John Ralph married Sylvia Ann Cluett of Frenchman's Cove on XXX and they had six children:
At approximately 11:00 am on September 6, 1942, the unarmed 167-ton schooner Helen Forsey under Captain John Ralph was shelled by a German U-boat (U-514) at 28.35N, 57.35W. Two of the crew were killed immediately while the remaining four (including Captain Ralph) were able to get into a lifeboat and row away before the Helen Forsey sank at 12:16 pm. The submarine, under the command of Captain Hans-Kurgen Auffermann fired again at the sinking ship. An officer of the sub asked the survivors to speak to their Captain. Bill Keating quickly replied that the Captain had died, thinking they would be fired upon again if it were known that the Captain had survived. Bill Keating and the remaining crew survived 13 days in the open boat rowing 300 miles to Bermuda.
In November 1955, the 85-ton schooner Mabel Dorothy went missing. Part of her wreckage was later found, washed ashore on Fogo Island. An RCAF Search left no hope of survivors. Captain John Ralph and cook Tom Bolt who had survived the sinking of the Helen Forsey 13 years earlier were lost along with all others of the crew. Among them was Engineer Willoughby Riggs. On August 9, 2007, the steering wheel of the ship was unveiled as a memorial to men lost at see, and is located at the Harris House in Grand Bank.