Home | Contact Me | Search


Set as Homepage
Bookmark Me
  Search Site
Latest News
Print this Page Print Page

Corporal Dodd


Harrogate Herald - 1st December 1915

Corporal Dodd, of the 2nd Scots Guards, who is in the Northern Police Convalescent Home, has the grim distinction of having in his possession two official notifications sent to his people of his death on two different dates, and also an official letter of sympathy signed by Lord Kitchener, reading, "The King commands me to assure you of the rue sympathy of His Majesty and of the Queen in your sorrow". How the War Office twice came to record his death makes an interesting story. He was with the British troops that covered the retirement of the Belgian Army from Antwerp. They finally got down to Ypres. They had to make a stand there, and they had not sufficient men for the work. Their trenches were blown up, and they became practically surrounded. The few left came together and made a push for a position on the right. Corporal Dodd managed to get there with four men, but the latter got shot down one by one until only the corporal was left. He hung on here for an hour, keeping the enemy at bay, and in the meantime those on the left, including a transport, were enabled by this stand on the right to get clear away. Corporal Day was fighting against a house in ruins. The Germans made a rush, but he picked off the officer and brought the others to a standstill. He again got the leader when a subsequent rush was made, and again the attack was stopped. The Germans were only about twenty-five yards off. He was then shot through the groin and had his hip smashed, and though he continued to fight with his rifle, they closed with him and gave him the butt end of a rifle on his head, saying, "Swine - pig - English". He lay out for several hours, and when he came to he rolled into a shell hole to get out of the way of the shrapnel. A German battery came into action and did its firing over him. Eventually a German found him, and calling to another one to help, they took his purse containing about 25s, his watch, and whistle and knife. They then attended to him, and one of them took a waterproof off his back and put him in it to carry him away. They soon realised that he was heavy, and put him down and dragged him by the legs into a house. He was eventually taken to a field dressing station. Just about then the British artillery began shelling the position, so the Germans laid the British wounded in the middle of the road, where the shells were dropping. Providentially, just then the British artillery changed their range, and instead of the next shells falling on the road, they struck the houses occupied by the Germans. Dodd was taken up on a stretcher. He had previously had a German helmet put on his head, and the stretcher bearers thought to have a look at him, and seeing then he was English they pitched him out of the stretcher. An officer came up shortly after and told them to take him up again. He was taken to a Belgian convent, and must have been there two or three days. He was then taken to Coutrai and attended to by a Belgian nurse in another convent. In the meantime the War Office had sent the first notification that he had been killed. This was in the middle of December. He was, subsequent to this date, able to get a letter smuggled through, telling his people that he was wounded and a prisoner of war. Then at the end of April his people received another letter from the War Office saying that he had died a prisoner of war in Germany. He was a prisoner of war certainly, but was not dead, and was among the second lot of prisoners exchanged. He has since had a letter from his Captain, who is a prisoner of war in Germany, containing this extract : "You were magnificent on that last awful day, and I will do my best to get you something when I get out". Dodd, who is still lame, has been invalided out of the Army.