Private Robert William Dodman

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

Robert William Dodman was born in the 3rd quarter of 1877 in Dorking to John and Harriet Dodman (nee Botting).

Robert’s father John was born about 1851 in Ewhurst, Surrey. He died at the age of 67 on 25th November 1918 in Surrey. At the time of his death he lived at Hill View, Cranleigh Road in Ewhurst. He left his wife Harriet £105, 10s. He was buried on the 30th of November 1918 at St Peter & St Paul’s in Ewhurst. Robert’s mother Harriet was born about 1855 at Ewhurst. She died at the age of 88 in 1943. She was buried on 15th January 1943 also at St Peter & St Paul’s. At the time of her death she resided at Elmers Farm in Ockley. John and Harriet married in the 1st quarter of 1874 in Hambledon, Surrey.

Robert had three sisters and three brothers: Lilian, Clarence V., Ivy E., Frederick H., Valentine H. and James Henry.

Robert Dodman 1881 Census
© Ancestry.co.uk

During the time of the 1881 Census, the family lived at Forest Green, Pisley in Abinger (formerly Ockley). Robert’s father was working as a game keeper, his mother was at home and looked after three year old Robert, his sister Lilian and brothers Frederick and Valentine.

Robert Dodman 1891 Census
© Ancestry.co.uk

At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at Warren Do, Peper Harow in Hambledon. John was still working as a game keeper and Harriet was at home together with scholar Robert and his sisters Clarence, Ivy and a brother James Henry.

Robert enlisted as a gunner on 26th November 1895 in Hounslow. At the time of his enlistment he was working as a groom and his parents lived at Warren Cottage, Shackleford, Godalming. He was over 5ft tall, weighted 138lb, had a fresh complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. He had a scar over his left eyebrow. He became part of the Royal Artillery. He was a private with the regimental number 12299.

Robert was serving at home from 26th November 1895 to 3rd of November 1899. Then he took part in the South Africa Campaign where he served from 4th November 1899 to 30th January 1902. He was awarded the Queen’s Medal with clasps for his engagement in Cape Colony; Orange Free State; Transvaal; Tugela Height; Relief of Ladysmith and Laing’s Nek. He was also awarded the King’s Medal with claps for his South Africa engagement during 1901-1902.

From 31st January 1902 to 24th November 1904 Robert was serving again at home. He was discharged on 24th November 1904 having been convicted by the Civil Power of felony. He served in the Army for 8 years and 364 days.

Robert Dodman 1911 Census
© Ancestry.co.uk

At the time of the 1911 Census, 34 year old Robert was again living with his parents at the Cottage, Binscombe Lane in Godalming. He was working as a general labourer. His father was still working as a game keeper and mother Harriet was at home. His brother James was a grocer master.

Sometime after WWI war broke, Robert re-enlisted at Cranleigh. He became part of the 28th Division Ammunition Park, the Royal Field Artillery. He was a private and his new regimental number was 52702. Robert disembarked in France on 15th February 1915.

Robert drowned on the 30th of January 1916 at Havre in France.

Robert Dodman
STE. Marie Cemetery Roll of Honour
© CWGC
Robert Dodman Grave Registration Report Form
© CWGC
Robert Dodman Headstone Inscription
© CWGC
Robert Dodman Headstone Personal Inscription
© CWGC

He is buried at STE. Marie Cemetery in Le Havre, France. His grave reference number is Div.19.P.8.

Robert Dodman Soldiers Effects © Ancestry.co.uk

He was 38 years old. Robert’s father John, received Soldier Effect’s of £9, 8s and 8d on the 9th of May 1916. As John passed away in 1918, Robert’s mother Harriet received further sum of £4 and 10s on the 6th of February 1920.

Robert Dodman Medal Roll Index Card © Ancestry.co.uk
Robert Dodman British War Medal and Victory Medal © Ancestry.co.uk
Robert Dodman 1915 Star © Ancestry.co.uk

He was awarded by the British War and Victory medals and 1914-1915 Star.

Robert William is also remembered on the Ewhurst Memorial Plaque at St Peter & St Paul’s Church and the Ewhurst Baptism Church and a Book of Remembrance. He is also engraved on the south face of the Ewhurst War Memorial and a headstone of his parents at St Peter & St Paul’s graveyard in Ewhurst bears his name.

Born Dorking, Surrey
Son of John and Harriet (nee Botting) Dodman
Enlisted Cranleigh, Surrey
Regiment 28th Division Ammunition Park, the Royal Field Artillery
Number 52702
Former Regiment Royal Artillery
Number 12299.
Date of Death 30th January 1916
Place of Death Le Hauvre, France
Cause of Death Drowned
Age 35
Cemetery STE. Marie Cemetery in Le Havre, France
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