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Captain Frederick Charles Hodgson
(formerly 23163 Sergeant Major)
Royal Engineers

by
Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis 2008

Frederick Charles Hodgson was born on the 25th of August 1869, probably in Middlesbro, Yorkshire. The 1881 British Census does not show a listing for a Frederick Charles Hodgson born in 1869. There is, however, a listing for a Frederick Hodgson born in 1869 whose father’s name is Charles. The census lists Frederick as the oldest son of Charles and Jane Hodgson of 2 Welford Street in Linthorpe, Yorkshire. There is a high probability that this is the family of Frederick Charles Hodgson [1].

In addition to Frederick, the 1881 Census shows the Hodgsons as having four other children: Ida (11 years), Emely (9 years), Charles (7 years), and Nelly (7 months).

Frederick Charles Hodgson enlisted as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers on the 24th of September 1888 at the age of 18 years and 11 months. His Regimental Number was 23163. Little is known about his service from his enlistment until 1906 when, on the 1st of June of that year he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer) in the Royal Engineers [2]. At the time of his promotion he was serving in the Military Engineer Service as a Foreman of Works at Cardiff, Wales. Prior to his promotion to Warrant Officer he had served 17 years and 249 days in the ranks.

On the 1st of January 1907, Sergeant Major Hodgson was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (EVIIR) in accordance with Army Order No. 4 of 1907.

Sergeant Major Hodgson was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant (Quartermaster) and Honorary Lieutenant on the 30th of December 1912 [3]. His Army Number at that time was changed to 236498. At the time of his commissioning he was serving as Foreman of Works at the School of Military Engineering in Chatham, Kent. Prior to his commissioning he had served a total of 6 years and 212 days as a Warrant Officer.

Lieutenant Hodgson appears to have spent the years of the Great War of 1914 to 1918 serving at Limerick in Ireland [4]. This is not unusual since at the start of the war he would have been 45 years of age. Given his duties as Quartermaster with the Military Works Service, he probably performed valuable work at home. On the 1st of July 1917 Hodgson was promoted to the substantive rank of Captain and by December of 1920 he was serving at Sheerness in Kent in his capacity as a Quartermaster.

Captain Frederick Richard Hodgson retired from the Army on the 25th of August 1924, just one my short of having served 36 years with the Colours. In October of 1932 he was residing with his wife at 72 Brighton Road, Worthing, West Sussex and was still residing at that address as late as 1943.

ENDNOTES:

[1] It was not unusual for male children to be give the same first or middle name as their father during the Victorian period. Furthermore, it was not unusual for men to arbitrarily use or not use their given middle name at various times during their lives. Most military medals were usually named to Other Ranks during this period with the middle name (or initial) omitted from medals that they were awarded.

[2] His soldiers papers could not be found amongst the WO97 series of documents in the Public Record Office (PRO) at Kew.

[3] The results of a search for his records in the PRO after commissioning was also negative.

[4] A Great War medal index card (MIC) could not be found at the PRO, nor was there any indication of War Services entries for him in any of the Army Lists.

REFERNCES:

  1. Quarterly Army List, October 1916, p. 1646.
  2. Monthly Army List, June 1907.
  3. Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Roll, WO 102/17.
  4. Monthly Army List, December 1912, p. 2271.
  5. FARRINGTON, J. Letter dated 8 November 1998, re: Details Concerning the Service of Captain F.C. Hodgson, R.E.
  6. Monthly Army List, April 1914, p. 807.
  7. Monthly Army List, June 1919, p. 800e.
  8. Monthly Army List, December 1920, p815.
  9. Hart’s Annual Army List (Special Reserve and Territorial Force), 1915.
  10. Royal Engineers List, October 1932, p. xxxiv.
  11. Royal Engineers Retired List, 1943.