|Panel 53 Basra
|The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918
|The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour
Awards & Titles:
|Mentioned in Despatches
Family :Born 24th October, 1871, in Colombo, Ceylon, the child of Dr. Charles John Kriekenbeek and Mary Jane Mackay. On Sri Lanka, the Kriekenbeek lineage can be traced back to 1659 when Dutch emigré, Rutergus van Kriekenbeek arrived on the Indian Ocean island aboard the ship ‘Zeelandia’ with his two children, Henrietta and Marinus.
The portrait image is sourced through Ronald's fourth Cousin x3 removed. He married Dorothea Ellen Elizabeth Knight on September 19, 1911, in Bromley, Kent. They had one child during their marriage.
Education & Career :
Educated Victoria College, Jersey 1887 and at once got his colours for Rugby and Cricket, being a prominent member of both teams until he left at Midsummer 1890.
- The Boxer Rebellion 1899-1901, China.
- The First World War 1914-1918, World-wide.
|Unit / Ship / Est.: 128th Indian Pioneers
|Action : Mesopotamia
At the outbreak of war the British, together with Indian troops, resolved to protect oil supply in the region by occupying the area around Basra at Abadan. This evolved into a series of campaigns towards Baghdad against the Turkish forces as Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) was part of the Ottoman Empire. Meetings in late 1914 and into 1915 led the Viceroy and Indian government at Simla to reconsider the limited involvement of troops and they decided to order further advances with a view to securing the Shatt-al-Hai, a canal connecting the Tigris and Euphrates river and potentially capturing Baghdad. The British government disagreed and wished to conserve forces for the Western front. The Viceroy was given permission to act as it wished, but told in no uncertain terms that no reinforcements should be expected.
The initial success experienced by the British and Indian forces quickly disintegrated in the face of Ottoman opposition. The Siege of Kut-Al-Amara began on 7th December with the besieging of an 8,000 strong British-Indian garrison in the town of Kut, 100 miles south of Baghdad, by the Ottoman Army. These campaigns produced few tactical benefits, indeed the catastrophic defeat at Kut in 1916 was a major setback. Badhdad was eventually taken in March 1917.
The conditions in Mesopotamia were dreadful. The climate, sickness and disease produced large losses in addition to battle casualties. About as many men died of disease as were killed in action. The Mesopotamia front was part of a strategy hoping for success at lower cost than the Western Front but no decisive victory was achieved.
Ronald Kriekenbeek was one of several Freemasons who were based in Ceylon at the outbreak of war and who returned to serve the old country. He served in the 128th Pioneers, Indian Army and was posted missing on 17/18 April 1917 at the Battle of Beit Eissea in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). He is presumed killed on one of those dates.
He died on April 18, 1916, in India, at the age of 44, and was buried in Al Basrah, Al Basrah, Iraq.
He is commemorated on the Basra Memorial which originally was in Basra War cemetery. In 1997 it was moved by presidential decree by 32 kilometers on the road to Nasiriyah and contained the names of 40,500 missing men who died in operations in Mesopotamia between Autumn 1914 to end of August 1921. Unfortunately the cemetery and memorials are in some neglect as reported by W Bro Vern Littley in Freemasonry Today Issue 36 2005/6 (see http://www.freemasonrytoday.com/35/p06a.php)
A more personal memorial to Ronald Kriekenbeek is a tablet fixed beneath a stained glass window in the south aisle of St Augustine's Church, Grove Park, Lewisham. It is incribed - 'To The Glory Of God And In Honoured Memory Of Edward Elliott Kriekenbeek, Major, 128th Pioneers Indian Army. Aged 45. Reported Wounded And Missing On April 17th/ 18th 1916, At The Battle Of Beit Eissea, Mesopotamia- Officially Presumed To Have Been Killed On That Date. Mentioned In Dispatches October 1916. The Dearly Loved Husband Of Dorothea Kriekenbeek And Father Of Elliott Ellen (Bina) Kriekenbeek. The 2nd Son Of The Late Charles Kriekenbeek M.D. Of Ceylon And Son-In-Law Of James Percy and Ellen Gray Knight. This Tablet Is Erected By His Wife 1917'. The CWGC website shows his age as 44.
|Lodge Name and No.
|A Scottish Lodge No. 0 S.C.
|Kitchener No. 2998 E.C.
7th February 1910
7th February 1910
7th February 1910
Listed as a Major based at Meerut at the time of his joining the English Constitution in 1910. His former stated Lodge is No. 691 of the Scottish Constitution. The contribution register shows that he was "Missing, believed Killed in Action 18.4.16."
The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- The (UK) National Archives
- Ancestry.co.uk - Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History online
- ugle.org.uk - The records of the United Grand Lodge of England including the Library and Museum of Freemasonry
- Founder Researchers : Paul Masters & Mike McCarthy
- Researcher : Bruce Littley
Researcher : Tom Hawley