Ruddick F R

Lance Corporal 200388 Frederick Robert Ruddick, 6th West Yorkshire Regiment


Died as a Prisoner of War 8th May, 1918

Frederick Robert Ruddick was born in Newby in 1888, the son of James Ruddick, a farm labourer born in Dalton Piercy, and Elizabeth Ann Phyllis Walshaw who was born in Middlesbrough. The couple married in Middlesbrough district in 1884, and raised a large family.

Frederick was one of 12 children: Sarah Ann, John William, Frederick Robert, Albert, George, Margaret Hannah, James, Elizabeth Mary, Ernest, Christopher, Thomas, Emily, and Harold.

In 1911 Frederick was living with his brother John’s family, (together with his brother George1 and sister Elizabeth Mary) at Haregill Lodge, Masham, Yorkshire. John was a farmer and Frederick and George were recorded as brothers working on the farm. Sister Elizabeth was described as “farmer’s sister dairy work”.

Frederick’s father was still in Newby with wife Phyllis, his 5 youngest children and one grandchild, Annie aged 4 years.

The army records for Frederick are quite detailed. He enlisted at York into the West Yorkshire Regiment on 23rd August 1914 aged 26 years and 2 months. His occupation at that time was recorded as brewer’s drayman and he was 5’ 8¾” tall.

Frederick was sent to France on the ss Invicta, arriving at Boulogne on 16th April 1915. Between May 1915 and August 1916 his military career was interrupted by various illnesses such as diarrhoea and debility which caused him to be hospitalised for short periods in the field hospital. According to his records he remained a private soldier until 1917, but was awarded Proficiency Class 2 on 13th August 1916. In February 1917 he was once more placed in hospital (in Etaples) as he had a carbuncle on his neck, and he was then sent home on the hospital ship Grantilly. He was placed in the West Yorks reserves until such time as he could return to active duty.

Frederick was sent back to France again on 16th June 1917 and on 8th July he was posted to the 1st/6th West Yorkshire Regiment. Then, despite his history of illnesses, he was appointed Lance Corporal (unpaid) on 31st December 1917.

In March/Aprill 1918 the Germans launched Operation Michael, their last desperate attempt to win the war. They made rapid advances, inflicting heavy casualties on the allied troops and taking hundreds of prisoners. Lance Corporal Ruddick was reported missing on 24th April 1918. In May, his death was notified to the British Army in a report containing an official German list. Lance Corporal Ruddick had died of pneumonia in a Prisoner of War hospital in German-controlled Antwerp on 8th May 1918.

Following the report of his death a list of living relatives was requested by the authorities. The names supplied were:
• Father, James Ruddick of Newby
• Mother, E.A. P. Ruddick of Newby
• Brothers, James 22, Christopher 16, Thomas 13, Harold 9 (all of Newby) and then Ernest 18 of Close Farm, Hilton, Albert 30 of Seamer, Yarm and John 35 of Haregill Lodge, Masham.
• Sisters: Maggie Ruddick 25, of 1 Allendale Road, Grang… Stockton, Mrs Mary Smith 22 of 18 Maynard Street, Carlin How, Mrs Sarah Greenwood 36 of 11 Pall Mall, Mytholmroyd, York, and Emily Ruddick 11 of Newby.
The form was signed by Frederick’s mother and witnessed by Robert Fisher, Clerk in Holy Orders.

Lance Corporal Ruddick was 30 years old when he died. He was awarded the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the Bronze 1914 – 15 Star. His body lies in Plot IIa.8 of Schoonselhof Cemetery, Hoboken, Antwerp.

Frederick R Ruddick was one of five brothers who served in the Great War, 2 of whom died. He is commemorated on the Memorial Plaque in Stokesley church, the Newby War Memorial and also on the war memorial in the church at Masham, where he worked on his brother's farm before he enlisted.

Go to next soldier: Ruddick G. - NB. This soldier is the brother of Ruddick F.R.

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