Date of Birth 1895
Place of Birth Branksome.Poole
Service number 620/618158
Service/Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
Battalion 1st Hampshire Battery – 20th Brigade
Died 12th October 1918
Place of Death Damascus.
Life Before The War
Arthur was born in 1895 and christened on 1st September 1895 at the Church of St.Aldhelms.Branksome.Poole.Dorset. His parents were Samuel and Louisa .
His father Samuel was born on 21st November 1860 in Fisherton Wiltshire to James Rudge and Margaret Lee, James was born in Salisbury Wiltshire and Margaret was born in Wicklow Ireland.
The census of 1871 shows a Samuel Rudge as being in The Industrial School at Farlington in Havant.Hampshire a parish near Langstone Harbour in the district of Christchurch.
In the census of 1881 Samuel is in the Royal Navy registered as serving on HMS Sheldrake – a destroyer, as an ordinary Seaman 2nd Class.
On 21st July 1884 Samuel married Louisa Brown (1864-1903) in Christchurch.Dorset, Louisa was born in Stocksbridge Hampshire.They had seven children Samuel (1886) Louisa Victoria (1887-1933) James (1889) Lily Alice Jane (1891-1956) andArthur (1895-1918) William (1899) They also had one son named Arthur born in 1888 who did not survive.
In 1886 Arthur’s father Samuel was registered as being a painter on Samuel’s baptism record.
In the census of 1891 Arthur’s mother Louisa is registered as living with her in laws, James and Margaret (Samuels parents) with 4 of her children – Samuel,James,Lily and Louisa at 66 Poole Road. (Bourne Valley) Dorset.
In the census of 1901 they were living at 13 Marchwood Road.Shirley. Samuel is a painter,James was an errand boy at the port Samuel(son) is on the port railway.
In 1902 Samuel is registered in Kelly’s directory as living at 13 Testwood Road.Millbrook.Southampton in 1903 he is not registered there.
In 1903 Arthur’s mother Louisa died from an overdose of Lightning Fluid (Lithium which was often used in the treatment of depression) she was living at 6 Sydney Cottages. Anglesea Road. Shirley. His father died on 25th October 1908 aged 47 in The Union Workhouse. West End ( now Moorgreen Hospital)
In the census of 1911 Arthur is registered as a boarder with a family by the name of Mr & Mrs Spacey, their daughter aged 27 and son aged 12, they were living at 17 Houndstill Gardens Southampton, Arthur is working as an errand boy for a grocers. Mr Spacey was a shipping clerk on the London and South Western Railway at the Docks, Mrs Spacey and her daughter were domestics.
Arthur’s brother Samuel married Rose Clark on 12th May 1914 in Dorset, he was working as a bar manager and living in Library Road.Branksome.Dorset. He enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps on 11th January 1915, his address was given as Hope Cottage.Library Road.Upper Parkstone.Dorset.
Louisa married George Rayner on April 1906 in Southampton. James is recorded in 1911 as living in No 2 The Holmes.Authur Street. Crook. Durham and he was working as a labourer about ovens – his birthplace was given as Bournemouth.Dorset, in 1914 he married Emily Hudspeth in Durham. Lily married Thomas Haslam in 1924 in West Derby. Lancashire. Willie Rudge (Ridge) (possibly Radbone in 1911 census)
Before 1927 there were only informal arrangements for adoption and as William Rudge was only 4 when his mother died and 9 on the death of his father there is the possibility that he went to live with Benjamin and Louisa Radbone who had been married for 16 years. They lived at Charlotte Street.Southampton. He married Rose Stone in 1921.
Arthur joined the Royal Horse Artillery and served as a driver. He saw service throughout Gaza,Jerusalem,Jafa ,Jordan and the defence around the Suez Canal which was a vitally important supply area for the British Empire. He was killed in action taking part in the final offensive of Jordan on 12th October 1918.
He is entitled to Victory Medal, British Medal.
N.B. There appear to be a few anomalies with spelling mistakes on census returns which is not unusual and possibly place of birth.
Story researched by Brenda White March 2014 with information provided by Georgina Hunt, Arthur’s great niece, who we thank for taking part in writing his story and verification.