Ruddick, Robert Arthur (Robert)
No. 15881, 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 19)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
In some records his surname is spelt Reddick, in others Riddick, in others Roddick and in others Ruddock.
The death of Rifleman Robert Arthur Ruddick, Royal Irish Rifles (Lewis Gun Section) (No. 15881) was reported in the 13 July 1917 edition of the County Down Spectator under the headline Bangor Man Killed. He was reported to be the only son of Mr William Ruddick of 6 Alfred Street, Bangor; formerly of 255 Conway Street, Belfast.
Robert Arthur Ruddick was born on 10 September 1896 at 3 Woburn Street, Belfast and he was a son of William and Phyniah (sometimes Phenia) Ruddick (nee Davis) who were married on 18 June 1894 in Trinity Church of Ireland Church Belfast. William Ruddick was a son of Arthur Ruddick, a postman. Phyniah Davis (aged 17) was a daughter of Maxwell Davis, an iron turner.
William Ruddick worked as a labourer and he and Phyniah had two children:
Maxwell (born 1 May 1895 at 64 Pernau Street, Belfast; died of whooping cough 26 March 1896)
Robert Arthur (born 10 September 1896 at 3 Woburn Street, Belfast)
Robert was eight months old when his mother died of typhoid fever in Belfast Workhouse on 29 May 1897 (aged 20).
William Ruddick (aged 29) and Georgina Denmark (nee Nesbitt) were married on 15 March 1899 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Church Belfast. Georgina Denmark (nee Nesbitt) was a daughter of James Nesbitt, a labourer and she had previously been married to James Denmark (they were married on 15 October 1891 in Lisburn Church of Ireland Cathedral). James Denmark died on 23 May 1896 (aged 28).
In 1901 William Ruddick was working as a shipyard labourer and he, Georgina and Robert (aged 4) were living in Bristol Street, Belfast. In 1911 they were living in Conway Street, Belfast. William and Georgina Ruddick had no children.
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Robert Arthur Ruddick worked as an apprentice moulder in Mayne’s Foundry, McTier Street, Belfast and he was a member of the Sons of Ulster Loyal Orange Lodge (LOL) No. 759. He enlisted in Belfast, served with the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and was 19 years old when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Initially Rifleman Robert Ruddick (No. 15881) was reported as missing in action and a year later it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action.
Rifleman Robert Ruddick (No. 15881) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France and on Page 567 in the Belfast Book of Honour (as Robert Ruddock).