Walter Hodges

This page attempts to set out the key events of Walter Hodges’ life (one military source gives his first name as William), with detailed references. The identifications made here between the family recorded in censuses and the man serving in the First World War and named on the roll of honour are rather more conjectural than most researched so far. See the bottom of the page for automatically generated links to blog posts which refer to this page.

Personal life

Born: 2 April 1887 At: Whitechapel?
Birth registered: 2nd quarter 1887? Whitechapel registration district?
Died: On 9 November 1958 At: Chessington?
Death registered: 4th quarter 1958 Surrey Northern
Aged: 71

Ringing

Learnt to ring: Benhilton, Surrey? c1918 Association membership: Surrey Association Elected: ?
Peals: None known

Work

Occupation (1904-c1911): Regular soldier, Royal Scots Fusiliers (then to reserve)
Occupation (1914): Recalled from reserve, Royal Scots Fusiliers

War service

Service: Army Rank: Private Enlisted: On 31 October 1904
Corps: Royal Scots Fusiliers Subunit: 2nd Battalion Number: 8436 Date:
Posted To reserve c1911
Recalled and posted 1st Battalion August 1914
Discharged Unfit for further service (sickness) 21 November 1914
Campaign medals: 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. Silver War Badge

Life events

Date Modifier Date Event Description/Notes Sources
Before 31 March 1883 Parents’ marriage The marriage of Walter Hodges senior and Isabella Gardner was registered 1st quarter 1883, Croydon Registration District, Surrey. FreeBMD1; FreeBMD2; SurreyParish1
Before 31 March 1884 Birth of sister About a year after their parents’ marriage, the first child of the family was born. The birth of a daughter, Isabel Ellen Hodges, was registered in the Croydon Registration District in the first quarter 1884. No baptism record has yet been found. FreeBMD3
On 31 March 1886 Birth of Brother The birth of George Joseph Hodges, was registered 1st quarter 1886, in the Whitechapel Registration District. No baptism record has yet been found. FreeBMD4; EWParishTranscript2; Census1891
Before 30 June 1887 Birth Walter Hodges junior was born on 2 April 1887, and registered 2nd quarter 1887, in the Whitechapel Registration District. He was baptised at St Mary’s Whitechapel on 26 April in a private ceremony. His parents are recorded as Walter and Isabel Hodges, Walter senior is described as a manager, and the family were living at 11 The Mount, Whitechapel (probably what’s now Mount Terrace, almost absorbed into the site of the London Hospital, the church itself was destroyed in the Blitz). FreeBMD5; LondonParish1
Before 30 September 1889 Birth of brother The birth of William James Hodges was registered 3rd quarter 1889, in the Mile End Registration District, though the 1901 census gives his birth place as Stepney, which was a separate registration district at the time. No baptism record has yet been found. FreeBMD6; Census1901; MileEndRD
On 5 April 1891 Census By 1891 Walter Hodges junior (4), scholar, was living with his parents Walter senior (28), oil and colour man (presumably selling the ingredients for making oil paints), and Isabell E [sic] (25) at 3, Manor Road, Wallington. Also present were his siblings Isabell [sic] (7), scholar, Geo J (5), scholar, and William J (2). At this time the family also employed a servant, Bunny King (19), originally from Kent. Here his father was described as having been born in Wallington, and his mother in Surrey. His sister, Isabel, born Surrey, George, Walter and William, all born London. Census1891
Before 31 December 1892 Birth of sister The birth of Winifred Grace Hodges was registered 4th quarter 1892, in the Tonbridge Registration District, the 1901 census gives her birth place as Golden Green, Kent. No baptism record has yet been found. FreeBMD7; Census1901
Before 30 September 1895 Birth of sister The birth of May Edith Hodges was registered 3rd quarter 1895, in the Epsom Registration District, the 1901 census gives her birth place as Sutton, Surrey. No baptism record has yet been found. FreeBMD8; Census1901
Before 31 March 1898 Birth of sister The birth of Bertha Mary Hodges was registered 1st quarter 1898, in the Epsom Registration District, the 1901 census gives her birth place as Sutton, Surrey. No baptism record has yet been found. FreeBMD9; Census1901
Before 30 April 1899 Birth of brother The birth of David Roberts Hodges was registered 2nd quarter 1899, in the Epsom Registration District, the 1901 census gives his birth place as Sutton, Surrey and says he was 11 months old. No baptism record has yet been found. FreeBMD10; Census1901
On 31 March 1901 Census In 1901 the family were still living at 31 Elm Grove. Walter junior (13) was now a draper’s errand boy. Walter senior (38) is listed as a coffee stall holder and house painter, Isabel (35) a sweet stall holder. Of Walter’s siblings, Isabel was not at the family home, George (15) a chemist’s errand boy, William (11), Winifred (8), May (5), Bertha (3) and David (11 months) have no occupation listed. This time Walter senior is listed as being born in Beddington; Isabel in Croydon; George and Walter are listed as being born in Whitehall Yard – which contradicts all the other available information, possibly the enumerator mistranscribed from the original form; William born Stepney; Winifred born Golden Green, Kent; and the youngest three, May, Bertha and David all born in Sutton. Isabel (17) seems to have been visiting the Mitchell family at 16 Alfred Road, South Norwood. No occupation is given for her Census1901
Before 30 June 1903 Birth of sister The birth of Violet Eva Hodges was registered 2nd quarter 1903, in the Epsom Registration District, the 1911 census gives her birth place as 31 Elm Grove, Sutton. No baptism record has yet been found. FreeBMD11; Census1911
On 31 December 1904 Enlisted Walter Hodges joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers as a regular on 31 December 1904 according to the records relating to his Silver War Badge. The typical terms of service then were 12 years in total, seven of regular service, and then five in the reserves (though this did occasionally vary slightly). Unfortunately none of the surviving records indicate his age – Silver War Badge rolls often give age at the time of discharge, but not in his case. It is likely he would still have been serving at the time the 1911 census was taken, but he does not appear to be with the 1st Battalion in South Africa. The 2nd Battalion was in Ireland at the time, which had a separate census (though taken on the same day). The records are freely available online, but unfortunately military personnel were generally recorded only under their initials, so it is very hard to track them down with certainty, but there is a possible record that suggests he was in barracks with them in Londonderry. The lack of service records also mean that it is impossible to trace whether he remained with one battalion throughout his service, or if he was transferred at any point. Assuming the correct man has been identified in the censuses and other records he would have been about 16 at the time he joined up. It was possible to legitimately join up at that age as a boy soldier, but as 18-year-olds were paid considerably more there was a large incentive to lie and claim to be 18. SWB; SWBList
Before 30 December 1905 Marriage of sister The marriage of Isabel Ellen Hodges to Thomas Henry Fuller was registered 4th quarter 1905, in the Epsom Registration District. FreeBMD12; FreeBMD13; Census1911-2
Before 30 September 1909 Birth of brother The birth of Henry John Hodges was registered 3rd quarter 1909, in the Epsom Registration District, the 1911 census gives his birth place as 31 Elm Grove, Sutton. No baptism record has yet been found. FreeBMD14; Census1911
On 2 April 1911 Census In 1911 the family home was still at 31 Elm Grove. Walter senior (48) is listed as a house painter, paperhanger and French polisher; Isabel (45), no longer with any occupation. Of Walter’s siblings, Isabel is now married and living with her husband; George (25) a furniture porter etc [sic]; William (21) a painter; Winifred is no longer in the family home; May (15) a maid domestic, Bertha (13), David (10) and Violet (7) are all at school, Henry (1) has no occupation listed. This time Walter senior is listed as being born in Beddington Corner, near Mitcham; Isabel in Croydon; George as being born in Whitechapel – which unlike the 1901 census agrees with other information found; William born Stepney; and the youngest five, May, Bertha, David, Violet and Henry all born at 31 Elm Grove, Sutton. We are also told that Walter and Isabel have been married 28 years and all of their 10 children are still alive.

Walter would presumably still be serving as a regular at the time this census was taken. He does not seem to be with the 1st Battalion in South Africa. 2nd Battalion was in Ireland, and unfortunately for serving soldiers in barracks usually only the initial letter of the surname is given, and while some units record the men’s regimental numbers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers have just numbered them sequentially starting at 1 (unlike the Royal Garrison Artillery unit sharing the barracks). Walter would have been 24 at this point, but may well have added two years to his age when he joined up, meaning he would be listed as being 26 or so. There is a W H aged 25 born England, Church of England, occupation transcribed as printer. Reviewing the original return, this possibly should be painter, which would make it quite a good fit for Walter, given his father’s occupation and the fact that William was working as a painter.

Isabel (27) was living with her husband of five years, Thomas Fuller (30), and their children Thomas (4) and Isabel (2) in the household of the Knight family at Wingfield House, High Street, Banstead. Thomas senior was a coachman. Charles Knight (40) and his sons Raymond (19) and Stanley (18) were all involved in insurance. Charles’ wife, Lyllie, and two further children, Hugh (4) and Kathleen (3), along with a maid, Annie Berry (28) made up the rest of the household.

Winifred (18) was working as a general servant in the Walker household at Boisland, Burnell Road, Sutton. Charles William Walker (37) was an accountant, born Rostella, Launceston, Tasmania. The rest of the household comprised his wife, Lilian (36) and sons Aubrey Charles Danvers (6) and Cyril Frederick Danvers (4).

Census1911; Census1911-2; Census1911-3; Census1911-Ireland
About 31 December 1911? Transferred to reserve Some time about seven years after his original enlistment Walter would have probably have ceased the active portion of his service, and transferred to the reserve. Assuming I have correctly identified his family, he probably then returned to them in Benhilton. SWB; SWBList
Before 30 December 1913 Marriage The marriage of Walter Hodges and Henrietta Russell was registered 4th quarter 1913, in the Epsom Registration District. In 1911, Henrietta appears to have been living at 59 William Road, Sutton, with her parents Albert Henry Russell (43) a corn merchant’s carman, and Sarah Jane Russell (45), and her younger brothers Charles Albert Russell (17), a grocer’s boy, and William Ernest Russell (14), at school. It’s interesting to see her father’s occupation which suggests he may have worked for John Webb who was a corn merchant’s manager. FreeBMD15; FreeBMD16; Census1911-4
On 4 August 1914 Recalled On 4 August 1914 the Army Reserve was called up. Hodges would probably have had to make his way to depot of the Royal Scots Fusiliers in Ayr in order to draw kit and so on. He then joined 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers who at the outbreak of war were stationed at Gosport. The war diary suggests there could have been as many as 750 reservists with the battalion by 9 August. WarDiary; Mobilisation; RoyalScotsFus
On 13 August 1914 Embarked On 13 August 1914 the battalion “entrained by half battalions” at Gosport at 12:30 and proceeded to Southampton where they boarded the SS Martaban and SS Appam at 15:00. The battalion arrived at Le Havre on 14 August where they disembarked and marched to a rest camp. The diary notes that it was “V wet; continuous rain”. WarDiary
From 15 August 1914 Into action The war diary traces the battalion’s journey, along with the rest of the BEF, towards contact with the German forces. Though very wet when they first arrived, there were then some hot dry days, and the reservists began to struggle, having had little chance to regain full fitness. A marginal note in the war diary indicates that a 7 mile march on 17 August, followed by 3 miles on 20 August and 11 miles on 21 August led to the medical officer sending 23 men back sick, 17 being described as having debility. It is not clear when Walter’s health began to break down, he received the Clasp and Roses to his 1914 Star indicating he came under fire, so he was probably not in that initial batch. The original roll states he was wounded, but the surviving army records indicate that he was ill. WarDiary; MIC1; MedalRoll1; MIC2; MedalRoll2
On 21 November 1914 Discharged Walter was discharged from the army on 21 November 1914, he presumably then returned home to his wife in Benhilton. MIC2; MedalRoll2
Before 31 March 1915 Birth of son The birth of Walter A Hodges (mother’s maiden name Russell) was registered in the 1st quarter 1915 in the Epsom registration district. FreeBMD17
Before 30 December 1916 Birth of son The birth of Charles G Hodges (mother’s maiden name Russell) was registered in the 4th quarter 1916 in the Epsom registration district. FreeBMD18
On 9 December 1918 Touch The first mention of Walter as a ringer (presumably) is on 9 December 1918 an was a half-muffled touch of Plain Bob Minor, with the seventh and eighth rung behind, the eighth rung by W Hodges. This ringing was in memory of John Webb formerly the tower captain, steeplekeeper and tower secretary for the Benhilton ringers, who died from the Spanish flu on 28 November. RW1
Before 30 December 1918 Birth of daughter The birth of Joyce D Hodges (mother’s maiden name Russell) was registered in the 4th quarter 1918 in the Epsom registration district. FreeBMD19
By 16 January 1920 Becomes tower secretary It seems that after the death of John Webb, Walter took on the job of tower secretary. The issues of The Ringing World for 16 January and 24 January 1920 list him as the contact for those who wish to have tea following the quarterly meeting of the Central District of the Surrey Association at All Saints’, Benhilton on Saturday 24 January. His address is given as 265 High Street, Sutton. RW2; RW3
On 9 November 1958 Death Walter Hodges died on 9 November 1958, aged 71. The death was registered in the Surrey Northern registration district in the 4th quarter 1958. Administration of his estate was granted to his widow Henrietta on 24 December 1958. He left effects to the value of £375 15 shillings. His address at the time of his death was 22 Leatherhead Road, Chessington. FreeBMD20

Sources

FreeBMD

  1. FreeBMD1: Marriages Mar 1883 – Hodges Walter
  2. FreeBMD2: Marriages Mar 1883 – Gardner Isabella
  3. FreeBMD3: Births Mar 1884 – Hodges Isabel Ellen
  4. FreeBMD4: Births Mar 1886 – Hodges George Joseph
  5. FreeBMD5: Births Jun 1887 – Hodges Walter
  6. FreeBMD6: Births Sep 1889 – Hodges William James
  7. FreeBMD7: Births Dec 1892 – Hodges Winifred Grace
  8. FreeBMD8: Births Sep 1895 – Hodges May Edith
  9. FreeBMD9: Births Mar 1898 – Hodges Bertha Mary
  10. FreeBMD10: Births Jun 1899 – Hodges David Roberts
  11. FreeBMD11: Births Jun 1903 – Hodges Violet Eva
  12. FreeBMD12: Marriages Dec 1905 – Hodges Isabel Ellen
  13. FreeBMD13: Marriages Dec 1905 Fuller Thomas Henry
  14. FreeBMD14: Births Sep 1909 – Hodges Henry John
  15. FreeBMD15: Marriages Dec 1913 – Hodges Walter
  16. FreeBMD16: Marriages Dec 1913 – Russell Henrietta
  17. FreeBMD17: Births Mar 1915 – Hodges Walter A
  18. FreeBMD18: Births Dec 1916 – Hodges Charles G
  19. FreeBMD19: Births Dec 1918 – Hodges Joyce D
  20. FreeBMD20: Deaths Dec 1958 – Hodges Walter
  21. MileEndRD: Mile End Old Town Registration District

London parish registers

  1. LondonParish1: Baptism of Walter Hodges, St Mary’s Whitechapel, 26 April 1887. London Metropolitan Archives, Whitechapel St Mary, Register of Baptism, P93/MRY1, Item 022

Censuses

  1. Census1891: RG 12/601; Folio: 110; Page: 57; Schedule: 334 – Hodges household, 3, Manor Road, Wallington. (subscription required)
  2. Census1901: RG 13/581 Folio 54 Page 39 Schedule Number 197 – Hodges household, 31 Elm Grove, Sutton.
  3. Census1911: RG 14/2936 and RG 78/101 Registration District 31 Subdistrict 1 Enumeration District 14 Schedule Number 100 – Hodges household, 31 Elm Grove, Sutton.
  4. Census1911-2: RG 14/2939 and RG 78/101 Registration District 31 Subdistrict 1 Enumeration District 17 Schedule Number 117 – Knight household, Wingfield House, High Street, Banstead.
  5. Census1911-3: RG 14/2936 and RG 78/101 Registration District 31 Subdistrict 1 Enumeration District 14 Schedule Number 435 – Walker household, Boisland, Burnell Road, Sutton.
  6. Census1911-4: RG 14/2938 and RG 78/101 Registration District 31 Subdistrict 1 Enumeration District 16 Schedule Number 325 – Russell household, 59 William Road, Sutton.
  7. Census1911-Ireland: Residents of a house in Ebrington Military Barracks (Londonderry No. 5 Urban, Londonderry) transcription and image of original form. On the transcription, click box “Show all information” to see all fields.

The Ringing World

  1. RW1: 20 December 1918 p406
  2. RW2: 16 January 1920, p34
  3. RW3: 23 January 1920, p45

Military records

  1. SWB: WO 372/9/223737 Silver War Badge medal card of Hodges, Walter (fee required)also available via Ancestry.co.uk (subscription required)
  2. MIC1: WO 372/9/223737 Medal Index Card of Hodges, William [sic] (fee required)also available via Ancestry.co.uk (subscription required)
  3. SWBList: WO 329/3029 Infantry (Hamilton) list D 1-300. Silver War Badge. Royal Scots Fusiliers, List D/7 (not digitised)also available via Ancestry.co.uk (subscription required)
  4. MedalRoll1: WO 329/2442 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, medal roll 1914 Star, D/1/2 p57 page image here
  5. MedalRoll2: WO 329/990 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, medal roll British War Medal and Victory Medal, D/102B3 p168 page image here
  6. WarDiary: WO 95/3119/1 7 Battalion Royal Fusiliers, July 1916 – April 1919 (downloaded as part of WO 95/3119 63 (ROYAL NAVAL) DIVISION, 190 INFANTRY BRIGADE
  7. Mobilisation: Mobilisation of the Reserves from the Long, Long Trail
  8. RoyalScotsFusL: Royal Scots Fusiliers from the Long, Long Trail

3 thoughts on “Walter Hodges

  1. Pingback: Walter Hodges (1887-1958) – Benhilton’s Old Contemptible | halfmuffled

  2. Pingback: Mobilize | halfmuffled

  3. Pingback: A blog post elsewhere and new sources for Sutton | halfmuffled

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