Geoffrey Hardwick Dodson was born in Rugby in 1892 and christened at St Andrew’s Church on 14 October 1892. He lived with his father Frederick Hardwick Dodson, a sewing machine mechanic, mother Kate, elder brother Albert Frederick, elder sister Dorothy Grace and younger sister Marjorie at 2 Rowland Street, Rugby in 1901 and by the 1911 census the family lived at 4 St Matthew’s Street in Rugby.
He spent 5 years in the Volunteers and 3 years in the Territorials in England before emigrating to Australia when he was about 19 years old.
He left from London on 3 March 1911, described as a Plasterer on the OMRAH Orient Line to Freemantle, Western Australia.
He enlisted for WW1 at Perth on 4 January 1915. He was described as a clerk, 5’6″ tall, weighed 120 lbs with 34″ chest. He had brown eyes and dark brown hair.
On 6 January he went to Blackboy Hill Military Training Camp which housed large numbers of Australian Imperial Force before going to battle in a front location in the Middle East.
He was a Trooper in the 3rd Reinforcement of the 10th Battalion Australian Light Horse Regiment Reg No 793 and embarked for Gallipoli on 16 May 1915. Sent to No 1 Stationary Hospital Mudros Gallipoli with G.S.W (gun shot wound) Forearm.
He was sent to No 1 Hospital Gallipoli on 31.5.15. He had Diphtheria on 22.9.15 and was transferred to Mudros Anzac on 26.10.15. He had Asthma and was admitted at Ghezirah on 27.12.15 and debility on 7 January 1916 at Alexandria. In February 1916 he was in isolation with Diphtheria again at Heliopolis for 8 weeks. He embarked on the Argyllshire and returned to Australia for 4 months change and convalescence. On 7 March 1916 he had developed Thrombosis. He returned on 15 May 1916 as fit for duty from Freemantle on the Clan McCorquodale.
On 12 January 1918 he was sent to ‘Rest’ at Camp Port Said and returned on 26.1.18. There was heavy fighting at the ES Salt Raid, Palestine. Geoffrey was killed in action on 2 May 1918.
Dates vary on his 82 page soldier’s record. It stated “body unburied every effort made to recover but impossible owing to heavy enemy fire at short range”. 237 soldiers in the 10th Light Horse Regiment were killed.
His Victory Medal, British War Medal, and Memorial Scroll and Plaque were sent to his mother with his effects at 4 St Matthew Street Rugby on 14 March 1919.
Commemorated on the Jerusalem War Memorial Cemetery Stone panel inscription Vide BRM 54/921
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM