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Russell William Wordley

Local History

Page updated - 17 March 2009

Roll of Honour - Gt. Cornard


Private Russell William Wordley


1734  1st/5th Battalion Suffolk Regiment. 


Russell Wordley was born in Sudbury around 1896.  He was the second son of Arthur and Ada (née Rutter).  His father was employed in the silk industry as a ‘silk finisher’. 1901 the family of five were living with Russell’s maternal grandmother in Hall Street, Long Melford.  They later moved to Great Cornard and lived at 3 Church Row (now Road).  Russell and his brother Stanley were in the Church Choir at St. Andrews; Russell was later described as; ‘being tuneful and quick in the grasping of new music, a good domesticated lad in every sense.’


Russell enlisted in Sudbury, serving with the Suffolk Regiment alongside his father and in the same battalion as Wilfred Hunt, Stanley Nunn and Frederick Pilgrim.  His older brother Stanley also served with the Suffolk Regiment in the 2nd Battalion; he was later captured and held in a prisoner of war camp in Germany. 


Russell is recorded as having first served in a ‘theatre of war’ in the Balkans on 10th August 1915.  The 5th Battalion embarked on the ‘Aquitania’ in Liverpool in July 1915, heading for Gallipoli in the eastern Mediterranean.  The battalion disembarked at Mudros and six days later saw action against the Turks, advancing through heavy enemy fire without any artillery support from their own side to gain 1,300 yards.  The battalion suffered 186 killed or wounded and a further 160 sick with the majority suffering with dysentery.  The battalion was garrisoned at Hill 60 and had to endure disease, swarms of flies, heat, water shortage and lack of transport. 


An extract from a letter written by Private Stanley Nunn, who was later killed in 1918 appeared in the Suffolk and Essex Free Press on 13th October 1915: ‘this morning young Russell Wordley was killed: it was so sad as his father was beside him when he was hit.’


Russell was killed in action on 20th September 1915 aged 19.  He lies buried in Hill 60 Cemetery, Turkey.  A memorial service was held in St. Andrew’s Church on Sunday 9th October 1915. –‘being tuneful and quick in the grasping of new music, a good domesticated lad in every sense.’


Russell was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and Victory Medal.  He is also remembered on the Trinity Congregational Church Memorial, now situated in the United Reformed Church, School Street, Sudbury.


©Shirley Smith - Sudbury & District Royal British Legion - November 2008