Tag Archives: Gallipoli

CWG: Private John Lodge

Private John Lodge

John Thomas Inskip Lodge was born in Shefford, Bedfordshire, on 31st January 1899, one of seven children to John and Florence Lodge (née Inskip). When his son was young, John Sr worked as a bead lace manufacturer, but by the time of the 1911 census, he had become the manager of a steam laundry.

Florence, by this time, had passed away, and in November 1911, John Sr married again, to Florence Yarnell. The couple would go on to have four children, John Jr’s half-siblings.

By this time, war was on the horizon, and John was eager to leave his laundry job and volunteer. He joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry on 4th September 1915, giving his date of birth as three years earlier in order to ensure he was accepted. His service record shows that he stood 5ft 4ins (1.62m) tall, had a fresh complexion, brown eyes and brown hair.

As a Private, John served with the Chatham Division of the regiment; he would have seen action in some of the key battles of the war, including at Gallipoli in 1915/16 and later on the Western Front. It was while he was fighting in France in September 1916 that he was injured, and he was medically evacuated back to England for treatment.

Private Lodge recovered, and served on in Chatham, Kent, where he was billeted at the naval barracks in the town. At the start of June 1917, he had some leave owing, and so visited his parents back in Bedfordshire. When he returned to Kent, he fell ill and was admitted to the Naval Hospital in the town. Sadly, John was not to recover; he passed away on 23rd June 1917, aged just 18 years old.

John Thomas Inskip Lodge was laid to rest in the Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham, not far from the Chatham barracks at which he was based.

CWG: Serjeant Edwin Lloyd

Serjeant Edwin Lloyd

Edwin Lloyd was born at the start of 1885 and was the youngest of ten children. His father, Henry, was from Bristol; while his mother, Mary, had been born in Ireland.

Henry had been a Serjeant in the armed forces, and his postings are reflected in the places where Edwin and his siblings were born. Henry and Mary’s oldest to children were born in Aden, Arabia (now Yemen), but by 1875, the family were back in England and their next oldest child was born in Dover, Kent. Sarah, the youngest of Edwin’s sisters, was born in Colchester, Essex the following year, but by 1879, Henry had left the army, and had moved the family to Frome, Somerset.

In his retirement, Henry took a job as a grocer, the family living above the shop on the main thoroughfare into the town. Edwin did not follow his father’s trade when he left school; instead the 1901 census lists him as a metal engineer, one of only two of the siblings still living above Henry’s shop.

Henry died in 1907 – a lot of the documentation about his life suggests he was a bit free about his age. The notice in the Somerset Standard announcing his passing gives his age as 69, although it is likely that he was closer to 80.

The following year, Edwin married Florence Emily Letchford in St Matthew’s Church, Bristol. Florence was the daughter of a travelling salesman, but their marriage record sheds more light onto Edwin’s life by this stage and he was recorded as a police constable.

Edwin’s time in the police seems to have been short-lived, however, as, by the census three years later, his role had reverted to memorial brass engraver.

War was coming to Europe, and, while Edwin’s full service records are not available, it’s possible to piece together some of his life in the army. He enlisted in 1915, joining the Dorsetshire Regiment, and was assigned to the 5th (Service) Battalion.

Edwin’s battalion fought at Gallipoli and served in Egypt, moving finally to France in the summer of 1916. He was obviously a diligent soldier, as, by the end of the conflict, he had made the rank of Serjeant.

A local newspaper reported on the end of his army life:

He had served with the forces for about four years, and on his way home from France he was taken ill, and was, when he arrived at home, in a somewhat critical condition. The fatigue of the journey told still further upon him, and he passed away three days after his arrival.

Somerset Standard: Friday 7th March 1919

Serjeant Lloyd’s pension record gives the cause his passing as influenza, pneumonia and syncope, sadly none of which were uncommon for soldiers returning from the front. He was just 34 years old when he died on 25th February 1919.

Edwin Lloyd was laid to rest in the Vallis Road Cemetery (also known as the Dissenters’ Cemetery) in Frome.

CWG: Private Edward Rendell

Private Edward Rendell

Edward Rendell was born in the Dorset town of Corfe Castle in 1894. His parents were Edward and Sophie Rendell, and he had two siblings, William and Agnes.

Sadly, little information on Edward Jr’s early life is available. His father was a farmer – or at least an agricultural labourer – and this is the line of work his son went into.

When war broke out, Edward Jr was quick to play a part, enlisting within a fortnight of hostilities being declared. He joined the 1st Battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment as a Private and, after initial training, was sent out to the Western Front by March 1915.

Private Rendell’s battalion was involved in the fighting at Ypres and, on 19th April 1915, he was injured, receiving a gun shot wound to his left arm. Initially treated in the field, he was later transferred to a hospital in Boulogne, before being evacuated back to England to recover.

Reunited with his regiment, Edward was then shopped out to Gallipoli, arriving there in September 1915. While he is likely to have been involved in the fighting in Turkey, he did end up in hospital, but was suffering from influenza.

A couple of weeks later, he is recorded as being admitted to a hospital in Malta, although whether this was also because of the lung condition is not clear. Either way, Private Rendell was back in England by mid-December 1915, remaining in the country for six months.

In March 1916, he again returned to the fray and was posted back to the Western Front. Private Rendell spent a couple of months in battle until, on 21st June 1916, he received a gun shot and shrapnel wound to his thigh. The injury was serious enough for him to be medically evacuated back to England, and he was admitted to the Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital at Norton-sub-Hamdon in Somerset.

Sadly, while his treatment may have bought Private Rendell some time, it seems that his wounds were too severe; he passed away on 30th July 1916 at the age of just 22 years old.

By this time both of Edward’s parents were dead; his next of kin was his sister, Agnes. While she was still living in Dorset, Edward was laid to rest in St Mary’s Churchyard in Norton-sub-Hamdon.

CWG: Trooper William Dawbin

Trooper William Dawbin

William Joseph Dawbin was born on 23rd April 1888, in Yeovil Somerset. He was the oldest of three children to William and Julianna Dawbin, a farming family.

In 1897, when William Jr was 9 years old, the family emigrated to New Zealand, settling in the town of Feilding, 100miles (150km) north of Wellington.

William enlisted in 1905, joining the Wellington Mounted Rifles for a five-year term of service, and being promoted to the rank of Corporal. He re-enlisted on 14th August 1914, and the troop departed New Zealand for Europe a month later.

Trooper Dawbin arrived in Alexandria, Egypt on 3rd December, from where they travelled to Cairo for training. Initially planning on becoming involved in the defence of the Suez Canal, on 14th April 1915, William and his battalion landed in Gallipoli, to support the invasion there.

History knows that the fighting in this battle was some of the fiercest of the Great War. History also tells us that this campaign resulted in huge losses for the Anzac troops, including the Wellington Mounted Rifles. Sadly, Trooper Dawbin was not to escape injury.

On 27th May 1915, he received a gunshot wound to the back, fracturing his spine. He was evacuated by hospital ship back to Egypt, and, suffering from paralysis, was shipped back to England ten days later.

Trooper Dawbin was admitted to the Netley Hospital in Southampton, but his wounds appeared too severe; he died there on 22nd August 1915. He was 27 years old.

William Joseph Dawbin lies at peace in the quiet churchyard of St Andrew’s, in the village of Compton Dundon, Somerset, not far from extended family in Butleigh.