Leslie Sydney Tardrew Hudson

Rank Private
Service No 493494
Date of Death 23/09/1916
Age 21
Regiment/Service London Regiment 1st/13th Kensington Battalion
Memorial Thiepval Memorial. This memorial to the missing of the Somme bears the name of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South Africa who died in the Somme sector, France, before 20th March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916.  

 

James Henry Hudson (1870-1936), a builder’s foreman, and Catherine Elizabeth Vine (b.1869) were married in 1894. Leslie was born in 1895 and his sister, Gladys Muriel, in 1896.

The 1899 electoral register indicates that the family were living at 38 Achilles Road, West Hampstead and this was their address at the time of the 1901 Census. Between 1906 and 1908 the family were living at 9, Westbere Road, West Hampstead, less than a third of a mile from their previous address.

At the time of the 1911 Census, Leslie’s whereabouts are unknown. His sister appears to have been a boarder at Lynton House, a girls’ boarding school at 36 Edgar Road, Cliftonville, Margate, Kent. Maybe James was also at boarding school.

James enlisted in the 13th (Kensington) Battalion, London Regiment, a unit of the Territorial Force with their HQ at Iverna Gardens, Kensington. They were serving with 4th London Brigade, 2nd London Division when war broke out in August 1914. They proceeded to France, landing at Le Havre on 4th November and joining 25th Brigade, 8th Division on 13th August.

In 1915 the Battalion was in action at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle and the Battle of Aubers. In 1916 the Battalion was in action on the Somme taking part in the diversionary attack at Gommecourt on 1st July. It also took part in the Battle of Ginchy, the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (15th-22nd September) and the Battle of Morval (25th-28th September) in which the Division captured Combles. James was killed in action a day after the Battle of Flers-Courcelette and as preparations were being made for the Battle of Morval.

James’ father died at 24 Orchard Avenue, Finchley, very close to St Luke’s Church, on 19th September 1936. Probate records indicate that he not only owned the house in Finchley but also 74 High Street, Hampstead. Interestingly, according to the 1932 electoral register, his sister, Gladys, lived with her husband, Francis Raisin, at 34 Sunny Gardens Road, Hendon. In 1937 they resided at 201 Holders Hill Road, Mill Hill, NW7.