The son of Thomas and Margaret Ann Ryan, of 76 Westbourne Park Villas, Paddington, London, Ryan was a scholar at the Merchant Taylors’ School, before becoming a Chartered Accountant.
At school he was a keen and able cricketer, playing in the XI in 1906 and two following years. In 1908 he was second in batting and first in bowling, scoring 245 runs with an average of 22.27 and taking twenty wickets for 25.90 runs apiece.
He was equally adept in the XV, making his mark after school with Middlesex County and had a trial for England.
Ryan served with the HAC before the Great War and was commissioned in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps during the Great War, serving with the 18th Battalion.
The Battalion was in the Ploegsteert Sector. The early morning of the 25th dawned relatively quiet until about 11am when the enemy launched numerous rifle grenades into the British front line.
Holding the centre of the line were “B” Company under Ryan’s command and they bore the full ferocity of this sudden deluge of grenades. Captain Ryan was killed along with Company Sergeant Major George William Bulman. Both Bulman, originally a native of Redcar and a married man of Portsmouth and Captain Ryan, now lie in Berks Cemetery Extension not far from where they fell.
Ryan was initiated into Sir Thomas White Lodge on 18 January 1912, be passed in March and raised in October the same year.