Edward Hughes Dodgson

Key Information

Name: Edward Hughes Dodgson
DoB:  September 5 1876
Regt: 5th Battallion, Border & Sapper 160531 Royal Engineers
DoD: May  3 1918 at a casualty clearing station
Academic Career: CGS  May 1893 – July 1895 as a boarder
Other: son of Henry  Dodgson Esq., Derwent House, Cockermouth.

Biographical Information

  • Edward Hughes Dodgson was one of eleven children born to Cockermouth Doctor Henry Dodgson and his wife Frances. Sadly his father died in July 1882 leaving his mother to bring up the surviving seven daughters and two sons. His father left nearly £8,000 in his will equivalent to £386,000 today. The Dodgsons had lived in the Cockermouth area for several generations and although his mother was born in London her mother was also from the area. For over 40 years the family home was Derwent House, Crown Street, Cockermouth.

  • Edward  along with his older brother was first sent to Pocklington Grammar School in Yorkshire and then moved to Carlisle Grammar School. Edward made an impact on the sports field; he was good at the steeplechase and the “The Carliol” published the following glowing tribute to him in July 1895 “We are sorry to say that our athletics will suffer by the retirement from our midst of………..and E.H.Dodgson. We can only say that we hope they will do as well in their new careers as they have in the cricket field”. He won the chemistry prize in 1895.

    His brother Henry followed in his father’s footsteps and became a doctor. Edward qualified as a land agent and surveyor in 1904.

  • In 1906 Edward was appointed as a Second Lieutenant in the 3rd Cumberland Volunteer Battalion of the Border Regt. On  June 30 1908 Edward along with others was transferred to the 5th Battalion of the Border Regt. He was listed as being part of the officer corps of the 5th battalion when it was mobilised on Aug 4 1914. The Memorial Register states that he was a Captain in the Border Regt.  In October 1914 the Cumberland News carried the following brief report

    “Fifth Border Regt

    The following letter has been sent to us from Fleetwood:- The men at Fleetwood are men, who by medical examination have been found to be unfit for foreign service, and men under the age limit, but nevertheless are doing very arduous duties. It is guard every other night and drill the day they are not on guard, which is necessary to get the men into shipshape. They are a happy lot of men, and the officers in charge are very nice gentlemen, and are worthy of the name of officer and gentlemen. The Commandant is Capt. Dodgson. He is a good officer to the men, very level headed, will be stern with the men where it is needed, and I must say all through is very human. I hope that the Cumberland people do not think because the men at Fleetwood cannot go on foreign service that they are not doing a great duty, although not fighting. They are doing a great duty in defence of their country.”

    However the CWGC lists him as a sapper in the Royal Engineers, his parents’ headstone also lists him as being in the Royal Engineers.  The most likely scenario seems to be that when in 1916 the Royal Engineers formed the 5th Field Survey Company, qualified surveyors were drafted in from other battalions.  The drop in rank is surprising. He died at a casualty clearing station and is buried at the Aire Communal Cemetery. He left £2,200 in his will equivalent to £100,000 today.

  • Capt. 5th Battallion Border Regt 1914. Royal Engineers 1918

  • Edward married Annie Ritson in the summer of 1913. Of Edward’s eight surviving siblings none appear to have had children. His sister Grace travelled the world as a nurse. Janet, Frances and Mabel went to Canada but were still unmarried in their forties. And Lilian and Margaret married in their mid forties. Edith hasn’t as yet been traced.

    Edward’s widow was living at Ridgemount, Maryport when he died. The family had his gravestone inscribed with

    ” Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away”.

    The Dodgson family were friends with the Gilbanks family.

  • a)      Carlisle School Memorial Register 1264-1924

    b)      Society of Genealogists GWR Shareholders list

    c)       National Probate Registers via Ancestry website 1882 & 1918

    d)      Find my past Great War Database

    e)      Census:

    1911 RG14 31412

    1901 RG13 4054 90 26

    1891 RG12 4301 (MOTHER) Edward at Pocklington School

    1881 RG11 5172 105 45

    f) WO 95/2402 the Border Regt War Diary for April 1918contains no reference to Edward.