From Our Contribution
Western Mail 25 Aug 1916 page 28
|Date of Birth||c1875|
|Place of Birth||Urtenen (near Berne), Switzerland|
|Death||30 May 1916|
|Place of Death||Cordonnerie Farm, Fromelles, France|
|Age at Enlistment||40 years, 7 months|
5'3¾" (1.62m) tall ; 136 lbs|
61.689 kg; dark complexion ; light brown eyes ; black hair
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||Keysbrook, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Wife , Mrs Suzanne Eberhardt|
|Date of Enlistment||17 Aug 1915|
|Unit/Formation||11th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement, B Company / 3rd Brigade, 1st Division|
|Date of Embarkation||22 Nov 1915 ‒ 14 Dec 1915|
|Ship Embarked On||RMS Mongolia|
|Fate||Killed in Action 30 May 1916|
Keysbrook Roll of Honour |
Australian War Memorial
1914-15 Star |
British War Medal
Following two months basic training at Blackboy Hill camp, Rudolph was allocated to the 12th reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion.
He joined the 11th Battalion on 2 Mar 1916 at Habieta in Egypt and was posted to B Company. On 29 Mar 1916 he boarded the HMT Corsican in Alexandria for Marseilles in southern France, arriving on 5 Apr 1916.
On 30 May 1916 Rudolf was Killed in Action. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission internet site records....
"On 30 May, the Germans staged another raid, this time attacking a salient held by the 11th Battalion AIF at Cordonnerie Farm. British and Australian miners had been tunnelling in this part of the line, and the objective of the German raid was to identify the Commonwealth regiments in the area and destroy mine shafts. At 8.15 in the evening, the Germans unleashed a devastating bombardment of artillery shells and heavy trench mortar bombs. This intense fire continued for over an hour and twenty minutes and completely destroyed the flimsy breastworks behind which the Australian troops were sheltering. Despite the noise and thick clouds of shell smoke, the men of the 11th rallied well and began firing Lewis gun rounds toward the German troops who started advancing across no man’s land just after 9.00 pm. The raiders managed to enter the Australian positions and capture a handful of prisoners, but were forced to retreat before they could inflict further damage. The lengthy bombardment that accompanied the raid on 30 May caused over 100 Australian casualties, over 40 of whom were killed. Many of those killed during the raid were buried at Rue Pétillon, which is also the final resting placing of over 100 Australian soldiers killed at the Battle of Fromelles on 19 July 1916."
http://www.ww1westernfront.gov.au/fromelles/visiting-fromelles/the-nursery.php a website hosted by the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs credits a large German mortar shell for the deaths of Rudolf and 39 other members of his unit. Rudolf along with Frank William Dowell also a victim of the same shell were the first locals to lose their lives on the Western Front.
Buried in Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery, France (Plot I, Row H, Grave No. 31), 5 km east of Laventie, 7 km south west of Armentiers.
Suzanne's address was Merligen, Lake of Thum, Canton Berne, Switzerland.