Monday, April 07, 2014

Sergeant John James Rudd, R.A. (1912 - 1944)

1.  Two photographs of John J. Rudd, R.A. (1912 - 1944)
2.  Father and son: John James Rudd with his son Jake
3.  Christmas greetings from Singapore (December 1941)

4.  Commemorative scroll from King George VI
For additional information click on 'Comments' above. 


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information


Sergeant John James Rudd, R.A. (1912 - 1944) and his younger brother Gunner Jacob Rudd, R.A. (1917 - 1944) lost their lives on the same day in WW2: 12 September 1944. They were taken prisoner in February 1942 with the fall of Singapore and were prisoners of the Japanese for over 18 months.

They were lost at sea when the 'Rakuyo Maru', the Japanese ship on which they were being transported to Japan, was torpedoed and sunk by an American submarine. In total, the sinking of the 'Rakuyo Maru' led to 1159 prisoners of war losing their lives either to the sea or the after effects of prolonged exposure in the sea.

Although the two Rudd brothers were killed in September 1944 their family received official confirmation of their deaths only in December 1945. The elder brother, John, had served in the Royal Artillery as a regular before the war (1931 - 1938). Photograph No. 1 shows two images of him in uniform.

Also in 1938 John Rudd married Isabella Ann Blinco. The following year, their son Jacob ('Jake') was born. Photograph No. 2 shows John and young Jake in the garden of their home at Moresby Parks near Whitehaven. Gunner Jacob Rudd was also married before being posted overseas. In 1940 he married his sweetheart, Elizabeth C. Boyd.

The remainder of this article is mainly about Sergeant John J. Rudd. The information upon which it is based and the above photographs have been kindly provided by his son, Mr Jake Rudd.

Monday, 07 April, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Pre-war military and home service

John James Rudd was born on Monday 29 July 1912. According to his Army Service and Pay Book he was 6 feet (72 ") tall, of fresh complexion, blue eyes and black hair [see Photograph No. 1]. After leaving school he began work as a coal miner before enlisting to the Army (Royal Regiment of Artillery) at Workington on 1 July 1931. He was on home service until 30 November 1932 and obtained a 3rd Class Certificate of Education at Woolwich (awarded 13 August 1931).

His overseas service in India was between 1 December 1932 and 25 November 1937 (5th Field Brigade). On 27 September 1933, John Rudd obtained a 2nd Class Certificate of Education at Khyra Gali. Additionally, John received some vocational training as a riveter at the N.W. Railway workshops at Lahore ('Good').

Following a second short period of home service between 26 November 1937 and 24 March 1938, John Rudd was transferred to the Army Reserve. His service with the colours was 6 years, 239 days. John Rudd's testimonial was:

Military conduct: "Exemplary".

Testimonial: "A very good type of man who is not afraid of hard work. Does well when working on his own. Is honest, sober and clean."

At the outbreak of war John was recalled to the colours and - with his brother Jake - served in the 88th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery. As explained earlier, between these two periods of military service, John Rudd married Isabella Ann Blinco. They had one son, also called Jake, who can be seen with his father in Photograph No. 2 (above), which was taken in the garden of their home.

Monday, 07 April, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The fall of Singapore and Malaya (1941 - 1942)

The 88th Field Regiment were posted to Singapore in the Far East. However, this was American fleet not to prove a quiet backwater posting. On 7 December 1941 the Japanese attacked the American Naval base at Pearl Harbour which incapacitated the powerful for a time.

Japanese troops invaded northern Malaya and southern Thailand in the early hours of 8 December 1941. The following day, John Rudd sent a last telegram back home to his wife Isabella and son Jake, saying:

"Mrs J.J. Rudd, Walkmill Cottages, Moresby Parks, Whitehaven, Cumbd.

All my love, dearest. Best wishes for Christmas and New Year. Keep smiling.

John Rudd"

On 10 December 1941 the Japanese continued their advance throughout the Malay peninsula. Japanese bombers also sank two British battleships: the 'Prince of Wales' and the 'Repulse'. The Japanese were thus able to continue the build-up of troops and establish air bases with little Allied resistance.

By early January 1942 British troops "... withdrew as planned" to the Slim River and the approaches to the southern airfields near Kuala Lumpur. However, Japanese tanks attacked and broke through the line, cutting off some 4,000 British troops. By the end of January 1942 Allied troops had withdrawn to the southern tip of the Malay peninsula. They then gave up the Malay peninsula and crossed the straits into Singapore.

The Japanese assault on Singapore began on the night of 8 February 1942. By the end of the day there were over 30,000 Japanese established on the north part of Singapore island. By 15 February 1942 the defenders had been driven back to the suburbs of the built-up area. With food and water in short supply, plus a large civilian population still to evacuate, General Percival surrendered to the Japanese on 15 February 1942. John Rudd and Jacob Rudd were two of those who were ordered to surrender and they became prisoners of war.

Monday, 07 April, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Prisoners of War

Allied prisoners of war (POWs) of the Japanese in WW2 soon found that the terms of the Geneva Convention were ignored. The Japanese made up their own rules and work schedules and punishments were scheduled as the Japanese officer in charge deemed fit.

John and Jacob Rudd had been POWs for over 18 months when. on 4 September 1944, they were obliged to embark at Singapore on the Japanese merchantman 'Rakuyo Maru', a "hell ship". All the POWs were survivors of the fall of Singapore and the forced labour groups on the so-called "Railway of Death", the Burma-Thailand railroad. 'Rakuyo Maru' joined convoy HI-72. Japan was the destination. On board the 'Rakuyo Maru' there were 1317 POWs, mainly British and Australian.

On 12 September 1944 the Japanese convoy was intercepted by American submarines. Unaware that there were Allied POWs on board any of the vessels the US submarines attacked the convoy. The 'Rakuyo Maru' was the first of the convoys "hell ships" to be hit - by three torpedoes from USS 'Sealion'. The ship began to sink.

Of the twelve lifeboats on the 'Rakuyo Maru' ten were claimed by the Japanese, who abandoned ship. That left two lifeboats for the 1317 Allied POWs. Survivors who had managed to make it into these two available lifeboats were later picked up by the Japanese and taken to Japan.

The Americans, who by now had realised there had been Allied POWs on board, mounted a search and rescue mission. Among those rescued by the Americans were 63 Allied POWs, although 4 of these died from the effects of prolonged exposure in the sea before land could be made.

Monday, 07 April, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

A painful duty

Among those missing were brothers John and Jacob Rudd. After the end of the war in the Far East in August 1945 all attempts were made to account for all known or missing POWs. Gradually, if the fate of the missing remained unknown there was nothing left but to conclude that the missing were dead and their relatives were informed.

This is a transcript of the telegram sent to Mrs Isabella Rudd by the Army Records Office:

"R.A. Records Office,
Field Branch,
Foot's Cray,

No. 03/NED

1 December 1945.

Mrs I.A. Rudd,
36 Solway Road,
Moresby Parks,

Dear Madam,

It is my painful duty to inform you that, no further news having been received relative to 812509 W/Bdr. John James Rudd, Royal Artillery who has been missing since 1944, the Army Council have been greatly constrained to conclude that he is dead, and that his death took place on 12 Sep. 1944 (or since).

I am to express the sympathy and regret of the Army Council at the soldier's death in his Country's service.

I am, Madam,
Your obedient servant,
R.H. Eaton,
D.C.O. for
Officer in Charge of Records (Field Branch)"

Mrs Isabella Rudd subsequently received a commemorative certificate from the King [Photograph No. 4].

Monday, 07 April, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

CWGC Citations.

Below are the Commonwealth War Graves Commission citations for John and Jacob Rudd.

(a) Lance Sergeant John James Rudd, R.A.

Rank: Lance Serjeant
Service No: 812509
Date of Death: 12/09/1944
Age: 33
Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery, 88 Field Regt.
Panel Reference: Column 7.
Memorial: SINGAPORE MEMORIAL, Singapore.

Additional Information:
Husband of I. A. Rudd, of Mirehouse, Whitehaven, Cumberland.

(b) Gunner Jacob Rudd, R.A.
(brother of L/Sgt. J.J. Rudd)

Rank: Gunner
Service No: 966543
Date of Death: 12/09/1944
Age: 27
Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery, 88 Field Regt.
Panel Reference: Column 29.
Memorial: SINGAPORE MEMORIAL, Singapore.

Additional Information:
Husband of Elizabeth C. Rudd, of Mirehouse, Whitehaven. Cumberland.

Monday, 07 April, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...


Dedicated to the memory of John James Rudd and Jacob Rudd, two soldiers who gave their lives to save mankind from tyranny.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”

Laurence Binyon (1869 - 1943),
'For the Fallen'.

Monday, 07 April, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Claire Cassley - John James Rudd was my Grandfather . Jacob Rudd is my Father . Thank you so much for this information .

Kind regards


Sunday, 07 September, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Glad to have helped tell a little of your family's story, Claire. It is a grim tale but it is important to remember your granddad and his brother.

Regards to your father and the rest of your family.

Sunday, 07 September, 2014  

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