Biography of Edward John Rutland

This bigraphy was written by Graham Taylor Paddick.

 Edward John Rutland was born on 14th August, 1900 at no. 6, Anchor Lane in Aylesbury (this house was demolished in the 1990s to make way for the Upper Hundreds Way relief road).  He was the fourth son of Frederick Rutland, a labourer originally from Stoke Mandeville, and his wife Maria (nee Wallace).  Edward attended St John’s School in Cambridge Street (on the site of what is now the BT telephone exchange) and then found work as an apprentice carman after leaving school at the age of 13.  Ten days before his 14th birthday in 1914 Britain joined the Great War (World War I) by declaring war on Germany.

The Grave

Edward came from a Naval family.  His older brother William Henry Rutland (born in 1885) had joined the Royal Navy in 1904 and served throughout the Great War on a variety of ships.  Also his brother-in-law Edward Harry Hailey was a sailor at the time of his marriage to Annie Rutland in 1913.  So Edward was probably following in the family footsteps, when on his 18th birthday (14th August 1918), he enlisted in the Royal Navy at Chatham.  At the time he was five feet and seven and a half inches tall, he had a 37 inch chest, blond hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion.

Edward set sail that same day aboard HMS Pembroke II, which was a passenger ship the Royal Navy used to carry sailors to and from their postings around the world.  Edward’s job was to work as a stoker aboard this ship, which meant spending long hours below deck in a hot and uncomfortable environment.  The work was very stressful, and very tiring, and the sleeping quarters for stokers weren’t much better.

Shortly after joining the Navy Edward would have received inoculations against infections that he was likely to come into contact with in his service.  Some of these inoculations used to make you ill for a short period afterwards, and it was during this short illness in the cramped conditions on board ship, that Edward developed pneumonia.

Edward died of pneumonia on 25th October 1918, just seventeen days before the end of the Great War.  He was eighteen years old. He is buried in Aylesbury Cemetery, in a war grave, with a headstone paid for by the Ministry of Defence.  He was posthumously awarded War Gratuity, which was a cash payment granted to men and women who had served in the military during the Great War.  Although his parents were entitled to claim this money, they never did.  Edward’s father died seven years later in 1925, from a heart attack.  His mother died in 1947 from old age.

Edward has family (nieces and nephews and their descendants) who live in Aylesbury today, and remember him each time they visit the cemetery.

Graham Taylor-Paddick
Edward’s Great Grandnephew
August 2006