23rd Oct, 2016

Century for first on roll of honour

Evesham Editorial 18th Sep, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

TOMORROW (Saturday) marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the first man listed on Pershore’s roll of honour.

Ahead of the commemoration, Observer editor Rob George discovered more about the life of Lieutenant Aubrey Wells Hudson.

SEPTEMBER 20, 1914 in Aisne, France and members of the Worcestershire Regiment are engaged in battle during the outbreak of the First World War.

Lt Aubrey Wells Hudson, youngest son of Colonel and Mrs AH Hudson of Wick Manor, Wick, made the ultimate sacrifce on that day and became the first name on Pershore’s roll of honour.

A further 100 brave men from the town would sadly follow during the conflict, all of whom were remembered during the commemorations in Pershore last month.

Lt Hudson was in the 5th Battalion attached to the 2nd Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment and lost his life at the age of 31.

For several years prior to the start of the First World War, he served with the Cape Mounted Rifles in South Africa under Colonel Lukin.

He was transferred in 1909 to the 5th Worcesters (Special Reserve), on the day war was declared between Britain and Germany, the troop were at Croome Court receiving their colours from Lord Coventry.

Lt Hudson was selected to receive them from his Lordship and on the outbreak of war he was appointed to the 2nd Battalion of the Worcesters for active service.

He was serving in the Second Division of the 5th Brigade who were commended by Field Marshall Sir John Trench for their excellent work.

They embarked for France on August 13, 1914 and three days later were sent by by train from Boulogne through Amiens and Arras to Wassingy before marching six miles to Lesquielles St Germain.

After training at their billets, the battalion marched to Etreux and La Groise before they crossed the Belgian frontier, marching through Malplaquet and arriving at Bougnies.

They were present at all the engagements, including the Battle of the Mons and then on the fateful day Lt Hudson lost his life.

Two years after his death, Col and Mrs Hudson lost another son in the conflict when Capt Arthur Cyril Hudson who served in the 7th Royal Fusiliers died of his wounds in October 1916 at Boulogne.

Col Hudson’s nephew Lt Alban Hudson was also killed at Flanders in June 1917 taking the family’s immediate loss up to three.

However, Col and Mrs Hudson’s other son Maj William Warren Hudson of 11th Worcesters survved the conflict.

Lt Hudson and Capt Hudson are commemorated at Wick as well as on Pershore Abbey’s War Memorial.

There is a monument for Lt Alban Hudson in the Chapel of Wick Manor as his parents returned to the manor to reside.

A joint memorial service for Lt Hodson and Capt Hodson was held in the parish of St Bartholomew in October 1916 which saw many notable members of local society attend.

Col Hudson himself was also active during the First World War and was Commandant of the Pershore Company before being appointed head of the Worcestershire Volunteer Training Corps in June 1915.

The sacrifice of the Hudson family along with many others prove class and rank were no saviours during the atrocities of the First World War and people of all walks of life suffered the same fate.

Lieutenant Aubrey Wells Hudson in civilian wear. Picture supplied by Charles Hudson