Dudley Clarence Rippengal
Private, Royal West Kent Regiment/Labour Corps
Dudley Clarence Rippengal was student at Alleyn’s until 1912 and lived at 11 Bromley Road with his mother, Matilda, and his brother, Cyril. After leaving school, Dudley worked as a bank clerk until he received notice to enlist in the Royal West Kent Regiment in 1916. His brother, Cyril, had already signed up to the war effort and was serving overseas at the time. Dudley’s notice to enlist prompted his mother to write directly to Commanding Officer of the regiment and she asked that her youngest son be recommended for home service instead. Unfortunately, Matilda Rippengal was unsuccessful in her attempt to keep her son at home and he joined the Royal West Kent Regiment on the Western Front in 1917.
Officer Commanding, 3rd Royal West Kent Regiment
I am in receipt of your card to the appointment of my son, DC Rippingal, to the 3rd West Kent Regiment and now beg to make an application for him to be retained for Home Service. I have only 2 sons and both are now in the army, and if possible I should like my youngest son to stay in England.
Dudley served with the regiment in France and Flanders until October 1917 when he received a transfer to the Labour Corps. He continued to serve with the Corps until the end of the war and was awarded the British War and Victory Medal after the conflict came to a close.
An extract of the letter sent by Matilda Rippengal to the OC of the Royal West Kent Regiment can be read right.