Gunner Andrew Riddell

Gunner Andrew Riddell, 2nd Maritime Regiment, Royal Artillery. He was lost at sea on 21st July 1943, aged 28 and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. He had been born in Stow and was the son of  William and Margaret Riddell of Crookston South Mains, Heriot, Stow. Before enlisting he had been employed by the L.N.E.R. at Stow Station.  He was one of 21 Gunners aboard the D.E.M.S ” Empire Florizel” when she was bombed and sunk off Augusta during the invasion of Sicily. Two crew, four gunners and three passengers were killed. The Regiment was originally formed to provide gunners to help man guns provided to help protect merchant ships ( known as Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships or D.E.M.S. ). The ship, of 7,056 tons had only been launched in April 1943 and this was her first and only voyage.

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