David Evans’ painstaking recording and sharing of the Ruddock family archive continues today with a look at the post Great War history of Walsall Wood man, Charles Henry Ruddock.
A few months ago, we kicked the series off with an article about Charles’ history in the army in the late Victorian era and South Africa, which has caused no small amount of debate and ponderance amongst the blog readers.
We also featured Charles’ history in the Great War a couple of weeks ago.
This occurred following the wonderful material that recently came to light, so kindly donated by Julie Whitehouse and Dorothy Ruddock who have continued to share a hugely disparate range of fascinating family ephemera, most of which is still yet to be published here.
This is the third instalment of the history of Charles Henry Ruddock, with a couple more to come!
A good starting point on the subject is the post here regarding the Cape by Janet Davies Warallo followed by the post about Dulce Domum and the Ruddock family photos.
My thanks again to Dorothy, Julie and David – if you have anything to add, please do: comment here or mail me, please – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.
Charles Henry Ruddock: A local life after the Great War
Charles’ long periods of service in the Army had ended. This Attestation of 1890 shows that he was enlisted in to the 3rd battalion, South Staffs Regiment.
Wikipedia says this of the 3rd Battalion:
The 3rd, Militia battalion, was embodied in May 1900, and disembodied in December the same year. They were again embodied in May 1901, and the following month 500 men embarked for service in South Africa during the Second Boer War. The battalion returned in July 1902.
Charles’ discharge papers, 1918
The family notes state that Charles returned to Ogley Square, Brownhills and that ‘he founded the Brownhills British Legion and United Services Fund Branch of which he was secretary for many years’. In his capacity as secretary he fought and many cases of errors in pension brought to his attention. The Brownhills Branch of the British Legion headquarters were in the George IV Inn, or The Old Fourpenny Shop as it was called.
Charles started pig and poultry breeding whilst living in Ogley Square. The notes continue, saying that during the 1926 strike he gave one peck of flour each week to every miner at Ogley Square who was out on strike.
He was a member of the Brownhills Memorial Hall Committee and that he was instrumental in having the maplewood dance floor installed in the hall, and was also known for staging military tableaux in the Brownhills Flower Show Processions.
He was employed as clerk at the Brownhills Labour Exchange which was held in ‘the present Scouts headquarters’ (1959) and continued in employment until his retirement. He started up a coal merchants business. In his retirement he drew up the plans and built his bungalow in Occupation Road, by the Cape.
A trustee of Ogley Hay Working Men’s Club, Charles was instrumental in having the new extension built there ( 1930s).
He was a member of the Old Comrades Association and attended their functions until he became bed-ridden.
Charles’ obituary printed in the press mentions that he was vice-president of Friezland Lane Working Men’s Club, and that at his funeral service in 1959 his coffin was draped with the Union Jack, and was borne by six sergeants from the South Staffordshire Regiment, that the Regiment was also represented by Major Hilton and Sergeant Major Chamberlain, and that contingents of Brownhills British Legion and the Old Comrades’ Association attended.
And some other interesting images from the photo album…
I would like to thank Dorothy Ruddock for her generosity and kindness in offering these materials and documents and so helping to bring another part of our local history to light, and a special thanks to Reg Fullelove, BEM, also,for his initiative.