Harold Rudgard received his early education at Burton Grammar School and Denstone College. His engineering training was obtained on the former Midland Railway when a pupil of S.W. Johnson, the locomotive superintendent. Whilst passing through the various shops he attended Derby Technical College, and, after a period on the footplate, entered the drawing office. He was successively appointed district locomotive superintendent at Skipton, Derby and Plaistow. Being a member of the old Territorial Army he was called up in 1914 and spent twenty months in the trenches where he was wounded. Later he was attached to the Royal Engineers, Light Railway Section as superintendent of light railways, 4th Army. In 1915 he was wounded a second time and after recovery was sent out as second-in-command of the railway workshops at La Lacque. When the Germans were advancing in the Nieppe Forest area, these works had to be evacuated. Colonel Rudgard totally evacuated these works, at ewhich over 3,000 men were employed, and re-built them at Beaurianville, then was placed in command, and later commanded the Carriage and Wagon Depot, Audruicq. He retired in 1919 with the rank of Lt.-Colonel.
In 1925, he was gazetted Lt.-Colonel Land Forces and was mobilised in 1939 but was retained in the service of his railway (LMS). He was later gazetted Major in the Royal Engineers (Engineer and Railway Staff Corps) on 1st February 1944.
In 1919 he was appointed assistant superintendent of freight trains, Midland Railway, Derby, and, on the grouping, was made assistant to the motive power superintendent, LMS, Derby. In 1932 he became divisional superintendent of motive power (Midland Division), and in 1935 divisional superintendent of operation, Derby, being appointed divisional superintendent of operation there in 1937. Under Lt.-Colonel Rudgard's leadership the Midland Division won the express passenger train competition for 1938, carrying with it the Byrom Cup, and also the 1938 divisional freight train competition. He was appointed superintendent of motive power in December 1942, and became chief officer (motive power) following the setting up of the Railway Executive in October last. During the war he served as liaison officer with the Midland (Amalgamated) District Coal Mines Scheme.
Rudgard, H. Motive power matters. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1935, 25, 497-519. Disc.: 519-36.7 illus., diagr.(Paper No. 341).
Rudgard, H. Organisation and
carrying-out of examinations and repairs of locomotives at running sheds
in relationship to locomotive performance and availability. J. Instn
Loco. Engrs, 1947, 37, 64-123. Disc.: 124-59. (Paper No.
Incorporates the complete manual adopted by LMS.
Introduction to being President Institution of Locomotive Engineers, JILE, 1948, 38 (203), 349.