Pte. H. P. Dudley

Co. Laois

Family BackGround

Henry Pemberton Dudley was born 18th May 1880. He was born in Kinnity, King's County.

Henry was the 3rd son of the late Henry N. Dudley and Mary Elizabeth Pemberton. Unfortunately it is still unknown if Henry had other siblings or the names of his two older brothers.

Henry N. Dudley was formerly from Kinnity, King’s County, afterwards of Durrow, Queen’s County. He worked as a Medical Doctor, with M.D. being added to his official name on any documents I have found

Mary Elizabeth nee Pemberton was born in 2 Burdett Avenue, Sandycove, Blackrock, daughter of John Pemberton. She was educated by private tuition, in Lanly School in Dublin. In the majority of Henry's documents he is known as "Henry Pemberton Dudley", taking his mothers surname also. It seems Mary came from a very wealthy background as not many girls got private tuition in the 19th century.

Unfortunately, Henry's father died in 1902.

Adult lIFE


He worked for the HSBC bank in Shanghai from  1905 until 1909. It was a very large building as seen in the image beside.


While in Shanghai he played golf, cricket, swam competitively, played water polo and was also a tennis player. In 1907 he won the Hong tennis doubles with HSBC workmate and rugby player Sydney Wheeler. His picture was taken as shown above.

He also played a few rugby games for Shanghai in 1907 and 1908.


Unfortunately, I could not find any records of marriage for Henry. Although he was 36 when he died in the  Somme, giving him plenty of time to settle down and have children and a wife before the war began, he seemed to be very active and dedicated to sport and his career so it's unlikely he ever got married or had any children.

In September 1909, Henry left Shanghai for Singapore.

Military Life

Private Number: 17926


7th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers 

3rd Battalion Leinster Regiment 

2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment

Henry joined the 7th Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers'. 

In August 1915 they went to Dardanelle, Turkey where he was severely wounded at Sulva Bay.

After recovery in November 1915 he was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant of the 3rd Leinster regiment. 

He went to France in July 1916 attached to the 2nd Royal Irish Regiment and was killed in action near Guillemot on the 3rd of September 1916, at the age of 36 .


Henry was buried in Deville Wood Cemetry, Longueval.

Grave Reference : XIV. 6. K.

His gravestone reads;

A Good Son A Good Brother And a Good Pal

Requested by Mr. Francis Dudley of Cornwall Mental Hospital, Bodmin.

The announcement of H P Dudley's death in the 2 December 1916 edition of the North China Herald

Medal Records

Henry Pemberton Dudley was entitled to the Victory medal, also called the Inter Allied Victory Medal. This medal was awarded to all who received the 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star and, with certain exceptions, to those who received the British War Medal. It was never awarded alone. These three medals were sometimes irreverently referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.

Eligibility for this award consisted of having been mobilised, fighting, having served in any of the theatres of operations, or at sea, between midnight 4th/5th August, 1914, and midnight, 11th/12th November, 1918. Women who served in any of the various military organisations in a theatre of operations were also eligible.

He was entitled to the British War Medal for service in World War One. This British Empire campaign medal was issued for services between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918.

The medal was automatically awarded in the event of death on active service before the completion of this period

The Victory Medal

The British War Medal


I am a student of Scoil Chríost Rí who has always had a great interest in history. I first heard of the competition in school from my TY year head, Ms. Dollard. She informed us what she knew, to write an essay and submit it on why I should be chosen, and encouraged anyone interested in history to enter. Out of everyone, I was lucky enough to be picked to represent Henry and Laois on this trip.

I started my research by searching the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for Henry. I found him, and also a small amount of information on his mother and father's names and where he was from. Then, I searched the Census online from both 1901 and 1911 and was surprised and disappointed to find nothing on Henry, his father or his mother. I tried several variations of each name, and nothing. I was very confused as they didn't seem to be anywhere in Ireland. In pure desperation, I googled "Henry Pemberton Dudley" and suddenly was hit with multiple websites including Henry's name, and even a records of where he was living etc. 

To further my research, I contacted the Abbeyleix Parish to ask of anyone in the parish may be related to a Henry Dudley and they got back to tell me no relatives of his lived in the area. Next I  contacted a man named David Orford, who is well known in Portarlington for being very involved in History. I sent him an email on any information I knew and informing him I was seeking for more information on my soldier. He got back to me, with an email of another man named Charles Ward who did research on all the WWI soldiers in Laois, but unfortunately he only had information I already knew.

With all the information I collected on Henry, I transferred and simplified into a PowerPoint. On 7th March, each of the county's representatives and the co-ordinators met at Collins Barracks in Dublin to discuss our soldier. We were separated into our provinces, and Leinster being the biggest we didn't have much time to talk. Each person spoke to the group about their soldier and we tried to get to know each person also. After, one from each province presented their soldiers spectacularly and the trip to the Somme in June was discussed.

I still have more research to complete as I am not fully satisfied not knowing Henry's siblings, and also to find out what happened to Henry's mother after his father died.

I am looking forward to meeting all the representatives and co-ordinators again come the end of June to finally get to see Henry's grave, and bring a piece of Ireland with me.

About Me

One of the main reasons I personally wanted to get involved in this project was because my great grandfather, William,  and his brother, Hugh, fought in World War I. Unfortunately Hugh died in battle over in the Somme, but we've had his medals at home ever since my grandfather died. I have always been very intrigued by the medals but never sought out to find what he had received them for.

He was Scottish, so I didn't think it would be suitable to go over representing Laois with someone who never lived in Laois, but I still contacted my grandmother, Hugh's niece, to gather more information never talked about before on Hugh. No one discussed either men before in my family due to my grandfathers reluctance and hatred for both wars while he was alive. She explained what each medal meant and how happy she was to discuss her father.


Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who supported me in my research and in the project on a whole, especially my mother and father for being there for me and encouraging me to take part in the competition, and all my friends who were supportive and constantly intrigued by the trip. I would like to say a huge thanks to Ms. Anne Dollard, my TY co-ordinator, for introducing me to the project and for the constant praise and having full confidence in me throughout the year. 

Also, I would like to thank the trip co-ordinators Gerry Moore and Michael Collins as well as Aidan Rafferty for making this experience possible to begin with. The idea has been incredible and without their organisation, I wouldn't be writing on this website, learning about an amazing part of history on such a personal level. Thanks to those sponsoring the trip and RTÉ, who play a roll in helping getting our soldier's stories seen by the public, and making everyone more aware of our history.

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