|Captain Edward Studdert,
1st Devonshire Regt. and Army Service Corps
Edward Studdert was born on the 7th August 1869 at Fort House, Kilrush, County Clare, Ireland. His parents were
Richard Massey Studdert and Rosalie Frances Frings, who had married at Croom church, Rathkeale, County Limerick on
the 25th June 1861. Their first child was Richard, who was born in 1862, followed by Massy in 1863 and Robert in 1864.
Another son named Francis was born in the following year and he was followed by Ason in 1867, the fifth successive son.
After the birth of Edward in 1869, yet another male child was born in 1871 and named Charles. The final child of this
marriage was a girl who was born in 1874 and named Mary Jane Constance.
The family had come originally from Cumberland and had been sent to settle in Ireland by King Charles 1st, being given
land at Ardlaman, County Limerick and at Cashen River, County Kerry.
Richard was a land owner and owned 2,572 acres in County Clare. This land was rented out to tenant farmers who carried
out a subsistence existence on the poor soil. Following the dreadful potato famine of 1845 to 1851 the tenants found it
impossible to pay their rents and although some land owners did reduce the rent, many families were eventually evicted
from their cottages for non payment and forced to rely on the Parish workhouse. This treatment caused much resentment
amongst the population and slowly a campaign of attacks upon land owners and their property commenced.
During 1881 Richard Studdert was beaten by a mob when he attended the local fair at Skariff, and when he sought
protection, local shopkeepers turned him away. He drew a revolver on the crowd but was warned by the police not to fire
or both he and they would be killed by the angry mob. With great difficulty, they slowly withdrew to the police barracks.
Then in September he went to shoot at Turkenagh and was staying in a small lodge. At about 10 p.m. the gamekeeper
reported the sound of a shot outside and when Richard Studdert opened the hall door to see what was happening, a rifle
bullet was fired which narrowly missed him. Eight more were fired in rapid succession from a position 900 yards away,
all which struck the house.
Finally, on the 14th December of that year, he was crossing Bodyke Bridge when he was fired at but escaped without injury.
The unrest continued with placards appearing all over the county urging the tenants not to pay their landlords anything.
On the 12th April 1882 Fort House was maliciously burnt to the ground but the inhabitants escaped safely. Richard
Studdert was awarded £3,000 in compensation and decided to move to a new home in Belfast. Edward Studdert attended
the Belfast academy during the years 1884-5 to complete his education.
On leaving school, Edward considered the army as a career. His father had risen to the honorary rank of Lieutenant
Colonel with the 7th Brigade, Southern Irish division in 1883 and it seemed to be the logical step for him to take.
He achieved his commission in the 4th Militia (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles, which had its depot in Belfast.
This was followed by several examinations to try and obtain a commission in the regular army. On the 9th May 1888 he
came third with 5,848 marks in an examination of Lieutenants of Militia recommended for the regular army and on the
12th April 1889, he came a successful 21st in the competitive examination of Militia officers to become line officers.
On the 8th June 1889 it was announced that ... “Edward Studdert from the 4th Battalion the Royal Irish Rifles to be
2nd Lieutenant in the Devonshire Regiment, in succession to Lieutenant A. Andrew”.
The 1st Battalion Devonshire regiment had been based in Ireland from 1882, being stationed in Cork since 1886. They
had returned to Aldershot in 1888 and it was here that Edward joined his battalion. On 6th January 1890 the War office
announced that Second Lieutenant Edward Studdert was to receive a local commission of Lieutenant in the Volunteer Rifles
1st (Exeter and South Devon) Volunteer Battalion, The Devonshire regiment.
The year 1890 also saw a succession of courses being attended, where he passed Riding at Aldershot, The school of
musketry at Hythe, Supply and finally Range finding at Aldershot.
He became a Lieutenant in the Devonshire Regiment on the 15th December 1890.
On the 28th January the Battalion had boarded the troopship “Serapis” at Portsmouth with a strength of 20 officers
and 770 men and sailed to Alexandria, Egypt to relieve the Suffolk Regiment.