RUSH, Clement Ward


Second Lieutenant, Clement Ward RUSH
Aged 26


"B" Company, 5th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
formerly 2nd S.M.C.C.(M.T.C)
(which appears to be No.2 Special Motor Car Contingent)
Killed in Action on Sunday, 3rd September 1916

Clement Ward RUSH was born on 5th May 1890 in Witnesham (Woodbridge Q3-1890 4A:841), baptised in Ipswich All Saints on 18th June 1890, son of Robert and Amy RUSH (née GARROD).


1891 census...Aged 11 months, he was at Farm House, Witnesham with his father Robert RUSH [37] farmer; his mother Amy [29] born Westerfield; brothers Wilfred R [5], Charles J. [5] and Eustace D.B. [2]. All except his mother were born in Witnesham.

1901 census...Aged 10, he was at Free Wood Street, Bradfield St George with his parents; brothers Wilfred (working on father's farm), Charles, Harold [9], Raymond E [4], Herbert G [2], Leonard E [1] and Albert G [1 month]; sisters Susie M [7], Daisy E [6] and Hilda E [5]. Harold and the sisters were born in Witnesham, the youngest 4 brothers were born in Bradfield.

1911 census...Aged 20, a gents outfitter's manager, he was at "Ingleby", Station Road, Boreham Wood, boarding with William and Nellie Kirby. His parents were still in Bradfield St George with his brothers Harold (working on the farm), Raymond Ernest, Herbert Gordon, Leonard Edgar, Albert Edward, Kenneth Frederick [8] and Robert Cecil [6]. The two youngest brothers also born in Bradfield St George. All 14 siblings survive.

Newly commissioned (15th July 1916) on 30th July, at Bradfield St.George parish church, he married Alice Ellen CUTTING of Castle Street, Eye. (from Bury Free Press 5/8/1916). They lived at Broome Hall, Bradfield St George. She later (1920) married Walter S.FULCHER and lived at 116 Hervey Street, Ipswich




From the "East Anglian Record" of December 1913 shows Rush (i) in Form III and Rush (ii) in Form IV. but with no initial it is impossible at present to identify them but given the ages it is just possible they were Albert and Kenneth. Robert Cecil appears to have joined the school in August 1915.

His brother Harold was killed serving in Gallipoli in the Australian Light Horse in 1915 see here



He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds on 23rd February 1916, GS 15638, in the Officer Cadet Battalion, Royal West Surrey Regiment, stating he was born in Witnesham, a commercial traveller, living at Broome Hall, Bradfield St George, aged 26 years 9 months, 5 feet 6.75 inches (169.5 cm) tall, weighing 150 lbs (68.3 kg) and chest 37" to 40" (94 to 101.6 cm). His next of kin was his father, Robert Rush of Broome Hall, Bradfield St George. He had served for 10 months in the Union Forces of South Africa.
Discharged from the Officer Cadet Battalion on 14th July 1916 on being commissioned in the 5th (R) West Riding Regiment. He had actually expressed a preference for an appointment in the Suffolk Infantry.
His papers also reveal he was educated at the East Anglian School, Bury St.Edmunds. One reference, from the Rector at Bradfield St George says he knew Clement from 1901 to 1912 and since his return from Africa in 1915. He was in South Africa from 1912 to 1915 as a travelling salesman for a gents outfitters and then serving in the 5th Brand's Horse from 3rd October 1914 to 25th January 1915, being present in 5 actions(Rebellion of 1914). Brand's Horse were disbanded at the end of hostilities and the conquest of German South West Africa, and he then served in the Special Transport from 28/5/1915 (being appointed Q.M.Sgt as from 1st March 1915). Engaged for duration of hostilities. Discharged August 6th 1915.

The war diary entry is too long for here, but in summary "B" Company of the 1st/5th West Ridings were on the left of the assaulting force on the 3rd September 1916. The Brigade objective was the line 57d.R.19.b.8.4. to the River Ancre. The initial; objective of the 1/5th West Riding was R.19.c.68.70 to c.3.8. (as shown below). The attack failed, due in part to companies drifting out of position and allowing gaps which the Germans exploited. The position was worsened by the fact that all the officers became casualties and there was no communication back to HQ. Of the 450 men that started the attack, 350 became casualties.

CWGC puts the dead at 104, and 73 of them have no known grave.

A letter from 5606 Private W.Adams gave some details:-
5606 Pte W.Adams
The first time I met Mr Rush was in Aug; about the 12th he joined us at Martinside Wood after coming out for a rest, he was second lieutenant at the time he was my Platoon Officer of B Company, and stood about 5 feet 6 inches and had his hair parted on the right and it was black, he had a moustache, he was fairly dark, he told us he had seen service in East Africa.
We marched to our billets in Loisvil and on the 2nd we moved off to Martinside Wood and left for Thiepval about midnight. We got in the line about 4 and just gone five we went over. A company taken the first lines and we had to take the second. We got across the first when about half way between a shell dropped very near to us and killed Mr Rush instantly and I went up to see him and he was not fit to look at. I knew he was quite dead, he had lost a leg, I believe it was his left, and then we had to retreat back to our lines and on the way back I saw him again and he layed (sic) where he was at first. I looked at him again and his eyes was wide open and his cheeks sunken and he was going a different colour, afterwards going back I was buried by a trench mortar and I was there until midnight and I got back to the lines and was sent to the hospital and whenI got there my Platoon Sergt was there and he told me that Mr Rush had been killed and I told him I knew. His name is Cpl Shore he was reduced afterwards, he is out there now. When I was in Kent I met Mrs Rush's wife and told her all I knew. So I think I have told you all.
From Yours Truly Pte W.Adams
This letter was written in answer to one written by my brother in law....signed A.E.Rush.


On 19th May 1917 his widow gave her address as c/o Mrs Cutting, Castle Street, Eye, Suffolk.

His medals were sold in 1994 by Dix,Noonan,Webb in London for £75.





Clement Rush is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France, pier/face 6A/6B
and on the reredos in the church of St George, Bradfield St George.

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details


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