RUST, Charles Edward

No. 29355, Private, Charles Edward RUST
Aged 34

7th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment
formerly No.S4/094626, Army Service Corps
Killed in Action on Sunday, 31st March 1918

Charles Rust was born in Freckenham (Mildenhall Q1-1886 4A:734), son of Edward Vise and Helen Jane RUST (née TRUNDLE).

1891 census...Aged 5, he was at North Street, Kentford with his father Edward V. Rust [45] farmer/dealer, born Chippenham; his mother Helen [39] born Mildenhall; his sisters Margaret [19] born Chippenham and May [2] born Freckenham and brother Vise [1] born Freckenham. There had been an earlier son born, Charles Edward Vise but sadly he had died (1882-1883) .

1901 census...Aged 14, he was at Biggen Lodge, Fordham with his parents, sister Margaret, brother Edward Vise and brother John Cyril [9] born Freckenham.

1911 census...Not positively identified in this census. His parents and brothers Edward Vise (butcher's assistant) and John Cyril (farm labourer) were at Mill Lane, Fordham.

His life after the 1901 census is muddled. He seemingly was married ? and separated (wife re marrying). This seems to be Florence Amy ROUGH The pension card has widow, Mrs ROUGH of 27 Russell Road, Leyton, this is deleted and guardian Florence Oakley, 6 Devonshire Road, Walthamstow inserted. A child, Florence M is recorded. The only birth registration that seems applicable is Florence Marie ROUGH (née LANE) 1910 S Quarter in WANDSWORTH Volume 01D Page 514. but this child's mother was Louise ROUGH.
To muddle it further a Charles RUST married a Florence Amy M ROUGH in 1908 in Newcastle. A second pension card refers to unmarried separated wife, Mrs ROUGH becoming Florence OAKLEY . Florence A RUST married ? OAKLEY in 1919 in West Ham. looks like a case of the woman changing her names to suit for a change. Charles has at least 4 pension cards, each adding a little to the story. None actually categorically has Charles married.

He enlisted in Norwich.
From Everard Wyrall's "The East Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War" 1928, a summary:-

On 31st March 1918 the 50th Brigade was then holding Bouzincourt, with the 2nd Division on its left: the 7th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment was in front to the east of the village. On the night of 28th the 10th West Yorkshires had been ordered to occupy and hold along the Bouzincourt-Aveluy road, about half -way between the two villages. The ground here was higher, offering good observation over Albert, which was still in the hands of the enemy. The West Yorkshires carried out their orders and dug in, reporting at 6 a.m. on 29th that all was quiet, but at about 7 p.m., the enemy rushed the posts and gained possession of them, the West Yorkshires suffering about fifteen casualties. A while later the Germans attempted to rush the Lewis-gun posts at the cross- roads but were driven off, though they dug in west of the road. On 30th March 1918 (at 3.45 a.m.), the enemy was reported to be holding the high ground just east of the captured posts in strength, and the 7th East Yorkshires were ordered to recapture the lost positions.
Zero hour for the attack was 5.30 a.m. on 31st March. Four tanks and the artillery were to co-operate and 12 Lewis guns from the Tank Corps were sent to strengthen the line. In heavy rain the 7th East Yorkshires moved forward to the attack and reached their objective: they were subjected to heavy machine-gun fire from the Briquetiere and buildings near Albert as well as from behind the posts. Nevertheless, they gained their objective. The tanks were little use, one failed to start due to engine trouble, the Hotchkiss gun of another jammed, and one of the remaining two was damaged and had to be abandoned. The East Yorkshires held on to the recaptured ground for some time, but the troops on either flank were held up and finally the 7th Battalion was compelled to fall back to its original line. At nightfall they were relieved by troops of 52nd Brigade and moved back to billets in Henencourt, arriving at 1 a.m. on 1st April. The 7th East Yorkshire's casualties were 19 Officers and 400 Other Ranks, of which 84 were killed (55 being commemorated on the Arras Memorial).

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Charles Rust is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery, bays 4/5

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