Allan Harrison Hudson

Allan Harrison Hudson. Image courtesy of Imperial War Museum © IWM (HU 115993)

1895 – 13th June 1915. Manchester Regiment (9th Battalion). Manchester FC.

Allan Harrison Hudson was a former Manchester FC player who was killed serving as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 9th Manchesters.

Hudson was born in Stockport in 1895, and grew up in Hyde. He went to school at Denstone College, before returning to Stockport to train as a solicitor with Messrs. Brown, Briggs, and Symonds. He was a fine cricketer, golfer, and rugby player too.

At Denstone Hudson had joined the Officer Training Corps. Upon the outbreak of war he volunteered with the Manchesters and went with them to Egypt and Gallipoli. The 9th Manchesters landed in the Dardanelles in early May, 1915, and Hudson and company marched inland to the reserve trenches.

Hudson’s final letter home has been published by the Hyde War Memorial Trust. Within, Hudson describes his first week on duty in Gallipoli, and gives a telling insight into his early experiences in Gallipoli. His unit had slowly marched forward the four miles from the landing bay at Helles toward the front. Danger is everywhere. “Shells and shrapnel are flying over us continually, and we have all had some narrow escapes.” The first the 9th to succumb in Gallipoli “was in my platoon, Andrey Gee.” Hudson “had to go out with six men about 7 a.m., on Thursday morning and help to bury him – a very sad job – and the enemy were firing all the time.”

The first week had clearly been difficult, but things were getting better now that supply lines had been established. “We have been dining since last Sunday on bully beef biscuits (just about the size of a dog-biscuit, and just as hard) …This morning we got bacon for breakfast. We cooked it ourselves, and it tasted delicious.”

Elsewhere, Hudson gives a taste of how he views the soldiering life. “I think the most useful thing I brought out with me are my collapsible knife, fork, and spoon; my collapsible drinking cup, and my mess tin. We all dress just like Tommies, and carry rifles, and revolvers in out haversacks.” To read of this twenty-year old officer, viewing his time in uniform almost like a game of little boy soldiers, like the boy scouts, jars painfully with the shellfire and burials of the earlier paragraphs. Hudson was caught between the wartime spirit that sent so many men like him rushing to the front, and the nightmare of the Dardanelles. A month later, he was dead.

“Good-bye for the present. A. H. H.”

Hudson is buried at the Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Turkey, Grave A.20.

SOURCES
Hyde War Memorial Trust
Imperial War Museum
World Rugby Museum

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