Private Fredrick James Hudson – B 5674 — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War II)
On March 20, 1940 Fredrick James Hudson completed the Attestation Paper for the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment, in Peterborough, Ontario. He was 19 years, 3 months and 5 days old when, as a single man, he enlisted for the duration of the War. Fredrick James was born in Burscoug, England and gave his birth-date as December 15, 1920. He indicated that he had 1½ years of previous Military Reserve experience with The Prince of Wales Rangers from 1938 – 40, a Peterborough Machine Gun Regiment. He lists his educational background as having completed Grade XI at the Lakefield High School in 1939; he was 17 years old (conflicts with other dates given) when he left school. Fredrick James was not employed when he enlisted although he had spent 2 months as a Clerk in his father’s furniture store in Lakefield. He was 5′ 8” tall, weighed 152 pounds with hazel eyes and brown hair. He was deemed fit for service (category A-1). Fredrick James’s, next-of-kin is listed as his father, Alfred James Hudson, living in Lakefield with his wife Ellen Blackburn. Fredrick James Hudson signed the Oath and Attestation Certificate on March 20, 1940 at Peterborough, Ontario. He was assigned to the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment (H&PER) Canadian Active Service Force (CASF) as a Private (Pte) with Service Number B 5674.
On March 20, 1940 Pte Hudson was taken-on-strength with the H&PE Regimental Depot in Picton, Ontario. April 5, 1940 he was struck-off-strength from the H&PE Regimental Depot, Picton on transfer to No 1 Canadian Infantry (Reserve) Training Centre (CI [R] TC) at No 5 Military District (MD), Eastern Quebéc. On April 6, 1940 Pte Hudson was taken-on-strength to the No 1 CI (R) TC for training as an Infantry Rifleman. On May 28, 1940 he ceased to be attached to No 1 CI (R) TC and May 29, 1940 Pte Hudson was attached, for all purposes, from the H&PE Regimental Depot to the No 1 Infantry Reserve Training Centre (IRTC) at Camp Borden, Ontario. Then, on July 14, 1940 he ceased to be attached from the H&PE Regimental Depot.
On July 16, 1940 Pte Hudson was struck-off-strength from the CASF Canada on embarkation from Halifax, Nova Scotia to proceed overseas as reinforcement to the H&PER CASF. It was noted that Pte Hudson proceeded overseas direct from No 1 CI (R) TC, No 2 MD Toronto, Ontario. He was taken-on-strength to the Canadian Army Oversea on July 17, 1940. Pte Hudson disembarked the United Kingdom (UK) August 2, 1940. August 3, 1940 he was taken-on-strength to No 1 Canadian Infantry Holding Unit (CIHU) at Bordon, England. October 22, 1940 Pte Hudson was attached to the Royal Canadian Signals Holding Unit (RCSHU) at Bordon, England and struck-off-strength from No 1 CIHU to the RCSHU. Then on October 23, 1940 he was taken-on-strength to No 1 Signals Holding Unit (SHU) at Aldershot, England. Pte Hudson underwent training as a signaler with No 1 SHU CASF and was employed over the next 28 months in this trade.
February 13, 1941 Pte Hudson was back at Bordon under the CIHU and was granted 9 days Privileged Leave with a Travel Warrant from Bordon. Then on May 22, 1941 he was granted 8 days Privileged Leave without a Travel Warrant. On July 23, 1941 Pte Hudson completed classification as a 2nd Year Signaler. August 4, 1941 he was admitted to No 15 General Hospital and discharged August 8, 1941 to 14 days convalescence. August 22, 1941 Pte Hudson was struck-off-strength from the No 1 CIHU to the H&PER and on August 23, 1941 he was taken-on-strength with the H&PER. The next six months would have been used for much more training.
On January 16, 1942 Pte Hudson was granted 7 days Privileged Leave to January 22, 1942 with a Ration Allowance and Travel Warrant. Then August 21, 1942 he was granted 7 days Privileged Leave to August 28, 1942. January 1, 1943 Pte Hudson received a Regimental Pay Rate of $1.50. On February 21, 1943 he was granted 6 days Privileged Leave to February 27, 1943 with a Ration Allowance. April 12, 1943 Pte Hudson was granted 9 days leave to April 21, 1943. On June 3, 1943 prior to embarking the UK, Pte Hudson filled out an Occupational History Form in which he indicated that he possibly would go into the furniture business with his father or an electrical trade. June 13, 1943 Pte Hudson was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army (UK) on embarkation to the Mediterranean (M) Area to join the Allied Armies in Italy (AAI). June 14, 1943 he was taken-on-strength with the Canadian Army (M) and disembarked Sicily on July 10, 1943. On August 3, 1943 Pte Hudson was appointed to the rank of Acting Lance Corporal (A/L/Cpl). On October 6, 1943 L/Cpl Hudson was admitted to No 4 Field Ambulance (Fld Amb). On October 7, 1943 he transferred out to No 5 Fld Amb and the same day L/Cpl Hudson reverts back to the rank of Private. Also on October 7, 1943 Pte Hudson was struck-off-strength from H&PER to H&PER X List on admission to No 3 General Hospital from No 5 Fld Amb. October 8, 1943 he was taken-on-strength to the H&PER List X-3 from H&PER on admission to No 3 General Hospital. October 13, 1943 Pte Hudson was discharged from No 3 General Hospital and struck-off-strength from the H&PER List X-3 to H&PER.
On October 14, 1943 he was taken-on-strength with the H&PER. Then, on October 27, 1943 Pte Hudson was wounded by shrapnel in his back in Sicily, Italy and was admitted to No 9 Canadian Field Ambulance (CFA) and transferred out to No 15 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS). Also on October 27, 1943 he was struck-off-strength from H&PER to the H&PER X List. On October 28, 1943 Pte Hudson was taken-on-strength to the H&PER X List. November 6, 1943 he was moved to No 1 CCS from which he was admitted to No 50 General Hospital on November 7, 1943. Two days later, on November 9, 1943 Pte Hudson was moved and admitted to No 3 New Zealand (NZ) General Hospital and November 11, 1943 he was transferred out of the NZ Hospital then, on November 16, 1943 Pte Hudson was again moved and admitted to No 6 General Hospital.
Pte Hudson was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Clasp while in Sicily. After being discharged from the No 6 General Hospital Pte Hudson was in action until February 16, 1944 when he was admitted to No 3 General Hospital and discharged the same day. Also, that day, he was admitted to No 14 General Hospital. On March 3, 1944 Pte Hudson was discharged from No 14 General Hospital. About 1 month later on April 5, 1944 he was again admitted to No 3 General Hospital. April 16, 1944 Pte Hudson was discharged from No 3 General Hospital but remained on the H&PER X List. May 14, 1944 Pte Hudson was struck-off-strength from H&PER X List to the 3rd Battalion H&PER. June 1944 he was awarded the 1939 – 45 Star. From about May 1944 to March 1945 Pte Hudson was on active duty in Italy, perhaps as a Signaler and Postal Clerk.
March 10, 1945 Pte Hudson embarked Italy and disembarked France on March 12, 1945. His Records do not indicate his movements to depart from France and arrive in Canada. Sometime before about the end of April 1945 Pte Hudson would have embarked in France and disembarked the UK. He then would have embarked in the UK about May 14, 1945 bound for Canada. May 8 to 14, 1945 Pte Hudson was attached fap to the No 1 Canadian Repatriation Depot (CRD). May 15 1945 he was taken-on-strength from No 1 Repatriation Depot, Canadian Army (Overseas) [CA (OS)] to No 3 District Depot (DD), Kingston Ontario. About May 23, 1945 Pte Hudson would have disembarked at Halifax, Nova Scotia and the next day, May 24, 1945, he was granted 30 days Disembarkation Leave to June 22, 1945 with Ration Allowance. June 29, 1945 Pte Hudson, now 24 years old, attended a Service Interview where he indicated that he wanted to obtain his Senior Matriculation. He was assessed as being very co-operative with above average intelligence. Although Pte Hudson’s Record indicates steadiness and reliability he was not sure what he wanted to pursue; perhaps on-the-job Telephone Maintenance Services training would be good. He would have been granted a clothing allowance and his rehabilitation grant was paid.
Private Fredrick James Hudson served in Canada from March 20, 1940 to July 16, 1940; 3 months, 3 weeks and 5 days, in the United Kingdom from August 2, 1940 to June 13, 1943; 2 years, 10 months and 12 days, in Italy from July 10, 1943 to March 10, 1945; 1 year and 8 months and France 1 month. In total, Private Hudson served from March 20, 1940 until July 4, 1945 the date on his Discharge Certificate. This totals 5 years, 3 months and 2 weeks of service. Fredrick James Hudson was discharged in Kingston, Ontario on July 4, 1945.
Pte Hudson was awarded the following medals:
1939 – 45 Star;
France and Germany Star;
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Bar; and
War Medal, 1939 – 45.
He was also awarded War Service Badge – Class “A”
A note in the Military Files of Private Hudson entitled, Short Account of Service, Training and Duties states: “Trained as infantry rifleman for 12 months. Qualified as regimental signaler – and employed as such for 28 months. In action in Sicily, Italy and the European theatre for 21 months as signaler and Postal clerk. Wounded October 1943 in Italy. Overseas 57 months. Total services 63 months”.
From Cephas Weldon (Jack) Dunford, Private Hudson’s brother-in-law: Fred Hudson was wounded by shrapnel and at one point he was admitted to a hospital in Tunisia, North Africa. Jack also stated that he was under the belief that Private Hudson was classified as a British subject. No information was found in Fred’s records to support being in Tunisia, however a letter to his parents implied he was in Algeria. Fred returned to Lakefield to live for the remainder of his life. He died March 26, 1992 and is interred in Hillside Cemetery, Lakefield Ontario.
An excerpt from an article in Maclean’s magazine by Barbara Ameil, September 1996:
The Military is the single calling in the world with job specifications that include a commitment to die for your Nation. What could be more honorable?
Fredrick James Hudson
Fredrick James was born December 15, 1921 in Burscoug, England, the son of Alfred James Hudson & Ellen Blackburn. Fredrick James attended the Lakefield Public and High School, he completed Grade 11 before joining the Canadian Army. Fredrick James went by the nickname “Fred”.
Fredrick James Hudson married Dorothy Vyletta Dunford, born Dec 18, 1917 on September 14, 1946 in Lakefield Ontario. They did not have any children. Fred was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 77, Lakefield Ontario.
Fredrick James Hudson died March 26, 1992 in Peterborough Ontario as a result of the Lou Gehrig’s Disease [Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)]. Fred is interred in Hillside Cemetery, Lakefield Ontario. Dorothy died August 12, 2010 and is interred Hillside Cemetery, Lakefield beside her husband.
From a newspaper clipping Fall of 1943:
Young area soldier showed optimism and courage in the face of despair
The following letter was received in the fall of 1943 by Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hudson, parents of Ser-geant Fred Hudson, a wounded army signaller recovering from a shrapnel wound to the back in an
African convalescent hospital.
Dear Mother and Dad:
So sorry so much time has elapsed since my last letter but I have left the hospital and am now in a Canadian convalescent depot. My back is coming along good. How long I will be here I do not know. I think till after Christmas at least. The next step will be to a reinforcement depot and thence to Italy and my unit.
You know I miss the boys I know so well. Some of them have been wounded but they will soon re-join the unit. In that way the original bunch will remain together. Friendship and comradeship surmount the brutality of battles just as the clouds cover the moon. It is said that men without regard of creed can never become accustomed to battle. That is not so. Some fellows I know so well, if given the chance of a discharge they would accept. In a very short time they would be right back. The active life of a battle grows on a soldier, it becomes his life.
In just two days my birthday will be upon me – twenty-two years of age. It is scarcely believable. Some people who do not understand may think that the war has nipped in the bud many young men’s lives at a time when it is their opportunity to prepare themselves for the road that lies ahead. Many may say that these four years have been a waste of time as far as the young man is concerned. We are not richer, we have not gained anything materially. But we are richer. We are richer in experience and the way of life than we would be in, yes, twice four years of home life.
Does school and home life allow you to see the vast beautiful country of Canada – the endless stretch of the St. Lawrence, the ramparts of the Citadel Of Quebec, the teeming life of Montreal; the simple homes and ways of the French Canadians; the miles of huge forests of New Brunswick, busy port of Halifax? Do you experience a feeling of loneliness and eagerness as the coast of Canada disappears and you are surrounded by vast stretches of calm blue waters? Can you picture a storm at sea when the huge ships are tossed about as corks on a wild ocean? Have you seen the wild coastal waters of Ireland? Have you spent a drowsy afternoon on the English downs? Do you know the Highlands and Lochs of Scotland? Have you witnessed a mass aerial attack on a crowded city? Have you visited Piccadilly and mixed with its teeming crowds? Have you stood in amazement at the smartness with which the guards are changed at Buckingham Palace? The solemnity of a service at Westminster, the magnificence of St. Paul’s and Holyrood, a convoy at sea, a submarine attack, the dim lights of Portugal and Spain, the blue Mediterranean, the coast of Africa, the rock cliffs of Malta, the speck on the horizon of Pantetaria, the Island of Sicily, Mt. Etna, the clear waters of the Straits of Messina, the beautiful hills and forests of Southern Italy, the noise of battle, the busy life of Algiers, the eagerness of little Arab shoe shine boys, the bickering Arab, the sands of the desert, the loves and lives of the Free French?
Yes we are richer- far richer and our time has not be wasted.
A Merry Christmas to you all.
Your Loving son,
The following are recalled times and comments by Neil Wasson about Fredrick Hudson’s life in Lakefield, Ontario.
Fred was ‘in my opinion’ a real nice guy. Very clever. Extremely personable. Connie Orr often mentioned that Fred and Tom Junkin were the smartest students in high school – and they had a lot of competition with the Wong family. A Chinese family who ran a restaurant, I think where Hollends dry goods was (26 Queen Street), and their children were really driven to achieve – all studious and very hard working they became renowned around Lakefield for their scholastic achievements. Connie used to qualify this by telling me “Yes, they may have finished with higher marks from memorizing, dedication and application, but as far as smartness was concerned they were no match to Tom and Freddie, who were also very active socially and sports wise and were well rounded individuals”.
Fred had post war lung problems (possibly due to the shrapnel wounds which he suffered when in the Army and I believe he had a military disability pension). He had a new and used furniture store and did quite well financially. He was very helpful to me and my wife, in the early years of our marriage, with financial advice, and building of our confidence. I bought a lot of furniture from him, always on credit, and he was very fair and helpful. He was a ‘speculator’ and owned several properties in Lakefield. He offered me the opportunity to purchase two houses in Lakefield – no down payment, no interest, and all he wanted was for me to pay him rent for ten years, and the house would be totally ours. And the rent was just the fair rent for the going rate of the day. Nervous Negative Neil declined!
Fred married Dorothy Dunford, a wonderful lady, daughter of Gordon and Cecel Dunford. She was named Dorothy after my Mother who at age 14, acted as the midwife at her birth. They had no family. Fred had his shop/store where the Stoney Lake Store is now located (1 Stanley Street), just west of our old Lakefield train station. I believe that he worked briefly at CGE post war (Circa 1956). I had/have a great deal of admiration for him.
That’s it – I am sure that my memory will surface with other info re Fred. I have spent many hours talking with him in his store.
THE FREDRICK JAMES HUDSON FAMILY OF LAKEFIELD
Fredrick James’s paternal grandparents are David James and Susannah Hudson.
Fredrick James’s parents, Alfred James Hudson, born October 18, 1895, died May 15, 1964 and Ellen Blackburn, born December 21, 1894, died January 4, 1973 were married in Ormskirk, Lanchester, England in the 1st Quarter, 1919. Alfred and Ellen had three sons: Fredrick James, born December 15, 1921 in Burscoug, England; William Harold (Bill), born November 21, 1927 – died August 24, 2008, married Pauline Theresa Trudeau, born March 9, 1930 – died November 5, 2007; and John B. (Jack), born December 8, 1928 – died May 3, 2004, married Betty J. Keller, born July 28,1930 and a daughter Violet Helen (Vi) Hudson, married Norman (Shiner) Graham of Lakefield. Shiner & Vi had 4 children; Cindy, Brent Alfred, Peter and David. They lived on Queen Street in Lakefield (at least in 1942). Shiner and Vi separated (Circa 1953) and at that time Shiner relocated to Hagersville, Ontario to be the Manager of the LCBO store. Shiner and Vi were always on speaking terms but never reunited. As of 2014 Vi is living in Fraserville with her daughter. Jack and Betty lived in Edmonton for quite a few years when first married, then returned to Lakefield where they lived on Smith St.