Private, French Army
Born: August 10th, 1893
Died: November 1914
Age at Death: 21
Killed in action, France, November 1914
Son of Emile Armbruster of Paris..
A donation to the memorial statue has been made in honour of this soldier by Stephen Yiduo Chen (Sc. 2011-2016).
Private Rodolphe Emile Armbruster
Rodolphe Emile Armbruster was born on the 10th August 1893 in the Neufieme Arrondisment of Paris, France. His father was Emile Armbruster, a hotelier who was to become the Managing Director of the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris, and his wife Julie. It is not known whether he had any siblings.
Armbruster was a pupil at Brighton College (School House) from 1911-1912. There are no records of particular accomplishments in the school records and given the fact that he spent only a year at the school and his age (18) when he started it is probable that he spent a year at Brighton College after leaving school in France with the intention of learning English. If he intended to follow in the footsteps of his father into the management of one of the premier hotels in Paris then fluent English would presumably have been a useful skill.
After he left Brighton College it seems likely that he was conscripted to straight into the French army to do compulsory military service as all young Frenchmen were obliged to do. In 1913 the length of conscription was increased in France was, very controversially, increased to three years and those who were already serving, such as Armbruster, were expected to spend another year with the colours. On the outbreak of war, therefore, it is likely that Armbruster had already been a serving soldier with his regiment, the 13e R.I. Régiment d’Infanterie, for over two years.
It would appears that he was fighting with his regiment at Apremont-la-forêt, Meuse, France on 23rd October when, according to the French records of his death which are available, the forest was set ablaze by enemy action. It was on the context of this inferno that Armbruster lost his life but it is unknown whether he was killed by the blaze or by enemy fire. He was one of [half a million] French soldiers to lose their lives in the first year of the war, a number almost ten times the equivalent British figure.
Armbruster is buried in Tomb 22, Nécropole Nationale Vaux-Racine, Saint-Mihiel, Meuse, France.
Source: LEST WE FORGET PROJECT, Brighton College 2014/15