John William Riding

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John William Riding

Also Known As: "Jack Riding"
Birthplace: Lancaster, Lancashire, England, Lancaster, Lancashire, UK
Death: November 05, 1957 (74)
Adelaide Hospital, South Australia, Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia (Cancer)
Place of Burial: Adelide, South Australia, Australia
Immediate Family:

Son of Bill Riding and Sarah Anne Riding
Husband of Margaret "Maggie" Hacking
Father of Alice Riding; Ellen (Helen) Riding; Ethel Riding; Phyllis Riding and William Edward Riding
Brother of Alice Clark; Sarah Jane Pettitt; Gordon Riding, M.M; Janet "Jenny" Davies; Lilian Riding and 5 others

Occupation: Builder
Managed by: Private User
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About John William Riding

John (Jack) Riding

  • Birth: 22 Jul 1884, Lancaster UK
  • Death: Nov 1957, Torrensville , South Australia
  • Burial: 3 Nov 1957, War Memorial Cemetery, West Tce, Adelaide South Australia


  • Name: John Riding
  • Birth Place: Lancaster, England
  • Dossier Year Range: 1914-1920
  • Enlistment Place: Adelaide, South Australia
  • Service number: 6093
  • Next of Kin: Margaret Ellen Riding


  • Name: John Riding
  • Birth Date: 22 Jul 1887
  • Birth Place: Lancaster England
  • Year Range: 1939 - 1948
  • Enlistment Place: Cheltenham Sa
  • Service number: S37346
  • Next of Kin: Margaret Riding
  • Series Description: B884: Army Citizen Military Forces
''Note:'' on one of the census I read that Jack was living with a "Singleton" and they were stone masons. Will find that paper.

He had a restless spirit and always looking for new challenges. When he was 16 he walked the length of Britain, from John O'Groats to Lands End.

In 1906 he worked his passage on a ship bound for New Zealand with Edward and Bill Clarke. Finding nothing there to interest him, he worked his way to Sydney, and across 3 States, eventually buying land at Murray Bridge.

He wrote to Maggie Hacking to ask her to come and Marry him, but she insisted that he come for her, and he did. They married in 1909 and returned to his farm ay Murray Bridge. They were of Quaker Faith and quite puritanical in nature, but their love was deep and long lasting.

Jack had his own stone masons business in Murray Bridge for many years, and had a few boats he hired out on the river.

He awaited the birth of his son Bill before joining the AIF to serve in World War 1, and saw action in France. Maggie rented a home at Norwood, a suburb of Adelaide for that time.

Jack came back, and they moved back to Murray Bridge, and he resumed his business which by then employed six men. It was at this time they sponsored several family members to also immigrate to Australia.

In 1927, because of the great depression, they moved to Glenelg, and had many moves, including to Victoria, seeking work.

Jack served in the Home Forces during World War 2 and in 1944 they moved to Torrensville, South Australia, where Jack died of Bowell Cancer.

While writing this, a song comes to mind, as, Jack and Maggie, are one of the families great love stories.

"The Story Of My Life" by Neil Diamond

This from Rosalind Davies with thanks

Jack was apprenticed to his father as a stonemason at the age of 11. (Although on his enlistment papers, he states that he had never been apprenticed. This probably means that it wasn't a formal situation.) He had a restless spirit and was always looking for new challenges. When he was 16 he walked the length of Britain from John O'Groats to Lands End. In 1906 he worked his passage aboard a ship bound for New Zealand with Edward and Bill Clarke. Finding nothing there to interest him he worked his way back to Sydney and then travelled across three states, eventually buying land in Murray Bridge South Australia. In 1909 he went back to Lancaster to marry Maggie Hacking and they both came back out and settled in Murray Bridge.

Jack had his own business as a stonemason in Murray Bridge for a good number of years. He also had several boats which he hired out on the River Murray. He awaited the birth of his son Bill before joining the AIF to serve in the First World War . At that stage Maggie, who was very much a 'town' girl, rented out their home and moved with the children to 12 Chapel Street, Norwood, a suburb of Adelaide.

Jack enlisted on 13th June 1916 in Adelaide. His medical report states that he was 33 years, 10 months, married with four children , was 5 feet 7 1/2 inches, weighed 137 pounds. His chest measurement expanded was 38 inches. He had a medium complexion with brown eyes and light brown hair. His vision was right 6/6 and left 6/6. He was then appointed as private No. 6093 to 19/10th Battalion then A company, 2nd Depot Battalion, A.I.F. (Australian Imperial Forces).

He embarked from Adelaide on O.C. Troopship 'Ballarat' on 12th April 1916 and disembarked at Plymouth, England on 30th September 1916. His Battalion then embarked from Folkestone on S.S. 'Princess Victoria/Clementine' on 4th December 1916. On 29th December 1916, the Battalion marched out to join the 1st Australian Infantry Base Depot at Etaples, on the French coast. He then joined the 10th Battalion. By 8th September 1917 he was in a military hospital sick with "Chronic Otitis Media" which is a middle ear infection. He was hospitalised again at Divisional Rest Station at Wippeshock on 10th September for the same complaint and again on 14th, 16th,& 29th September. On 13th October he was transfered to the General Military Hospital at Etaples then onto Cayeux and on 24th November at Havre. On 12th December , he proceeded to rejoin his unit near Havre, France.

On 29th December 1917 he was detached and joined the Brigade Mining Corp and was granted leave to England on 5th January 1918 for two weeks. He was back in hospital on 22nd June with influenza and was transfered to several different hospital depots until 9th July when he rejoined his unit, the Brigade Mining Corp.

On 20th September 1918, he was wounded in action (gunshot wound to right forearm) and taken to the General Hospital at Rouen then invalided to England by 'Aberdonian' on 24th September. He was admitted to Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester then to Weymouth Hospital and discharged on 8th November and granted leave until he embarked on H.T. 'Nestor' on 12th December for Australia, arriving on 13th February 1919.He was given the Military Star, the British War Medal and the Victory medal and discharged "Medically unfit not due to misconduct" on 3rd April 1919.

On the way home to Australia after the war, Jack's boat was disabled and drifted to an island where they eventually repaired it and sailed on. vi After Jack came back from the war, the family moved back to Murray Bridge. Jack's name is inscribed on the 'Roll of Honour' in the entrance hall of the Murray Bridge Soldiers Memorial Hospital. He resumed his building business and employed six men. The old Picture Theatre in Bridge Street which he built, still remains. He also built Montieth Town Hall in Montieth S.A. It was at this time that he sponsored several members of the family to emigrate.

In 1927 , because of the Great Depression, the family moved to Glenelg, a seaside suburb of Adelaide,looking for work. In 1935/6 they moved to Victoria for a period, where Jack was employed to use his specific skills in stonemasonry. They lived in several places before moving back to Prospect S.A. in 1939.

Jack & Maggie agreed to bring up their granddaughter Marney after her mother's divorce from Ted Webster as Helen's new husband Frank Norton was not willing to accept her in the marriage. Vii

When World War Two started Jack again joined up, this time serving in the Home Forces, due to his age. In 1944 Jack, Maggie and Marney moved to Torrensville, South Australia. Jack died in 1957 of bowel cancer . 

Maggie's story:

Maggie's mother married three times and she was the daughter from the third marriage. Maggie's father,a nightwatchman in a factory, was burnt to death when she was ten years old. Maggie had to work half the day in the cotton mill and attend school in the afternoon. By twelve years of age she was working full time at the mill. She then went to the Hiring Fair and got a job as a skivvy in Dr. Hogarth's surgery, mainly cleaning and scrubbing. Her next job was at an asylum, minding not quite normal children from wealthy families. 
Maggie knew Jack Riding in Scotforth, Lancaster before he left for Australia in 1906. Jack wrote to Maggie asking her to come out to Australia and marry him. She wrote back to the effect that if he wanted to marry her, then he must return to Lancashire and get her. So he went back in 1909, they married and sailed back to Australia. The voyage took 13 weeks and Maggie was very ill. She lost their first child on the voyage. They settled in Murray Bridge and raised a family of five children. When her son, Bill was a baby, Maggie had to spend eleven weeks in hospital with tuberculosis. She lived to be 74. 
Lena Huntington remembers her Aunt Maggie as having ' quite a nice voice'. Her favourite party piece was "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere."

Additional Stories

My grand mother (Alice Evans) gave me a small (12 inches) statue of Jesus, it had been given her by her father here, and, was either sent him from the WWII by one of his sons, or, sent back by him from WWI. I am sorry I cannot remember which. The French town had been bombed (made me think WWII) and the Church was destroyed. In the rubble, the statue, mostly pink and blue was laying, un damaged. It was sent home, in a sock, which was very generous, as socks were a treasured commodity.

Nanna said I was the only one she trusted it with, to get it back to the Church. I took that as "The Church" not the one in France, as I do not travel. I had it restored, and, gave it to the Catholic Church (via my daughters school) in Lismore NSW. I chose to give it to them, because the statue looked like the ones Catholics had in their homes.

Lyn Jack's granddaughter had only known him as an old man, when seeing this photograph, she was astonished at how he seemed to appear Mongolian. She also told me the story about how her youngest daughter was presented to her with a huge bruise, from her back to her front, under her arm. The doctor explained that is was a "Mongolian Birthmark", and only people with Mongolian blood ever got them. It would be interesting to investigate further.

  • Residence: 1883 - Lancaster, Lancashire, England
  • Residence: 1891 - Lancaster, Lancashire, England
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John William Riding's Timeline

July 22, 1883
Lancaster, Lancashire, England, Lancaster, Lancashire, UK
August 19, 1883
Lancaster, Lancashire, England
August 31, 1911
Nairne, South Australia, Australia
September 28, 1912
February 5, 1914
December 30, 1915
June 19, 1920
November 5, 1957
Age 74
Adelaide Hospital, South Australia, Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia
November 5, 1957
Age 74
West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, Adelide, South Australia, Australia