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  • Photograph was published on 11th December 1914 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
20 Jan 1888
Basford, Nottingham
Fred Henry was the son of Benjamin and Sarah Rudkin (nee Flinders). Benjamin (b. Newton, Derbys.) and Sarah (b. Loughborough) were married in Nottingham in 1872 (registered Jul/Aug/Sep) and had 13 children of whom only eight were still living by 1911. Eight children are named on the four census between 1881 and 1911; Eliza/Elizabeth (b. Basford), Thomas Hy (b. Bulwell), Benjamin (b. Bulwell), Arthur (b. Langwith, Derbys), John W (b. Newton Green, Derbys), Sarah E (b. Basford), Fred Henry and Violet (b. Basford). In 1881 the family was living at Newton Green, Blackwell, Derbyshire, where Benjamin was employed as a miner (coal hewer); they had 5 children, Eliza/Elizabeth (7), Thomas Hy (5), Benjamin (4), Arthur (1) and John W (2 months). By 1891 they were living in Nottingham at 12 Mill Square, Basford, with their eight children who now included Sarah E (5), Fred Henry (3) and Violet (10 months). Benjamin and Sarah had moved to 118 Park Lane, Basford, by the time of the next census in 1901 but only four children were still at home; John, Sarah, Fred and Violet. Five years later at the age of 18 Fred joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry. By 1911 his parents were living at 42 Waterford Street, Old Basford, and their youngest child, Violet, her husband, Percy William Barlow, a coal miner, and their one year old daughter, Iris, were living with them. Three years later at the time of their son's death Benjamin and Sarah were living at 76 Park Lane, Old Basford, Nottingham. Benjamin died aged 73 in 1925 and Sarah in 1932, aged 81.
In 1901 Fred was a hosiery racker-out. He joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry in July 1906 when he was 18 years old.
26 Nov 1914
26
2871980 - CWGC Website
PO/14535 (Po)
Private
Royal Marine Light Infantry Royal Navy
He joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry (Portsmouth Division) on 7 July 1906. He was serving onboard HMS Bulwark when she sank after an explosion while at a buoy in the River Medway off Sheerness. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial. The pre-Dreadnought battleship HMS Bulwark of the 5th Battleship Squadron, Channel Fleet, was sunk on 26 November 1914 by an ammunition explosion while at No 17 Buoy in the River Medway off Sheerness. Only 12 men survived from a ship’s company of over 750 and among the dead were sailors and Royal Marines from Nottinghamshire, many of whom came from the Meadows and Radford. Eye-witnesses in nearby ships described seeing smoke from the stern of the ship before the explosion, which appeared to have been in an after magazine. Divers who examined the wreck a few days later reported that Bulwark’s port bow had been blown off by the explosion and lay 50 feet beyond the mooring while the starboard bow lay 30 feet further away. No other large sections of the ship could be found. A Naval board of enquiry into the cause of the explosion concluded that the most likely cause of the disaster was the overheating of cordite charges stored alongside a boiler room bulkhead. It was also suggested that shells for the ship’s 6” guns had been stored in in cross-passageways connecting the ship’s 11 magazines and had, contrary to regulations, been packed too close together and were also touching the magazine bulkheads. A chain reaction explosion of the shells would have been sufficient to detonate the ship’s magazines. The First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, made a statement to the House of Commons on the afternoon HMS Bulwark was lost, "I regret to say I have some bad news for the House. The Bulwark battleship, which was lying in Sheerness this morning, blew up at 7.35 o'clock. The Vice and Rear Admiral, who were present, have reported their conviction that it was an internal magazine explosion which rent the ship asunder. There was apparently no upheaval in the water, and the ship had entirely disappeared when the smoke had cleared away. An inquiry will be held tomorrow which may possibly throw more light on the occurrence. The loss of the ship does not sensibly affect the military position, but I regret to say the loss of life is very severe. Only 12 men are saved. All the officers and the rest of the crew, who, I suppose, amounted to between 700 and 800, have perished. I think the House would wish me to express on their behalf the deep sorrow with which the House heard the news, and their sympathy with those who have lost their relatives and friends."
Nottingham Evening Post notice (abridged), 11 December 1914: 'FH Rudkin, 76 Park Lane, Old Basford, lost with HMS Bulwark on November 1st (sic)'
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  • Photograph was published on 11th December 1914 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    Fred Henry Rudkin - Photograph was published on 11th December 1914 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918