer and joiner. Sadly, three days prior to the orphanage being opened, he contracted pneumonia. His condition worsened, and he died on 7th September, 1916, aged 36. Commemorated on the following war memorials: Birkenhead School Chapel, Birkenhead School Memorial Book, Liverpool University and Birkenhead Cenotaph in Hamilton Square. Commemoration stone in Flaybrick Cemetery Birkenhead.
South Africa
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