Colonel Ritchie was born at Kindersley, Saskatchewan. He enrolled in the Essex Scottish Regiment in 1940 as a Private. Transferred to the Canadian Provost Corps in April 1941 and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in November 1942. He served with several Provost Companies and was Commanding Officer of 13 Provost Coy in North West Europe. After duty as Provost Training Officer for 1 Canadian Reinforcement Unit, he was promoted Major in December 1945 and returned to Canada in January 1946. After attending the Canadian Army Staff College, he was appointed APM Plans and Training. During the Korean War he was CO of 25 CPROC Detachment as well as Provost Marshal of 25 Canadian Infantry Brigade, and commanded 1 Commonwealth Division Provost Company until December 1954. After his return to Canada, he was appointed Chief Instructor at the CPROC School in December, 1955.
On 2 July 1964, Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie was promoted to Colonel and appointed to the position of Provost Marshal of the Canadian Army. Five months later he gave up this position to be appointed the first Director of Security at Canadian Forces HQ. He retired from the Canadian Forces on 24 September 1967. In his retirement, Colonel Ritchie served for eight years as the Colonel Commandant of the Canadian Provost Corps Association and authored the book Watchdog – A History of the Canadian Provost Corps.
The funeral was held on 25 February, 2002 at St Giles Presbyterian Church, and Colonel Ritchie was laid to rest at the Highland Memorial Gardens,Toronto.