Dodgson, Guy

Youngest son of Henley Frederick Dodgson (B 1875) and Helen Dodgson of Bovingdon, Hertfordshire, he came to Winchester from the Reverend F Page’s School at Eastbourne and was a House Prefect in his last year. He went to Stuttgart in 1913 to study music at the Conservatoire and was at home for the holidays when war broke out.

He received a commission in the Hertfordshire Regiment and was promoted to Captain in 1916. He served in France from June 1917 to May 1918, initially with the 1st Battalion and then from October 1917 as Intelligence Officer at Brigade Headquarters. At his own request he returned to his Battalion in May 1918 but almost immediately became a casualty of a gas attack which wiped out most of the battalion. He was invalided home suffering the effects of the gas poisoning but was able to rejoin his regiment in September.

The last three months of the war saw much movement by the Hertfordshires and by 10th October they were occupying the town of Caudry. The war diary tells of being “heavily shelled with gas shell – very uncomfortable”. They advanced through the villages of Louvignies and Jolimetz with little or no opposition until they reached Laiecoulon where they encountered strong enemy machine gun fire lasting twenty minutes. Dodgson was seriously wounded in this action and was removed to a Casualty Clearing Station at Caudry. However, pneumonia had set in and he died ten days later, the Battalion’s last casualty of the war.

Dodgson’s commanding officer wrote: “He was hit in the last battle the Battalion took part in, and he did magnificently. His loss to the unit is tremendous – he was so keen, and a splendid boy. He was a great favourite of mine, and, in fact, of everybody in the battalion.” A fellow officer in the battalion added: “We shall all miss him more than I can say, especially his Company, who thought the world of him.”

He is commemorated by a brass plaque with the regimental crest in St Lawrence’s Church, Bovingdon: 1ST HERTS REG. AGED 23 DIED ON NOVEMBER 14TH 1918 OF WOUNDS RECEIVED Nr. CAUDRY IN FRANCE IN THE LAST BATTLE THE REGIMENT FOUGHT + BURIED IN THE MILITARY CEMETERY AT CAUDRY. Greater love have no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

There is also a memorial to his eldest brother, Francis, educated at Marlborough, who also died in the war, in July 1916. Both brothers’ original wooden crosses, used before their graves were consolidated by the CWGC, are now in Salisbury Cathedral. A third brother, Captain Philip Henley Dodgson MC (B1905-1910), served with the Royal Artillery, and survived the war; he named his son Guy Henley Dodgson (I1933-1938).

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Dodgson
  • Forenames or initials: Guy
  • House: B
  • Years in School: 1908-1913
  • Rank: Captain
  • Regiment: Hertfordshire Regiment
  • Date of Birth: 11th June 1895
  • Date of Death: 14th November 1918
  • How Died: Died from pneumonia after being wounded
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer E4
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: CAUDRY BRITISH CEMETERY: Grave I.D.32