History of Kirkby Group logo

The Fallen of Kirkby

Isaac Hudson

  • Son of James and Agnes Hudson of Soutergate.
  • Private, 30150, 8th Battalion KORLR.
  • Killed in Action 11th April 1917 near Monchy-le-Preux (Battle of Arras), aged 22.
  • Commemorated on the Arras Memorial, (Bay 2), Pas de Calais, France and on the Burlington Stone Quarry memorial.
  • Also named on the family headstone in St Cuthbert’s Churchyard.

Isaac Hudson’s family seemed to move a lot, at different times being at Chapels (1881), Dove Bank (1891), Sandside (1901) and Soutergate, as well as at Herschell Terrace. Isaac was the eighth of James and Agnes Hudson’s nine children. His older siblings were: John, Eleanor, Ann, James, Jane, Mary and Joseph; and his younger brother was Ernest.

James worked in the quarry, and by 1911 Joseph and Isaac had followed him and were working as apprentice slate splitters. Isaac was a keen member of the village football team, and is reported as having a lot of friends. James died in 1935 aged 76, and Agnes died in 1940 aged 80; Ernest died at the age of 38 in 1935, and the eldest child, John, died in 1952 aged 72. All four lived in Sandside at the time of their death, and are buried in St Cuthbert’s Churchyard (close to the Churchyard side gate, a little over halfway down the path from the porch, on the right towards

The inscription reads: In Loving Memory of James, beloved husband of Agnes Hudson, died January 25th 1935, aged 76 years. Also the above Agnes Hudson, died Jan. 8th 1940, aged 81 years. Also Isaac their son, killed in action April 11th 1917, aged 22 years. Also Ernest, their son, died May 19 1935, aged 38 years. Also John, their son, died August 17th 1952, aged 72 years. “Thy Will be Done”

The inscription reads:

In Loving Memory of James, beloved husband of Agnes Hudson, died January 25th 1935, aged 76 years.
Also the above Agnes Hudson, died Jan. 8th 1940, aged 81 years.
Also Isaac their son, killed in action April 11th 1917, aged 22 years.
Also Ernest, their son, died May 19 1935, aged 38 years.
Also John, their son, died August 17th 1952, aged 72 years.
“Thy Will be Done”

Ernest also served in the army in the First World War, as a Driver in the Royal Engineers. He survived, but it is not known whether his early death at 38 was connected to his military service.
Ernest Hudson’s Medal Roll Index Card
Ernest Hudson’s Medal Roll Index Card

Isaac Hudson enlisted in Ulverston, joining the 8th Battalion of the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. His Attestation Papers were among the ‘burnt documents’ damaged during the Second World War blitz, and are mostly unreadable. However his Medal Roll Index Card survives, showing that he did not receive the 1914 or 1914-15 Star, indicating that he did not go abroad until after 1915.

Isaac Hudson’s Medal Roll Index Card
Isaac Hudson’s Medal Roll Index Card

The Second Battle of Arras

160,000 British and 125,000 German casualties were sustained in the Second Battle of Arras, between 9th April and 16th May 1917. The Battle, like the Battle of Vimy Ridge which claimed the life of Joseph Fleming in April, was part of the French ‘Nivelle Offensive’: Vimy Ridge and Arras were diversions to draw German troops away from the French attack 50 miles to the south.

The War Diary of the 8th Battalion, KORLR, shows a sequence of failed communication, misunderstandings and faulty planning, coupled with unrealistic expectations and poor timing. Isaac Hudson’s battalion moved into the front line on 9th April, with their own 1st Battalion on one side and the Gordon Highlanders on the other. The 8th Battalion was already in poor shape: after three weeks at the Front they numbered only 350 men, and these were exhausted from a week of digging trenches, which was mostly done at night, losing them sleep. They also carried ammunition for the 8th Brigade, and then were ordered to attack at 7pm on 9th April. However they were given only 25 minutes notice of this action – not enough time to get to the jumping-off point one and a quarter mile further forward. The Gordon Highlanders were already forward and began their attack, but failed to take their objective, and broke up and began to fall back as the King’s Own moved forward. The 8th Battalion continued to advance, not knowing its own objective, nor how far it was to the front line. They spent the night of 9th digging in and were relieved by the 8th Brigade before dawn on 10th to rest.

A Company of the 8th Battalion King’s Own went over the top at 7am on 11th April, but nobody told C Company that the attack had been delayed half an hour, and they set off on their own at the original time of 6.30am. Men spent that day crouched in shell holes, unable to move in daylight because of the German machine guns, which had not been disabled by British artillery. According to Colonel Cowper’s history of the King’s Own, there also occurred during this battle an example of what came to be called “friendly fire”, when British machine guns trained on the German lines caught their own advancing comrades as they passed over a rise in the terrain.

At some time in this disastrous sequence of events, Isaac Hudson was killed; his body was never found, which is why he is named on the Arras Memorial in the Faubourg d’Amiens British Cemetery.

The Arras Memorial

Isaac Hudson is named on Bay 2 of this memorial, alongside the 35,000 servicemen who died in the Arras sector between Spring 1916 and August 1918, and who have no known grave. The memorial is in the Faubourg d’Amiens Cemetery, which is on the Ring Road, near the Citadel. Both cemetery and memorial were designed by Lutyens.

The Faubourg d’Amiens cemetery and Arras Memorial. Photos: Julie Rushton
The Faubourg d’Amiens cemetery and Arras Memorial. Photos: Julie Rushton
The Faubourg d’Amiens cemetery and Arras Memorial. Photos: Julie Rushton

A note on the 8th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

The 8th was one of the New Army Battalions, formed as a result of Kitchener’s appeal for 100,000 men.

After training in the south of England, the Battalion served on the Western Front from September 1915, fighting with distinction at The Bluff and St Eloi in March and April 1916, and on the Somme later the same year. Presumably Private Isaac Hudson of Kirkby-in-Furness was among them.

Press Cuttings

(Courtesy of Penny McPherson and Diane Ayres)

KIRKBY
KIRKBY MEN KILLED AT THE FRONT.- The sad intelligence is to hand that Messrs. Heaton, and Hudson, who until a short time ago worked in the local slate quarries, are amongst the killed in the recent fighting in France. Pte. Fleming, from Canada, is also among the list of killed. The deep sympathy of the people of Kirkby goes out to the relatives of these gallant men.
-: Barrow News, Saturday, May 5, 1917; page 11.

KIRKBY
MEMORIAL SERVICE.- On Sunday a memorial service was held in St. Cuthbert’s Church, Kirkby, in memory of six Kirkby men who have died for their country, their names are: Mark Grigg, William Relph, Eric Rothery, Isaac Hudson, Thomas Ernest Heaton, and Joseph Fleming. The Vicar, the Rev. W. G. Sykes, preached an appropriate sermon, and special psalms and hymns were sung. At the conclusion of the service, the organist, Mr. J. B. Richardson, played the Dead March in “Saul.”
-: Barrow Guardian, Saturday, June 16, 1917; page 6.

Scroll to Top