The Club is saddened to receive the news that Gerald Rudge has died aged 78 years.
Thanks to Dr. Graham Russell who sent us the following…
Gerald Rudge (1955-60) died on 21 July 2022, aet 78 yrs.
Gerald was a journalist & one time Literary Editor of the Daily Mail.
He subsequently returned to live in Ross & worked for the Western Daily Press. On retirement he moved to Brixham & Burgundy, France.
He was a great supporter of the OCC, regularly attending London & Oxbridge dinners.
I am in touch with his sons.
I will attend his funeral on 17 August @ Linton Church, nr Ross.
Gerald’s son Duncan sends this obituary.
My father Gerald Rudge (1954 – 61) described himself to me as “a reluctant pupil” for his first three years at the Crypt. It seems his elation at having passed the 11-plus and being rewarded with the customary new bicycle was short-lived. He quickly found himself being compared unfavourably with his academically gifted elder brother, Edward, in whose shadow it seemed he was destined to exist.
Fortunately there were exceptions. At the beginning of Year Three he found that Fred Strachan was his new French teacher, Bernard Jones for art and, best of all, Charles Lepper for English Language and English Literature.
Immediately these three encouraged him to believe in himself. Charles Lepper discovered an embryonic creative writing talent in my father which he encouraged him to pursue and develop in his spare time. In his last year at the Crypt he decided on a career in journalism and began writing to local newspapers to try to find a vacancy for a junior reporter.
The Crypt’s maths master A.L.C. Smith also doubled up as Careers’ Master at that time and apparently made no secret of a bizarre distaste for newspapers and journalists.
This is how my father recalled his conversation with A.L.C. Smith:
“We don’t like to think of boys from the Crypt becoming newspaper reporters. Do you really want to spend your time hanging around in the rain on street corners? Newspaper reporters are in the same bracket as second-hand car salesmen and estate agents.”
Much to A.L.C. Smith’s chagrin Gerald began work as a junior reporter at The Citizen, then in St. John’s Lane connecting Gloucester’s Northgate and Westgate streets, in 1961 and after completing a satisfactory six-month probationary period signed his indentures for a three-year training.
It was the career of his dreams – and for the rest of his working life he never wanted to do anything else.
After his three years at The Citizen he moved to the Western Morning News, the regional morning newspaper at Plymouth, but eight months later, on learning that they were short of a sub-editor, he returned to The Citizen.
He then moved on to the Western Mail, the regional morning newspaper in Cardiff until, inevitably, Fleet Street beckoned and he joined the Daily Mail sub-editors’ desk. After six months he joined the Daily Sketch, which then merged with the Daily Mail and that was where he stayed for the next 25 years.
He became Executive Features Editor and eventually Literary Editor, responsible for book reviews, serialisations, commissioning authors to write feature articles and arranging literary lunches.
In 1994 he left the Daily Mail to become consultant editor at the Western Daily Press in Bristol until he retired from full-time work in 2000. Afterwards he was commissioned to write travel articles, which took him to France, all around the Mediterranean and Europe and further afield to the Maldives, Singapore and Hong Kong for several newspapers and magazines including The Independent, the Jewish Chronicle and the Eastern Daily Press in Norwich, for whom he also wrote a weekly food and wine column. He was also for many years editorial consultant to both the Egon Ronay Organisation and an English-language magazine group in Helsinki.
In 2006 he moved from Bromsash, near Ross-on-Wye to a cottage in the village of Domecy-sur-le-Vault in Burgundy and split his time between France and his flat in Brixham in Devon. Until well into his seventies he was paddling his canoe regularly on the rivers in Burgundy.
He always attended the OCs’ Oxford dinner until it ceased and the London OCs’ dinner every year.