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Private Donald A H Dudley

203029 7th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

Pte. Donald Dudley
Pte. Donald Dudley
Son of Mr William & Mrs Mary Elizabeth Dudley

Aged 20 years

Died 22nd April 1918

Commemorated Pozieres Memorial
Panel 54 to 56

Born at Rushden, enlisted at Kettering.
Rushden Echo, 19th April 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Casualty List - Mrs. Dudley, of 57 Spencer-road, Rushden, is in anxiety of mind concerning her son, 203029 Pte. Donald Dudley, Northants regt., from whom she has not heard for over a month. A comrade has written her as follows: “ I am writing these few lines hoping that they will ease your mind a little from the anxiety that I know you must be going through at the thought of your son, who was in this platoon when the German offensive began. As one of your son’s many chums in the company, I thought I would write a few lines to let you know what happened to him as far as I know. It was on March 21st that ‘Frtiz’ started his offensive, and your son got through that al right. On March 22nd we were holding a trench up to about 8a.m., and then Fritz made another attack, and he same in strong force, and pushed so hard that we had to retire, your son being in the gun team with us. Fritz was very nearly on us when we started to retire, and going across a field Fritz turned his guns on us, and I am not quite certain, but I think your son stopped a bullet in the leg, and it was impossible for us do anything................. so I think when you hear from the War Office they will say that he is wounded and a prisoner.” Mrs Dudley will be grateful for any further information any of her son’s comrades can send her.

Rushden Echo, May 24th, 1918, trancribed by Greville Watson

Rushden’s Casualty List - In the Great German Offensive

Mrs Dudley, of  57, Spencer-road, Rushden, whose son, Pte. Donald Dudley, Northants Rgt., was reported about a month ago in the “Rushden Echo” as wounded and missing, having heard rumours concerning his fate, would be glad to get into touch with anyone who has received news of her son.

The Rushden Echo, November 1st, 1918, trancribed by Greville Watson

Rushden’s Casualty List

In May last we asked through our columns for information concerning the fate of Pte. Donald Dudley, of the Northants Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs William Dudley, of 57 Spencer-road, Rushden, who had been officially announced as missing from his regiment since March 22nd. The first definite news Mr and Mrs Dudley received was contained in a letter from Pte. H. Cattell, of Kettering, who wrote that Pte. Dudley was, he thought, wounded in the leg and probably a prisoner. Subsequently, Mr and Mrs Dudley received further information, furnished by Pte. Colman, of Burton Latimer, to the Red Cross, stating that their son was seriously wounded in the stomach. The same soldier, who is now in the Trent Bridge Military Hospital, Nottingham, sends more definite news through the Rev. R. C. Johnson, C.F., who writes under date October 22nd, as follows : “I am writing for Pte. Colman, who is a patient at the Trent Bridge Military Hospital, at which I am chaplain. Colman has asked me to write and give you what little information he can about the death of Pte. Dudley, –– Northants Regiment. You have probably heard, from the War Office that he was killed on March 22nd by machine-gun fire. Pte. Colman was there at the time, and gave him what assistance he could, but he died almost at once. Colman himself was wounded on the 26th, and told the agent who comes to the hospital to inquire about the missing all that he knew, more than two months ago, but the man does not seem to have sent the information to the War Office until quite late. Will you let me offer you my sympathy in your loss, but you always have the consolation of feeling that he died in the cause of right and freedom, and that coming ages will look back with gratitude to the men who have given their lives to win their land from the German brutes, who would, but for our heroes, have made England another Germany.” The late Pte. Dudley, who would have been 21 years of age had he lived until this month, joined the Colours in January, 1917, and went to France in the April following. He was home on leave in February last. Before joining the Colours he was employed by Messrs. Sanders & Sanders, boot manufacturers, Rushden, and as a lad passed through Zion Baptist Sunday school. Much sympathy is felt with Mr and Mrs Dudley and Miss Lewis, of Northampton, deceased’s fiancée, in the sad culmination to their long period of anxiety. As previously reported in the “Rushden Echo”, Mr and Mrs Dudley’s third son, Pte. Ralph Dudley, Royal Fusiliers, is a prisoner in Germany, and last week they received news that yet another son, Pte. Frank Dudley, Royal Sussex Regiment, has received a slight wound under the right knee cap and was in hospital in France. Since then Mr and Mrs Dudley have received a further letter to say that the latter is now out of hospital and has rejoined his battalion.

Ralph (prisoner) & Donald (killed)
Kettering Leader, 1st November 1918, transcribed by John Collins.

A Stricken Family - Three Rushden Brothers Casualties

News has been received that Pte. Donald Dudley (20), of the Northants Regt., the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Dudley, of 57, Spencer-road, Rushden, was killed on March 21st. The news was contained in a letter written by Pte. J. Coleman, of Burton Latimer, who is in Trent Bridge Hospital, Nottingham, in which he says that he(Coleman) was with him at the time and saw him hit. He died almost immediately. Pte. Dudley was officially announced as missing from March 21st, and no further news had been received. Deceased was formerly employed by Messrs. Sanders and Sanders prior to joining the Colours in January, 1917. He went to France in the following April, and was home on leave last February.

News has also been received through the Red Cross by Mr. and Mrs. Dudley from their third son, Pte. Ralph Dudley (19), of the Royal Fusiliers, that he was taken prisoner in August last. Mr. and Mrs. Dudley’s eldest son, Pte. Frank Dudley (22), of the Royal Sussex Regt., has written home to say he went up the line at six o’clock on Tuesday, Oct. 15th, and came away at nine o’clock with a slight wound under the right knee-cap.

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