Captain George Bertram Pollock-Hodsoll
Thank you to Bernice Forsyth and Mary Day from Capel Local History Group for allowing Dorking Museum to publish their research. Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for additional research.
George was born in Loose Court, Maidstone, Kent in 1875, the second son of Charles Maxfield Hodsoll of Farm House, Capel, formerly of Loose Court, Kent, descended from the old Kent family Hodsoll, and Georgiana Mary Pollock. She was the eldest daughter of George Kennet Pollock and granddaughter of Sir David Pollock, Chief Justice of Bombay and grand-niece of Field-Marshal Sir George Pollock, of the Khyber Pass.
Charles Maxfield Hodsoll was born in the 4th quarter of 1843 in Maidstone in Kent and was baptised on the 17th of April 1844 in Maidstone. His parents and George’s paternal grandparents were called James Hackett Hodsoll Esq a farmer of Loose Court, Kent born 1813 and Susanna Spencer, a daughter of John Spencer Esq, of Bishop’s Lodge, Wrotham. James Hackett and Susanna married on the 27th of May 1839 at St Bridge Fleet Street, City of London. At the time of the marriage James Hackett’s occupation was a grocer. Charles and Georgiana married in the 4th quarter of 1869 at Maidstone, Kent.
At the time of the 1881 Census, Charles Maxfield, his wife Georgiana Mary, the 5 year old George , six other siblings, two servants and the head of the house, Georgiana’s 66 year old widowed mother Julia Pollock, a funded proprietor, all lived at 9 Louisa Terrace, Littleham, Devon. Charles Maxfield is stated to be a hops farmer who owned 205 acres of land and employed 20 men and 5 boys.
During the 1891 Census, George lived with his parents and 5 siblings at Loose Court in Kent.
George was educated at Maidstone School and University College, Oxford. On the 15th of October 1892, eighteen year old George was still residing in Oxford and attending University College.
At the time of the 1901 Census, George was visiting William T King, a 35 year old surveyor and his brother Sidney L King, a 27 year old insurance clerk at the Elms in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. The flat also housed a cook, a housemaid and a parlour maid. George’s occupation is stated to be journalist and author. Interestingly, “The Elms” in the High Street, now part of the St Joan of Arc School, was a summer residence for the Victorian novelist George Eliot.
George firstly obtained a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the Cambridgeshire Militia, then the 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment (Cambridgeshire Militia) in December 1902.
“He was well known to all followers of Association Football, having played many years for both the Casuals and Corinthians, touring with these teams both on the continent and in South Africa, and captained the Army team on several occasions.” – paperspast.natlib.govt.nz
George was described as a brilliant and persevering half-back and close to being selected for the national team.
George took part in the 1908 Easter Paris Tour. It was a short tour, lasting four days with three matches. The three matches resulted in an aggregate of 21 to 3 goals for Corinthians.
In 2014, the Corinthian Casuals published a tribute to George in their match day programme.
George was also very interested in political matters, and often spoke in public on this subject. Moreover, he publicly supported the Unionist cause and National Military Service.
“He was ardent enthusiast for the purity of amateur football and also took a great interest in the controversy between the Football Association and the amateur clubs which eventually formed the A.F.A.” paperspast.natlib.govt.nz
At the time of the 1911 Census, the 35 year old bachelor George, who was at this time a machinery merchant, was living with his brother, 33 year old Harold Edward, a manufacturer of artificial fertilisers, and a valet, 28 year old John Pellett, at 22 Pembridge Mansions, Moscow Rd, Paddington. The flat had seven rooms.
The boy’s parents George Matthew, now a retired landowner, and Georgiana Mary, lived during the time of the 1911 Census with their two daughters, an aunt, a cook and a housemaid at the Farm House in Capel. The house had eleven rooms. The family had to leave Loose Court in Kent due to the hop farm going out of business due to a hop blight. The Pollock-Hodsoll daughters started a dress company making dresses for ladies to wear to the Royal Court.
George married Olive Margaret Milne Rae on the 1st of June 1914 in Edinburgh. She was the eldest daughter of the Rev. George Milne Rae, of Edinburgh. The couple lived until George’s death at 24 Bloomfield Terrace, Chelsea and Farm House, Capel. Olive subsequently remarried.
George was transferred to the 3rd Battalion Special Reserve, Suffolk Regiment and soon after his marriage on the 5th of August 1914 was promoted to Captain.
As a part of the 3rd Suffolk Regiment, George sailed to France on the 23th of October 1914, disembarking on the 26th of October. He was there transferred to the 1st Battalion the Cheshire Regiment.
George was killed in action at the First Battle of Ypres on the 7th of November 1914 while leading his men in a counter-attack.
The Adjutant, Capt. L. Frost wrote: “On 7 Nov. about three o’clock in the afternoon, the regt. on our left fell back and the Germans came through their trenches, so Capt. Hodsoll, Mr. Anderson and myself, with the supports of our regt. made a counter-attack. Your husband had not gone more than 100 yards when he, poor fellow, was killed, he died instantaneously and could not have suffered any pain at all. He died giving his life for his country at a very critical moment, if this counter-attack had failed, it would have meant the whole line coming back. …. Capt. Pollock Hodsoll was buried the same evening on the ground where he died, in a wood near a chateau about three miles east of Ypres. A wooden cross with his name was placed on the grave.”
Gerard Anderson was an Olympic runner who took part in the Stockholm Games in 1912. Anderson broke the world record at the 440 yards hurdles before entering the Olympics. http://sportsinww1.weebly.com/sports-during-ww1.html
George left £68, 4s and 8d of Soldier’s Effects to his brothers Harold Edward and Charles Wilfrid. The brothers also benefited at the probate on the 5th of January 1915 where they were left £1486, 15s, 10d.
George Bertram Pollock Hodsoll was awarded the British and Victoria medals and the 1914 Star.
He is commemorated at the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Belgium on plot 21.
Born Loose, Kent
Lived Capel, Surrey
Son of Charles M. and Georgiana M. Hodsoll
Husband of Olive Milne Rae, Capel
Regiment 3rd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Date of Death 9th November 1914
Place of Death Flanders, Belgium
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Memorial Menin Gate, Ypres