RFA West Lancs Bdes
681284 GNR. A. DODGSON. R.F.A.
Alexander Dodgson was born on 25 March 1893 in Preston, and baptised at Preston All Saints on 3 May. His father was John Garth Dodgson (b. 1856), a clerk in a gas works. His mother was Mary Holmes (b. 1860 in Blackburn). John and Mary were married in 1883 and they had four children, though one died before he was one year old. John was the youngest; his older siblings were: Walter Garth (b. 1884) and Margaret Wilcock (b. 1889). In 1911, the family was living at 268 Plungington Road, Preston. Both the boys were employed as solicitor’s clerks.
And the two boys signed up more or less together in 1915. They joined the Royal Field Artillery. Alexander was assigned service number 681284 and Walter was 681061. Both were posted to 286 Brigade. After training Alexander joined “D” Battery. I’m not sure which Battery Walter joined but it was probably “A” Battery, and he was later promoted to Sergeant.
In June 1917, 286 Bde were engaged in the defence of Armenitères. At 6.30am on 30 June one enemy shell penetrated a gun pit of D/286Bde. The gun was damaged, 5 O/Rs were killed and 1 wounded. Alexander Dodgson was among the dead. He was 24 years old.
Service Number: 681284
Date of Death: 30/06/1917
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, “D” Bty., 286Bde
Cemetery/memorial reference: VIII. B. 16.
Cemetery: CITE BONJEAN MILITARY CEMETERY, ARMENTIERES
Additional Information: Son of John Garth Dodgson and Mary Dodgson, of 3 Haysworth Street, Preston, Lancs.
Walter Dodgson would have been fairly close by when his brother was killed. Walter survived the War. He never married and he died in Preston aged 90 in 1975.