William Eric Hodges

Submitted by Robin Hodges.

William was Robin’s father. He was born on 18/2/1899 at Sheffield. He survived the war and died in later life on 5/1/1971 at Derby.


Attested Pte 4/11/16 Army reserves 5/11/16 mobolised 10/4/17 remobolised 30/4/17 6th TR Bn 6th WY posted 1/5/17 appointed unpaid L/C 4/8/17 53YS Bn West Yorks School of Musketry Brocton Camp 28/11/17 53YS Bn reverts to Pte 6/4/18 West Yorks 10th Bn 10/4/18 Posted to France Wounded by bullet in the anckle [See N.B.1 below]
Posted to 2/5Bn KOYLI 23/7/18. Trans & Posted 2/4 Bn KOYLI 13/8/18. Wounded by shell fire in the groin in the pm of 25/8/18[See N.B.2 below] Depot posted 31/8/18
14th December 1918 Wound excised in front of thigh at 16(?) Canadian Hospital I.C.T..28th December WEH was admitted to the 3rd Northern General Hospital. (Now known as the Northern General Hospital Sheffield) Was operated on 30th December to remove shrapnel from his left thigh.
13th February WEH was transferred from the 3rd Northern General to the Wharnciffe War Hospital Sheffield. 15th February after 3 days at Wharncliffe WEH was discharged (Now Middlewood Hospital)
Regt No.65332 Pte Unit 2/4th Regt. KOYLI. Was granted 28days leave.
1919 15th March 65332 Pte William Eric Hodges discharged from the KOYLI.
10th Bn West Yorks and later 2/5 Bn KOYLI and then 2/4 Bn KOYLI

N.B. 1 1918 10th April WEH transferred to the 10th Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment with 70 OR’s56 now in France. The 10th Bn. were a Divisional reserve and Army reserve. They were billeted at Raincheval on the 11.4.1918 where they were on a ten minute to 3 hour notice to go up to the front. 14th April they moved to Englebelmer were they were billeted until the 17th April.
On 17th April the 10th Bn West Yorks relieved the 6th DORSETSHIRE REGT. at 8:30pm in the MESNIL front line (holding the line of the R. Ancre), RIGHT BATTN, LEFT BRIGADE at 8.30pm. C Coy front line; A Coy support; B and D reserve. Batt H2 were at Q28d 1,5 - in MESNIL.56
19th April D Coy relieved C Coy in the front line.56
1918 21st April 5pm report.
The Battalion was to have been relieved in the front line by the 10th LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS, but at 5pm the enemy put down a heavy barrage, principally TMs [trench mortar] on our front and support lines and also on those of the Battalion on the right (10th NOTTS & DERBY REGT). At 5.30pm the enemy attacked from Q35b, and, after
capturing the advanced posts situated along the Railway Q29d 4-5 to Q29d 4-0) which were garrisoned by one platoon of D Coy. The enemy then took up position approximately from Q29d 4-5 to Q35b 3-7. During this attack enemy TM and MG fire was very severe.56
WEH was probably wounded by gun shot to the right ankle about this time.
Much of the ground was recovered over the next 24 hours but 81 soldiers were either killed wounded or missing since the 17th
N.B. Mesnil is about 5 km N of Albert which is 24 km NE of Amiens on the D929. Mesnil is on the R. Ancre a right bank tributary to the R. Somme.
WEH would probably been first dressed at a Mensil Advanced Dressing Station (ADS) from where he would have been evacuated to one of the four Gezaincourt Casualty Clearing Stations (CCS)
22nd April WEH wounded Military Post Card to parents at 32 Beech Hill Road Sheffield. 23rd April WEH was admitted to 12 St Louis General Hospital, Rouen 8th May Telegraph from Home to WEH in ward J 873 General Hospital, Trouville, France.55
14th May From the military to Sheffield 65332 Pte William Eric Hodges 10th West Yorkshire No 2 Infantry was wounded and was admitted to 12 St Louis General Hospital, Rouen 23rd April 1918. Nature of wound -Gun shot to the right foot mild.
23rd July posted to 2/5 West Yorkshire Regiment.
13th August transferred to KOYLI and posted Number 65322. Arrived Hénu56 some 30 km SW of Arras and remained there in reserve to the IV Corps until the 19th August. Doing Training and Sports.
19th August the Bn. Moved from IV Corps Reserve to GHQ Reserve in IV Corps area.
20th August Moved to billets at Sus-Saint-Leger. And moved on to billet at Bavincourt.
21st to 22nd August moved by night march back to IV Corps Area billeting in saint-Leger-le-Authie.
23rd to 24th August Bn. March back into VI Corps Area and billeting one night at La Bazeque Farm near La Cauchie. And then moved by bus to bivouacs near Courcelles moving forward again the following day.
25th August wounded in action - Whilst going up to the frontline he was hit by a piece of HE shell which caused wound to the left buttock.53

At 10pm on the night of the 24/25 Aug. the Battalion moved up from its point of concentration W. of Courcelles with orders to occupy the old line of trenches running through B13c and B19a west of Ervillers. The exact location of trenches was not discovered owing to lack of time for reconnaissance and the Battalion occupied a line of German trenches to the W. of them with the Battalion H.Q. in the railway embankment E of Courcelles.

On the morning of 25th August orders were received that the 2/4 Y&L Regt. Would attack in an easterly direction from the W of MORY and the Battalion was to move up to the Sunken Road running due N-S from Mory Copse to Mory and as soon as the 2/4 Y & L had pressed home their attack move forward and attack in a southerly direction with the object of securing the high ground W of the old 3rd Army line in B22 and B26.57

The Battalion moved up and H. Q. was temporarily established at B14 central in a chalk quarry. Owing to lack of time for reconnaissance for a position of assembly and the ground having been so far absolutely devoid of cover the o/c 2/4 BattalionKoyli halted the Battalion under the crest line and went forward with the Adjutant to confer witho/c 2/4 Battalion K & Y Regiment. Found that the attack of the Y& L Regiment had been completely held up by Machine Gun fire and that the Battalion of Guards on the left had not advanced and were not holding Mory Copse as previously reported. Further advance was postponed until the situation on the left was cleared up and touch made with the Guards. Low flying enemy aeroplanes had by this time located the Battalion and shelling on the slopes W of the Sunken Road was increasing.57

At 1pm the Battalion was therefore moved up in small parties over the crest line into the Sunken Road two platoons being left in an old trench at B15c. So far in spite of heavy shell fire casualties had been under the circumstances few in number - these chiefly from shrapnel which was bursting very accurately. (Was this when WEH was wounded?)
This was due to the splendid way in which officers and N.C.O.’s handled their men.

About 3:30pm shell fire increased in intensity until it came down in a heavy barrage along the light railway track running through b14Central gradually extending up the slope on to the Sunken Road. Very heavy high explosives. The high explosives were mixed with sneezing gas and gas shells as well as a large amount of shrapnel was used. Clouds of gas drifted down from the E and a dump was also report to have been exploded.

About 5pm the SOS was sent down by visual and runners from the Sunken Road and the Battalion H.Q. was moved out to take up a defensive position but owing to the heavy shelling suffered a number of casualties occurred. At the same time Lieut. George E. Spencer hearing very heavy machine gun fire very close to the Sunken Road jumped onto the bank and went forward to discover that the forward posts had been driven in and the enemy were advancing. He immediately called up a section of Lewis Gunners who promptly got into action and calling for his company to follow him charged the enemy. Lieut. Hollard commanding B Coy led his men on the left and was soon up in line with A coy and Lieut. Rodger o/c C Coy followed with his company in support. Shortly after this Capt. Skirrow o/c D Coy finding that the enemy was working around the left flank and was occupying the Mory Corpse rushed to that place followed by two of his platoon. He personally knocked out the crew of one machine gun with his revolver and getting in touch wit the Guards who were coming from the N cleared the Copse and drove the enemy back he also collected a large number of prisoners. By now the enemy suffered heavy casualties had been driven back completely demoralised all along the line and coming into our barrage which had been considering the circumstances most promptly and effectively put down suffered further casualties. This counter attack not only recovered all the lost ground but slightly advanced the line and the Battalion consolidated with strong posts - B16c4.0. - B16d35. - B16d0.4. - B16d35.55 -
B16b2.0. - B16b1.3. the 2/4 Y & L holding the post at B16c 7.2. and a few of their men being in the other posts.








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