Rundle, Aylmer Maurice

Aylmer Maurice Rundle was born on January 16th 1902 in Burma, and brought up in Jersey, part of the Channel Islands, but his father, Cubitt Sindall Rundle, had been born in Calcutta, India some time around 1855 to Cubitt Sparkhall Rundle and Sophia Sindall. 

The Rundle family in Jersey included Mrs. Rundle, born Emilie Stalkartt, and her six children, Cubitt Noel, born in 1895, Leslie and John Dalton both born in 1898 but dying shortly after, Alan Gordon born in 1899, Aylmer Maurice, and Marjorie Grace, the only daughter, born in 1906. 

He speaks of his childhood as part of his autobiographical article; he remembered packets of ten Wills United Service Cigarettes, with their front cover illustration of Earl Roberts. They are often thought of as being purely overseas, but were issued in the Channel Islands as well, in fact anywhere where British Troops were garrisoned. A rival for the smoker`s affection was the local company Muratti, who tried to win with product placement, advertising on the floats of the Battle of Flowers, and also giving a cup in their name for a Jersey vs Guernsey football competition. And though the young Aylmer Maurice was attracted by cigarette cards laying on the pavement, he was firmly discouraged from even attempting to pick them up with a swift stroke of his father`s walking cane, and the firm instruction not to scavenge. His cards could only come from within the family. Despite this restriction, he records having a useful collection as a child. 

Sadly the family was soon to be split up forever. On 19 June 1915 his oldest brother, Second Lieutenant Cubitt Noel Rundle was killed at Gallipoli, aged just nineteen. And his father died of heart failure on 11 July 1917 in the German Prisoners Camp at Blanches Banques in Jersey, where he had been asked to work as chief medical officer due to his experience with the Indian Medical Service, though he had been retired ten years earlier. 

Aylmer Maurice volunteered for the original Fleet Air Arm in 1923. He became a Lieutenant on the 15th of  November 1924, and a Lieutenant Commander, strangely, on the 15th of November 1932. He much enjoyed the flying, however in Egypt he became ill and that was the end of flying, but not of his naval career. He writes that he was sent instead to the brand new Royal Naval Air Station at Twatt in the Orkneys, which was one of the first such establishments to be purpose built rather than converted from existing premises. However, research seems to prove this wrong; he must have served next with H.M.S. Glorious, for he says that was in the Mediterranean Fleet, but she left there for Norway and was sunk in June 1940. By that time he was a Commander, since the 31st of December 1938. On the 11th of July 1940 he was mentioned in despatches. Then he probably went to the Western Desert base of Dekhelia, because he mentions taking refugees from Greece and Crete in 1941. Both these events were definitely before R.N.A.S. Twatt, which only opened on April 1st 1941, and closed on the 30th of September 1946. He was Commander on H.M.S. Newfoundland, for about a fortnight in February 1944, and on H.M.S. Belfast in the Far East from 1946 to 1950. 

On the 11th of June 1946 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. The citation says just that it was for his efforts during the War in the Far East and does not mention a specific operation nor event.

I'm not sure where he acquired his nickname "Bunny".

After the Second World War he was asked to re-write the Manual of Seamanship, which he did, turning it into a three volume work of 2,000 pages. This took him six years, and it was published in 1951. 

Whilst he was writing that, he was out walking in London in late February 1948, perhaps on leave, and saw a sandwich man advertising the world's first exhibition of cigarette cards on the 26th, 27th and 28th of February, at Caxton Hall in London. He tells this as part of his autobiographical article in issue 62 of the Cartophilic World (April 1948). However in issue 105 (May June 1953) he revealed that he had not actually seen the sandwich man, his wife had pointed him out. Either way he admitted to being intrigued, so he went along, and decided he wanted to start collecting, though he had not had any contact with cards since his childhood.

Our "Cartophilic World" magazine, volume 6 issue 66 (August 1948), saw him listed as a new member "Commander A.M. Rundle, D.Sc., R.N. London" - and he wrote his first article for volume 6 issue 68 (October 1948). Many articles followed, mostly on Naval and shipping cards, as well as on how cards were produced and printed, his knowledge gained from his work at the Hendon Printing Works, which at that time printed the three leading card magazines (The Cartophilic Society's "Cartophilic World", the Cameric Society's "Notes and News", and the London Cigarette Card Company's "Cigarette Card News"). 

He retired from the Navy on the 16th of January 1952 and in that same year, as recorded in the edition dated  September 1952 (Vol.9 No.101) he volunteered to become deputy editor of "The Cartophilic World", which also saw him joining the Society Committee, to replace Mr. L. A. Huggins. 

He always believed that all the cards celebrating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II stemmed from a brief article he wrote in March 1953 suggesting that the issuing of such would be a very good idea

In September 1953 (Vol.10 No.207) it was announced that Commander Rundle and Mr. Wharton-Tigar were to be joint editors, splitting the work between them and deputising if one was busy with other tasks.

The 1954 New Year's Honours list awarded Commander Rundle an O.B.E., by which time he had retired from the Royal Navy.

The July/August 1957 edition contained the news that on May 15th Mr. Wharton-Tigar had written a letter saying that he wished to be relieved from office as his work was sending him to Canada; plus an appeal for a new editor; in the interim the content for July/August had been provided by E.C. Prior and W. J. Wicks.

This appeal was not wholly successful but Volume 12, Number 131 was edited by Commander A. M. “Bunny” Rundle D.S.O., who had been convinced to return after two years absence, and actually says in his first editorial that “no-one else would volunteer”.  He obviously retained the help of Mr. Wicks, as the September 1958 edition (Vol.12 No.137) contained the sad news that Mr. Wicks had been ill and his doctors had advised complete rest. He had, therefore, reluctantly, to step down as Assistant Editor.

However he remained editing the Society magazine until July/August 1959 (Vol.13 No.142) when he asked, in a suitably naval way, to be relieved of his duty, this was because his own business had expanded to a point that he could no longer serve us. This was his final issue, and F.V. “Franz” Blows took over for issue Volume 13, number 143 (September/October 1959). He was a familiar name to most of the current members as he had been the joint founder of the Cameric Cigarette Card Club and also one of the original founders of the Cartophilic Society.  

Issue 161 (September/October 1962) contained the sad news that on the 23rd of July 1962, Commander Rundle was no more. Something I did not know until then, and don’t know much more about now, is that he had been involved in some way with Hendon Printing Works, who printed our magazine. He received tributes from Mr Wharton-Tigar and A Ll. Carver who said he had “sailed on his last commission”