Private Harry Ritchken

Private Harry Ritchken served in the South African Medical Corps during World War Two. He is entitled to the 1939-45 Star, the Africa Star (bar 8th Army), the 1939-45 War Medal and the Africa Service Medal.

He was born 6 October 1920.

He enlisted into South African Army on 20 May 1940. He was serving with the 7th Field Ambulance, S.A.M.C. (probably a Reserve unit). He was Jewish, single and worked as a Chemist’s Assistant at Wrens Chemist in Johannesburg.

Height: 5” 8’   Weight: 145 lbs.         Eyes: Brown   Hair: black

His Next of Kin on his enlistment paper is her mother, A. Rubenstein, living at 47 High Street, Berea, Johannesburg.

He was transferred to the Rand Light Infantry on June 11th

He was transferred back to the South African Medical Corps on December 12th. He had the rank of Corporal.

He was posted with the Motor Transport Company on January 31st, 1941

He embarked on the S.S. Niew Holland in Durban on February 15th. He arrived at Suez on March 9th and he was attached with the Cape Town Highlanders on the 13th, just before his departure.

He was promoted Sergeant in September 1st.

He was granted a 9 days leave on January 27th 1942.

He was confirmed in the rank of Sergeant on May 1st.

He was posted to 12 Field Ambulance from the Cape Town Highlanders on May 12th.

He returned to South Africa with the 12th Field Ambulance on December 11th and arrived in Durban on January 1st 1943. He was granted a 30 days leave.

June 5th: He was posted to Coastal Defence. He was transferred to the Medical Corps Transport Corps on July 26th. Although his file is silent about it, I think he was a driver.

He was discharged in Pretoria, South Africa with benefits “surplus to service requirements” on 23 February 1944. The official reason was “requirements and commitments

In South African Medical Journal of April 27th, 1946 he is listed as a new member of the South African Medical Council. His address was 142 Hockey Avenue, Northcliffe, Johannesburg. He graduated in Doctor in medicine – bachelor in medicine in 1945 from the Duiv. WWRand University

If you know more information on this gentleman, please leave me message so I can add it to his small biography.

Medals attributed to Private Harry Ritchken

Ritchken 1

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