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Page updated - 19 August 2005


Percy Ruse (b.1905 - d.1995)


Percy Ruse was born in 1905, the youngest of 8 children. His father died when he was about 3 years of age and as there was no family allowance or any social security in those days his mother had to turn her hand to any job she could to keep her family in food and clothes. Even at that young age Percy helped his mother at stone picking the fields – a job that was backbreaking but necessary in order to make the soil ready for planting crops. His mother also took in washing, chopped firewood and worked in the big houses. Percy, when still a boy, looked after the pigs for the farmer who kept them in a field which is now Betty Cocker Grove. The family lived in a red brick cottage (now demolished) in the Pot Kilns and every morning Percy had to walk to Tye Farm for their daily milk.


When Percy left school he took a job hauling felled timber with horses that took him all over the County. It was dangerous work as the loads were very heavy and if the horses were startled by a noise they could bolt, sending the logs flying in all directions. Then Percy got employment at the brickwork’s in Cornard but when they closed down at the beginning of World War Two he moved to Little Waldingfield with his wife and children. He worked on a farm there but after the war they all moved back to Great Cornard and lived in Newton Road which was then in the middle of farming land. Percy worked at Marshall’s Farm on land now occupied by Ridgeons. He then became a gravedigger at the Sudbury Cemetery, eventually becoming a superintendent.


Percy had a deep love for the countryside he was born in and his great pleasure was to take long walks around it. He worked hard to make sure that all the footpaths were kept open so everyone would have the pleasure he experienced at witnessing the changing face of nature. His children would accompany him quite often and in the autumn they gleaned the corn after the farmer had finished ploughing and made them into bunches that were displayed at Chilton Church at the Harvest Festival. He also had his allotment in Newton Road and used to chat to everyone he met.  He was well known in Cornard and Sudbury, not because of great things he had done but because he was a warm, friendly and likeable person, so it is good that Percy Ruse Close commemorates this gentle man.


Compiled by Joan Herbert (Cornard News) – 19 July 2005


Many thanks to Beryl and Pearl who kindly gave the information about their father and the photo of him – J.H.