Ruddock, Edward W

Edward William Ruddock

Driver, Royal Field Artillery. See:

Military Service Number 215624

Born March 1898 in Whitby, North Yorkshire

Died 19 September 1919 at 1 Bungalow Terrace, Newby, Scarborough, North Yorkshire.  Cause of death: Phithisis Pulmonalis (TB)

Age 21

Driver Edward Ruddock's headstone in St Laurence's Churchyard

Driver Edward Ruddock’s headstone in St Laurence’s Churchyard

Edward Ruddock was the son of Charles Ruddock, a Groom and Coachman who was born in Leeds, and Eliza Keith of Sleights.  He had two brothers and two sisters and was the youngest member of the family.  When he was born the family lived in Ruswarp, where Charles was Head Coachman to Margaret Pearson of 9 Poplar Row but they had moved to 1 Bungalow Terrace, Newby, by 1915.

Edward enlisted in the Army Service Corps in Ormskirk on 7 May 1915.  He was 5ft 3 inches high with a 31.5 inch chest.

On 14 March 1917 he transferred to the Royal Field Artillery and became Driver 215624 posted to 462 Battery on 10 April 1917.  On 16 April 1918 he was discharged from service with 179 Brigade, physically unfit, having served for 3 years and 3 days.  His height was given as 5ft 6 inches on this date!  His character was described as Steady, sober and industrious and he was awarded Silver War Badge 342813, which discharged servicemen could wear to show they had ‘done their bit’ for King and country.

Edward’s death certificate reveals he died on 19 September 1919 at 1 Bungalow Terrace, Newby.  The cause of death was Phithisis Pulmonalis (TB)  He was buried in an unmarked grave in St Laurence’s Churchyard, next but one to the right of Private Edwin Lazenby, Yorkshire Regiment.

Site of Driver Edward Ruddock's grave

Site of Driver Edward Ruddock’s grave before his headstone was erected.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was approached in January 2013 regarding a headstone for Edward Ruddock.  Here is their decision, dated April 2014 –

I am writing regarding the Non Com case for Driver Edward William Ruddock to confirm that the National Army Museum (NAM) have now taken on responsibility for the adjudication of British Army non-commemoration cases and have provided a decision on Driver Edward William Ruddock’s case.

 I can confirm the details of NAM’s decision are as follows:-

 Taking all the evidence into account, there is a clear link between Driver Ruddock’s military service and his eventual death.  He was discharged from the Army sufferance from pulmonary tuberculosis, attributable to service condition, which according to his Death Certificate, eventually resulted in his death.  Due to the conclusive nature of this linking evidence, Driver Ruddock qualifies for commemoration by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

 In previous correspondence (letter dated 4 January 2013) a grave for Driver Edward William Ruddock at St. Laurence’s Church, Scalby, Scarborough was mentioned.  The Commission will now investigate whether a headstone can be installed to commemorate Driver Ruddock.”

An enquiry as to progress into the investigation received the following reply on 27 February 2015 –

“During the course of the Commissions investigations into the burial location of Driver E.W. Ruddock within Scalby (St. Laurence) Churchyard, although you have originally provided two photographs of the grave location last year, it is Commission procedure in such instances to seek supporting documentary evidence to confirm the burial location of the war casualty.

 In order for the Commission to proceed with making the necessary steps forward to marking this grave, our Regional Supervisor has requested if it is possible to obtain a copy of the burial register indicating the grave location. Thus confirming beyond doubt the exact position within the churchyard.

 I have also taken this opportunity to attach a copy of our ‘Graves Found’ form for your completion.

 I trust you appreciate the procedures involved and I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience.”

The further evidence was supplied on 2 March 2015 and the CWGC ordered a headstone from their workshop at Beaurains.  It was erected on Friday 6 January 2017.

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