DODD, Charles Edward

No.S/29887, Rifleman, Charles Edward DODD
Aged 19

16th Battalion, Rifle Brigade
Killed in Action on Thursday, 21st March 1918

Charles Dodd was born in 1898 in Ashley cum Silverley (Newmarket Q3-1898 3B:505), son of John and Sophia DODD (née MARTIN).

1901 census...Aged 3, he was at Silverley with his father John DODD [36] horsekeeper on farm, born Upend; his mother Sophia [35] born in Cowlinge, sisters Mary [12], Ethel [11] and Florence [9] and brothers Samuel [7] and William [4]. All the children were born in Silverley. His eldest sister Elizabeth [14] was a servant for George Davies, (schoolmaster) in Ousden.

1911 census...Aged 12, he was still at Ashley cum Silverley with his parents and brothers Samuel and William (farm labourers) and Arthur [7] born Silverley. His mother's 8 children were all still living.

His elder brother William was killed in Belgium in 1917 in the Hampshire Regiment

He enlisted in Rotherhithe, Kent, residence given as Battersea.
He was killed in the battle of St.Quentin on the first day of the Kaiserschlacht (Operation Michael, the German Spring offensive). This last ditch attack by the Germans came very close to success and cost the Allies a huge number of casualties. The 16th Rifle Brigade lost 49 killed on 21st March.

The battalion war diary has :-
"Thursday 21st March - On the night March 20/21st the battalion was in billets at SANDIMAN CAMP, HEUDICOURT.
On the morning of 21st March a violent bombardment commenced at 4:30 am with H.E, shrapnel and gas shells. The first shell penetrated the Signals Office and killed the Signalling Sergeant and the majority of the battalion headquarters signallers. The battalion being at this time in G.H.Q. Reserve moved back at once to an assembly position behind HEUDICOURT. The position having been heavily shelled the battalion moved still further back, west of SOREL WOOD.
On the night of the 21st the battalion moved up, dug and held a switch line of trenches east of SAULCOURT. The enemy heavily shelled this position.

He fell on the same day and is named on the same memorial as another Ashley man named on the memorial
Private, Walter Carter

photo: Roy Beardsworth

Charles Dodd is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial, panels 81-84

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details