Captain Rudolf Valintine M.C., 1st Squadron, C Company, Warwickshire Yeomanry, died on 12th November of wounds received during the “Glorious Charge” at Huj, Gaza, which took place on 8th November. His local connection with the Solihull area is that he was a member of the North Warwickshire Hunt, which met at Meriden.
Rudolf Valintine was born in Leamington in 1878 and served as a Private with the Imperial Yeomanry during the Boer War. He married Caroline Leeke at Leamington in 1907 and the couple set up home at Heath End Farm, Snitterfield, which was owned by Lady Trevelyan. Rudolf worked as a gentleman farmer and served as a J.P., as well as being a Quartermaster with the Warwickshire Yeomanry.
Unfortunately, the farmstead caught fire in March 1908, with local newspapers reporting that the alarm was raised at about 2am by Mr Valintine’s valet, galloping the 4.5 miles to Warwick on a polo pony. The fire brigade arrived within 30 minutes of the discovery of the fire and then spent eight hours battling the blaze, which left Rudolf badly burned and all 300 of the couple’s valuable wedding presents destroyed, as well as his 1902 South African medal. Caroline Valintine had to leap from her bedroom window into the arms of her husband below. The house was completely gutted but there was no loss of life and all 20 polo ponies in the stables and outbuildings were saved.
The couple had three sons – William Rudolf (1908-1947), Humphrey Roland (1911-1985) and John Henry (1913-1935).
In 1911, Rudolf Valintine was granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant, subsequently being promoted to honorary Captain in 1913.
He first saw overseas service in the First World War in 1915, and was awarded the 1914/15 Star.
He is buried at Beersheba War Cemetery and is commemorated on the roll of honour of the North Warwickshire Hunt.
He was posthumously awarded the Military Cross, with the citation reading:
He led his squadron with great courage and skill in an attack on the enemy’s guns, and was largely responsible for the success of the enterprise.
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