Flight Sergeant Charles Thomas RUDMAN

Regiment:                                      Royal Air Force logo-cwgc2

Unit:                                                 10 O.T.U. (Coastal Command)

Service Number:                         520333

Date of Death:                               12 July 1943 – Killed in action

Age:                                                   26 years

Cemetery / Memorial:              Runnymede Memorial

Grave / Panel Ref.:                     Panel 139

Home Life:

Charles was born on 30 October 1916 at 125 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London. He was the oldest son of Charles James (Basket Maker) and Susan Isabel (née Pitt) Rudman and had four younger siblings, Albert John (see Footnote below), Irene May, Ivy Eileen and Arthur William. At the start of the War the family was living at 8 Gainsborough Buildings, City of Westminster.

The Sleaford Advertiser” (13 September 1940) reported Charles’ marriage to Mary Tong in All Saints’ Church, Ruskington, on the 7th. She was born on 18 July 1917, the daughter of Frederick (Bricklayer) and Mary Tong of ‘Redburn’, Westgate, Ruskington. The Reception was held there and they had their honeymoon in Lincoln.

It is most likely that Charles and Mary met after he was posted for training at RAF Cranwell, or one of the other nearby bases.

In the September quarter 1946 Mary re-married Beris Turner, probably also in All Saints’ Church. She died in the September quarter 1979 and Beris, in Ruskington, on 27 February 1982.

Military Service:

Without his Service Papers it is not known when Charles volunteered for the Royal Air Force, but “The Sleaford Gazette” of 3 September 1943, when reporting that he was missing in action, said that: “He is attached to Coastal Command, and was reported missing when on operations. He was expected home on leave the day the information was received.”

His Unit, 10 OTU, was formed in 1940 as part of No. 8 Group RAF Bomber Command at RAF Abingdon to train night bomber aircrew, it was disbanded on 10 September 1946.

On  12 July 1943 Charles was flying a Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V (right), Serial number BD681, out of RAF St Eval for a daytime Anti-submarine patrol over the Bay of Biscay.

The Official record of the loss reads:

Radioed to state that they were under attack from enemy fighters. An SOS was picked up 13 minutes later but the signal was very weak and nothing further was heard. Shot down a first Ju88 only to be themselves shot down by a second Ju88.

Five members of Charles’ crew died with him:

Lieutenant John D. Williams is commemorated on the Cambridge American Cemetery Memorial, the others are commemorated, with Charles, on the Runnymede Memorial.

Maybe because his link to Ruskington was only by marriage for a short time during the War, Charles’ name does not appear on any village War Memorial. It seems from his Service Records, however, that he and Mary were living in the village, probably at her parents’ home.

Charles’ brother. F/O 129613 Albert John Rudman, (R.A.F.V.R.), born 16 February 191, was killed in action over Germany on 20 December 1943.                                    He was flying a Lancaster Ii Bomber, with 426 (R.C.A.F.) Squadron. He is buried in Grave 10.E.8., Rheinberg War Cemetery.





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