JUDSON Reginald Stanley
24/1699, Sergeant, 1st Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment
800942, Major, National Military Reserve, WW2
Legion of Frontiersmen, New Zealand
Gazetted 30 October 1918, p12802 On 26 August 1918 south of Bapaume, France, during an attack, Sergeant JUDSON led a small bombing party under heavy fire and captured an enemy machine gun. He then proceeded up the sap alone, bombing three machine-gun crews. Jumping out of the trench he then ran ahead of the enemy and, standing on a parapet, ordered a group of two officers and 10 men to surrender. They immediately opened fire and he threw a bomb and jumped amongst them, killing two and putting the rest to flight, and so captured two machine-guns. Distinguished Conduct Medal Gazetted 30 October 1918, p12853 For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an attack on the enemy positions. He led a patrol along a sap leading to the enemy. This patrol forced the enemy to retreat before their bombs for a distance of 600 yards, and so enabled the troops who were following to garrison and hold the captured trench. He was indefatigable in organizing the trench during the next twenty four hours under heavy bomb and machinegun fire, and personally bombed the enemy out of an angle in the sap where they were collecting. The work of this non-commissioned officer throughout was splendid and his courage and enthusiasm inspired all near him
Gazetted 11 December 1918, p14670
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in the Field on the night of the 16/17th inst. in front of Puiseux-au-Mont. During the attack in co-operation with the 37th Division on enemy positions North of Crayfish and Puku Trenches and as far East as the Buoquoy - Puiseux-au-Mont Road this N.C.O. exhibited courage of the highest degree. The sections with when he was encountered machine gun fire of an intense nature. This fire was replied to by the fire of a Lewis Gun and in order to enable the troops on our left to advance it was essential that the enemy machine guns should be taken at once. It was obvious that if an attempt were made to ourflank the guns the delay occasioned thereby would result in the troops on our left probably suffering severe casualties. Realising that a frontal attack was necessary this N.C.O. with the greatest of initiative and daring rushed straight for the machine gun nest, followed by his sections. The rapidity and daring of his action so disconcerted the enemy that in spite of the umprotected nature of the stack 3 machine guns and 17 prisoners were captured without less on our side. The daring and courage and skilful tactics of this N.C.O. is beyond praise. For the success of an operation he exposes himself in positions of the greatest danger without regard to his personal safey, and as a leader and inspirer of men he has no superior.
Distinguished Conduct Medal
British War Medal
War Medal 1939-45
New Zealand War Service Medal 1939-45
Silver Jubilee Medal George V
Coronation Medal Elizabeth II
New Zealand Long & Efficient Service Medal
Born 29 September 1881, Wharehine, North Auckland, New Zealand
Died 26 August 1972, Auckland, New Zealand
Buried Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland, New Zealand
Reginald Stanley Judson was born at Wharehine, Northland, New Zealand, on 29 September 1881 to Emma Frances Holmden and her husband, Edgar William Judson, a farmer. He was educated at Port Albert and, as he was evidently suited to a practical career, took up a mechanical engineering apprenticeship, training in Wellington and Auckland. Judson was 5 feet 6½ inches tall and of slight build. He married Ethel May Grice at Mareretu, Northland, on 19 April 1905; they were to have three sons and a daughter.
When war broke out in 1914 Judson was working in Auckland as a boilermaker. He enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1915 and went overseas in early 1916, serving with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade and the Auckland Infantry Regiment in France. He received severe abdominal wounds in September 1916, and did not return to the front until May 1918. During July and August 1918 Judson, by now a sergeant, was involved in actions which resulted in his winning three medals for bravery. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for leading an attack on an enemy position at Hébuterne on 24/25 July, and the Military Medal for leading a bayonet charge against a machine-gun post on 16 August. Finally, he earned the Victoria Cross for a series of hazardous raids on the German trenches on 26 August during the attack against Bapaume. During this attack his daring and ruthlessness were extraordinary: at one stage he mounted a parapet and ordered an enemy machine-gun crew of about 12 men to surrender. When they fired on him he threw a hand grenade in their midst, then single-handedly killed two and put the others to flight, thereby capturing two machine-guns. The Victoria Cross citation concluded that 'This prompt and gallant action not only saved many lives, but also enabled the advance to be continued unopposed.' It was later rumoured that Judson's almost reckless actions may have been attributable to marital problems. Judson was commissioned as a second lieutenant in February 1919, and returned to New Zealand in July. After discharge from the New Zealand Expeditionary Force he enlisted in the New Zealand Staff Corps. He served in Auckland and New Plymouth, reaching the rank of captain. Judson was divorced in 1920 and on 27 March 1928 at Auckland married Kate Marion Lewis (née Bailey), a draper, who had been widowed during the war. They were to have one daughter. Judson continued to be troubled by the effects of his war wounds, and retired from the army in late 1937. He then worked as secretary to the principal of Mount Albert Grammar School in 1938 and 1939, and became involved in local politics, serving on the Auckland City Council as a Citizens' and Ratepayers' Association councillor from 1938 to 1947. At the outbreak of the Second World War Judson re-enlisted for home service (falsifying his year of birth to do so), and served in local posts throughout the war. He was discharged in 1946 having reached the rank of major. One of his sons, Reginald Frank Judson, won the Military Cross during the war, and later became mayor of Manurewa. After the war Judson moved to Mangonui, Northland, where he farmed at Doubtless Bay. He continued his community activities, serving as a justice of the peace and coroner. At the end of the 1950s he retired to Kohimarama, Auckland. Judson died in Auckland on 26 August 1972, and was buried at the Waikumete lawn cemetery. He was survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. Although Reginald Judson's military and civic service spanned several decades, he will undoubtedly be best remembered for the six weeks in mid 1918 when he became one of the few men to win the three highest gallantry awards available to New Zealand soldiers - the VC, DCM, MM.