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Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Biography -
- Ratsey Brothers -

Capt. D.W. Ratsey

Capt. C. Ratsey

2nd Lieut. S.G. Ratsey

Name : Ratsey Brothers

Sons of Thomas White Ratsey and Lucy Margaret Ratsey (née Prangley), of Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Donald White Ratsey

Born 1884, Cowes

Clayton Ratsey

Born 1886, Cowes

Franklin Ratsey

Born 6 November 1887, Cowes

Stephen Gilbert Ratsey

Born 1892, Cowes

Thomas Christopher Ratsey

Born 1896, Cowes
  Census information :

1891 : Thomas and Lucy Ratsey, with their children including Donald, Clayton and Franklin, are at Granville, Weston Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight. Thomas Ratsey is a Sail Maker

1901 : Thomas and Lucy Ratsey, with some of their children including Stephen and Thomas, are at Granville, Weston Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight. Thomas Ratsey is described as a Sail Maker.

1901 : Clayton Ratsey is at the Forest School, Walthamstow, Essex. (Donald Ratsey not found)

1911 : Thomas White Ratsey, widower, with some of his children including Donald and Clayton, are at Granville, Weston Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight. All are described as Sail Makers

1911 : Stephen Ratsey is a Boarder with the Blyth family at Temple Balsall, Knowle, Warwickshire, where he is described as a Farm Pupil.
  Service Details :

Captain Donald White Ratsey, 1/8th Bn Hampshire Regiment (Isle of Wight Rifles).

Captain Clayton Ratsey, 1/8th Bn Hampshire Regiment (Isle of Wight Rifles).

Lieut. Stephen Gilbert Ratsey, 1/8th Bn Hampshire Regiment (Isle of Wight Rifles).

(see obituary for further details)
Casualty Details :

Captain Donald Ratsey

Died 12 August 1915 aged 31, Gallipoli

Commemorated at : Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey

CWGC Record

Captain Clayton Ratsey

Died 12 August 1915 aged 29, Gallipoli

Commemorated at : Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey

CWGC Record

Lieut. Stephen Ratsey

Died 19 April 1917 aged 24, Gaza

Buried at : Gaza War Cemetery, Palestine (now Israel)

CWGC Record

  Commemorated on these Memorials :

Cowes War Memorial
Ratsey Memorial Plaque, St Mary's Church, Cowes
Roll of Honour, St Mary's Church, Cowes
Isle of Wight Rifles War Memorial, Carisbrooke Castle
Isle of Wight Rifles War Memorial, Drill Hall, Newport

Donald and Clayton Ratsey, who attended Forest School, are also commemorated on the Memorial in the School Chapel (see photo below).
  Photo Gallery :

Officers of the 1/8th Bn Hampshire Regiment in 1915 illustrated in The Hampshire Regimental Journal Oct 1915.
14 of the 29 Officers pictured died in WW I.

Forest School Chapel - War Memorial panel showing Ratsey brothers

Click images to enlarge.
  Documents and Newspaper cuttings :

Isle of Wight County Press, 21 Nov 1914


Friday, August 27, 1915 Page 4

Captain Donald and Captain Clayton Ratsey, 8th Hants Territorials, (Princess Beatrice's I.W. Rifles), were officially reported missing since August 12th, and believed to have been killed in action. It is also officially reported that Major E. Lewis, Captain G.C. Loader and Second Lieutenant Watson, are missing and believed killed. Captain Loader belonged to the staff of the Capital and Counties Bank at Newport.

Isle of Wight County Press

Saturday, August 28, 1915

The news was received with intense regret at Cowes on Tuesday that Capts. Donald and Clayton Ratsey, who were serving with the "Princess Beatrice's" I.W. Rifles (1st/8th Hants Regiment) were reported to be missing and believed killed in the fighting at Gallipoli on the 12th inst. These two gallant officers belong to an old and greatly-esteemed Cowes family. They are the sons of Thomas W. Ratsey, the principal of the famous sail-making firm of Messrs. Ratsey and Lapthorn Ltd., in which business both the missing sons were interested. Capts. Donald and Clayton Ratsey, who were both unmarried, were educated at Forest School, and were aged 31 and 29 respectively. They were most capable and popular officers and enjoyed the complete confidence of the N.C.Os and men under their command. Imbued with the true and strong patriotism which has many times been demonstrated by their esteemed father, they rendered invaluable service in raising the strength of the Cowes detachment of the Island Rifles, and the highly efficient state of the detachment was mainly due to their keen interest, devotion, and close personal attention to the welfare and training of the men. Both officers were well known in yachting circles, skilled helmsmen, and frequently steered yachts at the Solent and other regattas. Capt. Donald Ratsey had put in about 12 years' service in the battalion, and Capt. Clayton Ratsey about 10 years. Both officers were of splendid physique. It is sincerely to be hoped that tidings will yet be received of the safety of these gallant officers, whose tragic fate so quickly after their arrival at the Eastern seat of war adds to the poignancy of the distressing news. Their death in the service of their country, in the very prime of manhood, would be a great loss to the distinguished regiment in which they have served with such conspicuous ability and to the town to which they belong. Sincere and universal sympathy is felt for the grief-stricken father, sisters, and other members of the family. Mr. Thomas Ratsey had all his five sons and a son-in-law serving their King and country. In addition to Capts. Donald and Clayton Ratsey, another son, 2nd Lieut. Stephen Ratsey (who had previously experienced active service with the Australian Expeditionary Force in New Guinea) is with the I.W. Rifles at Gallipoli. Lieut. T.C. Ratsey, R.N. is serving on H.M.S. Marlborough, and the youngest son, (*)Franklin, is in the Royal Naval Volunteers.

(*) actually the second youngest.

ISLE OF WIGHT MERCURY Friday, December 10, 1915 Page 2 Second-Lieut. S.G. Ratsey, of the Isle of Wight Rifles (son of Mr. F.W. Ratsey, of Cowes) is in hospital at Alexandria, suffering from dysentery and jaundice, and is gradually improving.


Saturday, December 8, 1917 Page 8

Information has been received from Col. Marsh, Hants Regiment, that the bodies of Capt. C.S. Pittis, M.C., and Lieut. S.G. Ratsey, Hants Regiment, as well as that of Capt. C.G. Seeley, as previously announced, were recovered in the recent Palestine advance, and that all three were buried side by side with full military honours.

From the National Probate Calendar 1920
  Further Information :

Forest School (Walthamstow) - Wikipedia article

The Ratsey children were the nephews and nieces of George Coltar (married to Ella Gertude Ratsey, who was the sister of Thomas White Ratsey). George Coltar is also commemorated on the Cowes War Memorial having lost his life in the sinking of the ss Whitgift in 1916.
  Acknowledgments :

Janet Griffin for additional newspaper research

Ann Riley for the Officers group photo

Sue Coates (Forest School Alumni & Development Office, Development Director & Archivist) for the photo of the Forest School Memorial.
  Page status :
Page last updated : 12 July 2014 (added Forest School Memorial information)


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