Walduck, Ernest. Died 28th Jan 1916

Ernest WALDUCK – d. 28 January 1916

Ernest Walduck’s birth was registered in Rugby in late 1893.   He was the son of Joseph Walduck, born about 1865, in Drayton Parslow, Buckinghamshire and his wife, Kate, née Hogg, Walduck, born about 1867, in Little Horwood, also in Buckinghamshire. Their marriage was registered in early 1891 in Northampton [Q1, 3b, 121]. They moved to Rugby before the birth of their eldest, Polly, whose birth was registered in early 1892.

In 1901 the family was living at 784 New Station – in one of the ‘railway cottages’. The family moved to Hillmorton in about 1908 and in 1911 were enumerated in Upper Street, and were probably at Hill Cottage, which was their address in 1916.

By 1911, Ernest’s father, Joseph Walduck, was 46, and a ‘Foreman, Platelayer, LNWR’; his wife, Kate, was 44.   By 1911 they had had eight children, but two had died. Their surviving six children were all still living at home: Pollie Walduck, was 19, a ‘Cigar Maker’; Ernest Walduck, 17, was a ‘Carriage Cleaner, LNWR’ – and like his father, and indeed his grandfather, worked on the Railway. Florence Jennie Walduck, 16, was a ‘Tungsten Lamp Arcer, Electrical Engineering Works’; Roland George Walduck, was 11; Isabella Walduck, 9; and Philip Walduck, 3 years old.

Two children, Ethel Eliza, b.1896 and Joseph, b.1898, had died in infancy. An Ethel Ada R Walduck, also registered in Rugby in 1901, was a member of another, seemingly unrelated, family.

As was the case for a number of local men, Ernest enlisted at Rugby as Private, No.10467 in the 5th Battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

The surviving Service Records for the Ox. and Bucks. suggest that there was a rapid response to the recruitment drive and the service numbers can be used to make an estimate of the place and date of attestation for other soldiers. With the number 10467, it is likely that Ernest joined up in Rugby very early in the war and indeed, a later article suggests that his enlistment was in August 1914,[1] and certainly well before 12 September 1914 as he was listed under Hillmorton in an article, ‘Villages Answer the Call’.[2]

The 5th Bn. Ox. and Bucks. was formed at Oxford in August 1914 as part of Kitchener’s new army and was placed under the orders of the 42nd Brigade in the 14th (Light) Division. However, Ernest did not go to France until 20 May 1915, which suggests he was with the draft that landed in Boulogne on 21 May 1915.

Some background to his likely service can be found in the report on the actions of the 5th Ox & Bucks in the second Battle of Bellewaarde Farm, 25 September 1915. Then on 16 and 17 October there were heavy losses in the mine explosion and subsequent actions in that area [see the biography of Walter Davis, who died on 17 October 1915].

At some date Ernest had been promoted to Corporal. The Newspaper report stated that ‘… He had seen much fighting, and also acted as a stretcher bearer. … His parents had expected him home on leave any day.[3]

Before Christmas there had been rumour that the Battalion was to be posted to Egypt – but this was cancelled and ‘… During January we had three tours of the trenches not always in exactly the same part, and we generally had four days in the line, four days at B Huts, near Vlamertinghe, and four days at Elverdinghe, the period out of the line being devoted, as usual, to training and providing working parties. There was a certain amount of excitement at different times in the trenches, and a good deal of shelling and sniping went on, but as a rule things were pretty quiet, and we had few casualties.[4]

At some date in later January, when things were ‘pretty quiet’, he was wounded and evacuated to the Hospital area around Lijssenthoek to the west of Poperinge, where he died on 28 January 1916.

‘In a kind and sympathetic letter from the sister in charge of M.C.C. Station[5] to which Corpl. Walduck was conveyed, it stated that he was going on comfortably till a sudden and unexpected change set in, and he died shortly afterwards without being able to give a message for home.   He was laid to rest in the soldiers’ cemetery.’[6]

He was buried adjacent to the hospital area in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Plot: IV. C. 39.

He was awarded the British and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star, and is remembered on the Hillmorton War Memorial and on the Rugby Memorial Gates.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

= = = =

 

This article was written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, January 2016.

 

[1]       Rugby Advertiser, February 1916.

[2]       Rugby Advertiser, 12 September 1914.

[3]       Rugby Advertiser, February 1916.

[4]       http://www.lightbobs.com/5-oxf–bucks-li-1915-1916.html, Record of the 5th (Service) Battalion, 1st August 1915 to 30th June 1916.

[5]       Probably Medical Casualty Clearing Station – more commonly CCS; a large number of CCSs were established at Remy Farm, Lijssenthoek, on the railway to the west of Poperinge, in the rear area of the Ypres sector.

[6]       Rugby Advertiser, February 1916.

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