Ralph Molyneux was born on 21 January 1914 in Lostock Hall. His father was Ralph Molyneux (b. 1877 in Bamber Bridge), a pork butcher and provisions merchant. His mother was Mary Elizabeth (Bessie) Hardman (b. 1883 in Bamber Bridge). Ralph and Bessie were married in 1903 and they had 7 children: Arthur (1904-1915), Alice (b. 1907), Frank (b. 1910), then Ralph, then Winfred (b. 1916), Elizabeth (b. 1918), and Catherine (b. 1920). In 1911, the family had a shop on Lune Street in Preston, but they later moved to Lostock Hall. Both Frank and Ralph were butchers – I think they had a shop at the Four Lane Ends, junction of Brownedge Road and Todd Lane. In the spring of 1939, Ralph married Theresa Wells (b. 1915 in Preston). Ralph and Theresa lived at 20 Rosemeade Avenue.
Gold Beach, D-Day, 6 June 1944
Ralph enlisted in the Army. He had service number 1949117 and he was a Driver with 90th Field Company, Royal Engineers. The Royal Engineers provide engineering and technical support to the Armed Forces. 90th Company was part of No 10 Beach Group which landed in Jig Sector of Gold Beach on 6 June 1944, during the D-Day Landings in Normandy. Their aim that day was to capture Arromanches. The landing was difficult as navigation errors and strong currents meant they landed well to the east of their intended landing points. They came under heavy fire from German defences as they approached their first objective, the village of Le Hamel, and fierce house-to-house fighting ensued, but by late afternoon of 6 June, Arromanches was in Allied hands.
Ralph Molyneux was killed during the fighting following the landings. He was 30 years old. About 350 British troops were killed on Gold Beach that day.
Service Number: 1949117
Unit/Regiment: Royal Engineers, 90th Field Company
Date of death: 06/06/1944
Cemetery: BAYEUX WAR CEMETERY
Cemetery Reference: XI. H. 17.
Additional Information: Son of Ralph and Mary Elizabeth Molyneux; husband of Theresa Molyneux, of Lostock Hall, Lancashire.