Private 42575 John Edwin Dodd

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Photograph courtesy of John Dodd's nieces, Mavis Hill and Sylvia Dodd.

Killed in Action on Wednesday, 23rd October 1918, age 21.
Buried in Grave I. A. 2. at Highland Cemetery, Le Cateau, Nord, France.

'B' Company of 2nd Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment. 54th Brigade of 18th Division.
Formerly 61414 Lincolnshire Regiment.

Son of John and Mary Dodd, of 3, Harrold St., Toll End, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Birmingham, Enlisted: Lichfield, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, St. Mark's, and St. Luke's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/39832/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
7 Old Hall Buildings, Horseley Road, Tipton, Staffs.
John Dodd (36, Colliery Blacksmith, born Tipton), his wife Mary (34, born Sedgley), and their 3 sons: William J. (7, born Tipton), John Edwin (3, born Birmingham), and Percy (2, born Tipton).

1911 Census
3 Harrold Street, Tipton, Staffs.
John Dodd (46, Shoeing and General Smith, born Tipton), his wife Mary (44, born Sedgley), and their 3 sons: William J. (17, Junior Clerk, born Tipton), John E. (13, Newsboy - part time, born Harborne), Percy (12, born Tipton), and Hilda K. (3, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After John's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £3/7/3d (3 pounds, 7 shillings and 3 pence); this was paid to his father, John, in February 1919. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was paid to his mother, Mary, in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that John had enlisted within the 12 months prior to his death.

Action resulting in his death

John Dodd was serving with "B" Company, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment when it took over the front line north east of LE CATEAU on the evening of 20th October. The line ran along the RAILWAY EMBANKMENT from the RICHEMONT BROOK to the Level Crossing on the LE CATEAU -RICHEMONT ROAD. The intention was to carry out an attack on the enemy position opposite this front.

23rd October 1918:
"B" Company, South of the RICHEMONT BROOK, had encountered considerable opposition right at the start from enemy machine guns who were located inside our barrage. The Company was held up for some time and it was entirely due to the splendid leadership displayed by 2/Lt. H.B.LANG and other Officers and NCOs, who led the men forward in the face of intense machine gun fire and bayoneted the gunners, that the Company was got going again. The barrage had been lost but by sheer determination the Company fought its way forward, crossed the brook, and arrived on its final objective soon after its scheduled time. I consider the greatest credit due to 2/Lt. H.B.LANG and his Company for reaching their objective in spite of such strong opposition. A subsequent examination of the ground showed the hill both north and south of RICHEMONT MILL to have been very thickly held by a large number of light and heavy machine guns. By 5 a.m. all Companies were reported on their final objective.

1 Officer and 39 Other Ranks of the 2nd Bedfords were killed on the 23rd October, amongst them Private John Dodd. John is buried at Highland Cemetery, Le Cateau.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Mail 3rd December 1918
Private J.E. Dodd, Bedfordshire Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs Dodd of Harrold Street, Tipton, has been in France only a few weeks.

Tipton Herald 7th December 1918
The name of Private J.E. Dodd, Bedfordshire Regiment, a son of Mr and Mrs Dodd of Harrold Street, Toll End, Tipton, is included among the dead in casualty issued lists this week.

West Bromwich Free Press December 1918
Private J Dodd of the Bedfordshire Regiment is reported to have been killed in action on 23rd October in France. Mrs Dodd has received a letter from an officer of the company expressing the sympathy of his comrades in the loss she has sustained. Previous to enlisting, Private Dodd was employed by Messrs Chance and Hunt, Wednesbury. He has a brother, Percy Dodd, who is at present serving with the Sherwood Foresters.