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Updated August 15, 2009

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The Reddens of India are one of the few Anglo-Indian families who are linked to one another by the one surname. Currently numbering in excess of 200 all the Reddens of India trace their ancestory to a lone Irishman, Rupert Martin Redden who came to India with his father Martin who, from all accounts, served somewhat reluctantly in the British Army, possibly to escape the British persecution in Ireland and the economic hardships of the old country in the late nineteenth century. He married Ellen Laura Johnson, a devout young catholic in India who bore him eight sons (William, Valentine, Mervyn, Cyril, Terrence, Bennett, Basil and Patrick) and a daughter (Virginia). Bennett and Cyril served in the British Army prior to India's independence, Bennett, barely out of his teens, losing his life in the Battle of Kohima. Mervyn joined the Jesuits but ill health forced him to leave and pursue a teaching career in St Joseph's North Point, Darjeeling and St Xavier's College in Calcutta where he taught generations of students including the crown princes of Nepal and Bhutan, before losing his life to cancer. All the other brothers and their only sister spent their lives in the railway colonies of the Bengal Nagpur Railway (renamed the South Eastern Railway after Indian Independence) and brought up families in Kharagpur, Khurda Road and Waltair. A number of the younger generation then spread to other cities and towns in India, some migrating to the UK, Australia and other parts of the world, each adding abundantly to the string of children, grand children and great grand children of Rupert Martin Redden. Upon his death in 1940 his wife Ellen Laura and their only daughter Virginia held most of the family together in Kharagpur. Ellen devoted much of her widowed life to the services of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in recognition of which she was awarded the papal medal "pro ecclesia et pontifice" before going to her eternal home in 1968.

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