Remembrance - The Yorkshire Regiment, First World War
Private Patrick Edward RUDDY.
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Private Patrick Edward RUDDY. 7150. 2nd Battalion
Killed 12 March 1915.
Born Leeds, Enlisted Leeds.
Commemorated Panel 12, LE TOURET MEMORIAL.
Behind these bare facts is the story of a soldier of the Yorkshire Regiment who, for reasons unknown at this point in time, became known by the name of another soldier in the same regiment who had died at home the previous year. Because of this mix-up in identities, the descendants of Patrick Edward Ruddy had been unable to discover any Memorial to him.
Fortunately, with information available from the Green Howards Museum, it was possible to discover that Patrick Edward Ruddy had been recorded under the wrong identity. Knowing this, it was then possible to help his descendants discover where he is commemorated.
The details of the story of the discovery of Patrick Edward Ruddy's wrongly assumed identity can be read below.
Lieutenant Colonel Stevenson of the Royal Engineers (<firstname.lastname@example.org>) wrote to the Yorkshire Regiment WW1 Remembrance website requesting help in finding out where his great grandfather was commemorated. After many months of searching, Colonel Stevenson had been unable to find any commemoration for Private Patrick Edward Ruddy, 7150, of the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. Private P E Ruddy had been killed at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915.
Colonel Stevenson sent the website a photograph of the letter signed by Lord Kitchener in which Patrick Edward Ruddy's wife had been informed of his death (see below). He also sent a photograph of a commemorative letter signed by the King, and a photograph of the Birth Certificate of Patrick Edward Ruddy's daughter, who was born just four years before her father was killed. The daughter, Mary, was Colonel Stevenson's grandmother. Patrick Edward Ruddy's family originally came from Ireland, but he had been born and had enlisted in Leeds.
Select a thumbnail image, below, to view a larger image which opens in a new window.
|The letter, signed by Lord Kitchener, informing Patrick Edward Ruddy's wife of his death in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle.||The letter of commemoration, received by Patrick Edward Ruddy's wife, signed by King George V.||The Birth Certificate for Patrick Edward Ruddy's daughter, Mary, who was born on 25 January 1911.|
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With these documents, and family knowledge, showing that Patrick Edward Ruddy had been in the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment and had been killed on 11 March 1915 the question then was "why wasn't this death shown in the records or on a Memorial?".
There is a commemorative book in the Green Howards Museum which provides not only an account of the First Battle of Ypres as fought by the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment in 1914, but also a Roll of the Officers and Men who embarked for Belgium with the Battalion in October 1914. The book is hand-written (apart from the account of the battle, in typescript), with illustrated lettering. In this book, a Private Ruddy, 7150, is listed. See below.
|Select the thumbnail image below to view a larger image which opens in a new window|
|The page from the Roll of the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment who embarked for Belgium in October 1914. "T Ruddy, 7150" is highlighted.|
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Consulting the Green Howards Gazette for the First World War, the death of Private T Ruddy 7150 of the 2nd Battalion is recorded as having occurred in March 1915.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission register shows that Private Thomas Ruddy, 7150, of the 2nd Battalion was killed on 12 March 1915, and is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial. Soldiers Died in the Great War shows that Private Thomas Ruddy 7150 of the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment was born in Leeds and enlisted in Leeds, and was killed on 12 March 1915.
All of this agrees with Colonel Stevenson's family knowledge, - but the name of the man in all of the records was "Thomas" as opposed to "Patrick Edward".
So how had this mistake arisen, - if it was a mistake? The only possible suggestion at this stage is that there was ANOTHER Thomas Ruddy who had served with the Yorkshire Regiment. This man was Private Thomas Ruddy, 3/8564, of the 3rd Battalion who had died at home on 6 October 1914, and is buried in Eston.
So had the two Private Ruddy names somehow become mixed up in the records of the Yorkshire Regiment? Or had the two Private soldiers been related, and Patrick Edward assumed the name of Thomas to honour him? What is curious is that the 2nd Battalion embarked for Belgium on 6 October 1914, the day that Private Thomas Ruddy 3/8564 died.
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