No. 14797, 8th & 12th Battalions, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Monday 15 April 1918 (aged 27)
No known grave
Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium (Panel 138 to 140 & 162 to 162A & 163A)
Holywood and District War Memorial
Holywood Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church
First World War Roll of Honour of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland
Ormiston (now Kirkpatrick Memorial) Presbyterian Church
Harland & Wolff (Queen’s Island) War Memorial
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database and in Ireland’s Memorial Records 1914 – 1918 it is recorded that Rifleman William Hudson (No. 14797) was born in County Antrim. According to CWGC records, he was born around 1891/1892.
It was around 1911/1912 that William Hudson began using the surname Hudson instead of his birth surname which was Huddleston (sometimes Huddleson).
William Huddleston was born on 8 July 1892 in the townland of Steeple, Co Antrim and he was a son of Robert and Norah Huddleston (nee Dunn, sometimes Dunne) who were married on 19 August 1890 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Church, Belfast. Robert Huddleson (aged 29), a widowed gardener from 34 Cussick Street, Belfast was a son of William Huddleson, a shoemaker. Norah Dunne (aged 24), a servant from 70 Great Victoria Street, Belfast was a daughter of Simon Dunne, a farmer.
Robert Huddleson had previously been married to Sarah McPherson. Robert and Sarah were married on 18 March 1887 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Church, Belfast. Sarah McPherson (aged 24), a servant from 90 Great Victoria Street, Belfast was a daughter of Thomas McPherson, a labourer. Four months later, on 27 July 1887, Sarah Huddleson (nee McPherson) died of diarrhoea in New Street, Kilkenny.
Robert and Norah Huddleston (nee Dunn) had three children:
Martha Jane (born 19 January 1891 in Steeple, Co Antrim)
William (born 8 July 1892 in Steeple, Co Antrim)
Kathleen (born 14 April 1894 at 25 Cussick Street, Belfast)
In 1911 the Huddleson family was living at 35 Sandown Road, Belfast and it was noted that Norah had been born in Queen’s County (now County Laois), Ireland.
William Huddleson worked as a riveter and when he and Mary Patty were married on 27 November 1912 in St Columba’s Parish Church of Ireland Church, Belfast, he used the surname Hudson. William Hudson (aged 20) from 69 Sandown Road, Belfast was a son of Robert Hudson, a gardener. Mary Patty (aged 21) from 10 Hibernia Street, Holywood was a daughter of Alexander Patty, a victualler.
William Hudson worked as a labourer and riveter in Harland & Wolff (Queen’s Island) and he and Mary had at least three children:
Dorothy Kathleen (born 9 June 1913 in Hibernia Street, Holywood)
Elizabeth (born 1 March 1916 in Hibernia Cottage, Holywood)
Robert Alexander (born 9 September 1917 in Hibernia Street, Holywood)
The Hudson family lived at 10 Hibernia Street, Holywood.
William Hudson enlisted in Belfast and he served with the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. In August 1917 the 8th and 9th Battalions were amalgamated and in February 1918 they were disbanded in France. William was transferred to the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division. He was killed in action on 15 April 1918 during the German Spring Offensive and at the time of his death his mother, Mrs Norah Hudson, was living at 69 Sandown Road, Belfast. His wife Mary was living in Hibernia Cottage, Holywood.
Rifleman William Hudson’s father, Robert Huddleston, died on 18 August 1921 (aged 59) and he was buried in Dundonald Cemetery (Grave B2 225). His mother, Norah Hudson, died on 1 March 1937 (aged 65) and she too was buried in Dundonald Cemetery (Grave B2 225).
Rifleman William Hudson (No. 14797) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium; on Holywood and District War Memorial; in the First World War Roll of Honour of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland; in Holywood Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church; in Ormiston (now Kirkpatrick Memorial) Presbyterian Church; on the Harland & Wolff (Queen’s Island) War Memorial and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 277).