Ralph William Lines

Missing In Action on the 17th March 1944.

Ralph was a pupil at Alleynes grammar school, which he left early to help run his fathers ironmongers business in the High Street. The store had to be temporarily closed in 1940 when Ralph joined the army. He was one of four brothers in the services and he served in both the Middle East and Italy.

Many of his letters home reflected the discomforts a soldier suffered whilst serving in hostile conditions but they never failed to show how extremely proud he was of his Regiment.

On the 17th March 1944 Ralph was leading a patrol against German positions located in a “wadi” in Italy. Previous heavy artillery fire had not affected the German troops who were entrenched on the reverse slope of the wadi. The patrol was held up by small arms fire from the enemy positions and was eventually forced to pull back with four men wounded and two missing. It is believed that Ralph was wounded and left behind along with a comrade. Although it is not known with any certainty what happened to him it is believed he was killed by enemy troops.

He has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Cassino Memorial, Italy. (Panel 8.) 

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