Sergeant Louis Robert Fudge

Guest Blogger: Leonie Fanning, Pioneer Valley Museum, Mirani

Louis was the eldest son of Alfred and Naomi Fudge. He was born on the site of the Ingham tin mines and attended Mirani Primary School after his family moved to the district of Mirani, 37kms west of Mackay.

Enlistment documentation showing Louis Fudge's signature, date and place of enlistment. Source National Archives Australia.

Enlistment documentation showing Louis Fudge’s signature, date and place of enlistment. Source National Archives Australia.

Pte Louis Fudge prior to embarkation, ca. 1915. Image private collection.

Private Louis Fudge prior to embarkation, ca. 1915. Image private collection.

On 18 November, 1915 Louis Robert Fudge enlisted at 29 years of age with the Regimental number 1107 in the 1st Reinforcements, 41st Battalion. He embarked on HMAT A64 Demosthenes on May 17, 1916 in Sydney and disembarked at Devonport, England on July 20. Louis was attached to the Training Schools at Tidworth and Aldershot with the 11th and 13th Training Battalions as Extra Duty Pay (EDP) Corporal and EDP Sergeant from August 7, 1916.

A year later on 18 September 1917, Louis was detached from the permanent cadre of the 11th Training Battalion, reverted to the rank of Private and proceeded to France. He was taken on strength in the 41st Battalion and appointed Lance Sergeant on 8 October 1917. A month later he was promoted to Sergeant in the field. The 41st Btn was based in Flanders in the Hazebrouck area.

On 17 November 1917, Louis was admitted to the military hospital at Wimereux with Trench Nephritis, a condition causing inflammation of the kidneys. Shortly after, he was transferred to the military hospital at Chatham. On December 28, 1917 he was transferred to the 3rd AAH at Dartford.

On the 10th of March, 1918 Louis left England to return to Australia on the Durham Castle and Orontes, suffering from chronic nephritis. He arrived in Australia on May 12, 1918.

Sergeant Fudge was discharged from the army as medically unfit on June 13, 1918. Louis's brother Edgar was killed several months earlier in Flanders on 27 February.

Sergeant Fudge was discharged from the army as medically unfit on June 13, 1918. Louis’s brother Edgar was killed several months earlier in Flanders on 27 February.

After his return Louis Fudge captained the first railway football side against Townsville in 1920. Photo courtesy of Brian Penny and Pioneer Valley Museum.

After his return Louis Fudge captained the first railway football side against Townsville in 1920. Photo courtesy of Brian Penny and Pioneer Valley Museum.

Lou was a great athlete excelling in football and tennis. He was in the first railway football side in 1919, and captained the Mackay side against Townsville in 1920.  He was employed with the Queensland Railway until he retired. A keen fisherman, he moored his boat on the Pioneer River. He lived with his wife Ellie in Carlyle Street, Mackay.

Information to Pioneer Valley Museum by Brian Penny as part of the Pioneer Valley First World War Soldier display.

Additional Reading:

Louis Robert Fudge Diaries, Acc 30546 John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Blog article: Librarian Lynn Meyers describes the diaries of Louis Robert Fudge, State Library of Queensland