JOHN EDWARD HODGSON (1895 – 1916)
15294, Private John Edward Hodgson, 8th Battalion, the East Yorkshire Regiment died of wounds 20 July 1916. He was about 21 years old and is buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetery  and commemorated on the St. Helen’s Colliery Memorial Cottages, West Auckland War Memorial and the Roll of Honour, West Auckland Memorial Hall.
John Edward was born c.1895 at West Auckland, the son of James and Ann Hodgson. There were at least 10 children
- Maria Gertrude born c.1877
- George born c.1878
- Mary Hannah born c.1882
- Lily born c.1884
- Fred bornc.1886
- Wilfred born c.1889
- Isabelle born c.1890
- Oliver born c.1892
- John Edward born c.1895
- James born c.1896
All the family were born either at West Auckland or St. Helen’s Auckland. In 1901, they lived in the Square. By 1911, they lived at Peases Street which was one of the terraces which made up the Square. John’s mother Ann died aged 50 in 1906.  The men all worked as coal miners, James worked a as a colliery bricklayer, Wilfred a hewer, Oliver a putter and John was a driver.
John’s father James died 11 February 1916. By the end of the war, his brother George lived at Middlestone Moor, Fred at Crook, Wilfred at South Moor, Oliver at Fylands Bridge and James at High Etherley. Maria had married and her surname was now Rowett and she lived at Darlington, Mary (Davis) lived at Spennymoor and Lily (Lewis) was at East Howle.
John Edward Hodgson attested 11 November 1914 and was given the regimental number 15294. He was 20 years 1 month and had worked as a miner.  He was 5ft.4” tall, weighed 132lbs. had a fresh complexion, brown eyes and brown hair and was considered fit for duty. Private J.E. Hodgson was posted to the 7th and 9th battalions, East Yorkshire Regiment and served in France between 7 August and 3 December 1915 with 7/East Yorks.
The 7th battalion was under the orders of the 50th Brigade, 17th (Northern) Division and landed in France 14 July 1915 being sent to the Ypres Salient, Belgium.  Private J. Hodgson served there before being sent home 3 December 1915 suffering with trench foot.  By June 1916, he was fit for front line duty and 9 June 1916, he was posted to the 8/East Yorks. He joined his unit in the field 30 June 1916 only to die of wounds about 3 weeks later, 20 July 1916. Private J. Hodgson served a total of 1 year 253 days and did 2 tours on the western front – his last 42 days were in France. 
The 8th (Service) Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment was formed 22 September 1915 at Beverley as part of Kitchener’s New Army K3 and came under the orders of 62nd Brigade, 21st Division. It landed at Boulogne 9 September 1915 and was involved in action at the Battle of Loos, 25 September – 8 October 1915. At this time Private J. Hodgson was with the 7/East Yorkshires serving to the north of Loos in Belgium at Ypres. The battalion was transferred to 8th Brigade, 3rd Division 16 November 1915.  The following units served with the 8th Brigade:
- 2nd Bn., the Royal Scots
- 1st Bn., the Gordon Highlanders
- 13th Bn., the King’s (Liverpool Regt.) left 4 April 1916
- 1/5th Bn., the London Regt. left 10 February 1916
- 1st Bn., the Royal Scots Fusiliers joined 5 April 1916
The 3rd Division was involved in the following actions around Ypres, Belgium:
- 14 – 15 February and 2 March 1916: Actions at the Bluff
- 27 March – 16 April: Actions of the St. Eloi Craters
And then moved south to take part in the great Allied Offensive, the Battle of the Somme
- 1 – 13 July: Battle of Albert
- 14 – 17 July: Battle of Bazentin in which the Division helped capture Longueval
- 15 July – 3 September: Battle of Delville Wood 
The Battalion War Diary  records that:
4 July: marched to Cardonnette.
5 July: marched 14 miles to Corbies.
6 July: marched to Carnoy and relieved the 6/Bedfords
8 – 12 July: fatigue parties carrying ammunition to form the Brigade Dump in the Quarry. The fighting strength was about 20 officers and 800 other ranks.
13/14 July: left Carnoy for the Montauban area.
14 July: reached point of deployment, artillery bombardment took place and was lifted 6.45am. The assault on the enemy trenches was made but was held up by uncut wire. The enemy opened up with machine gun and rifle fire. Men returned to the point of assembly, others took cover in shell holes.
- 7.00am: machine guns and stokes mortars “got going.” 1/Royal Scots Fusiliers joined the battalion.
- 7.40am: enemy shelling commenced
- 7.45am: reported that Bazentin was in the possession of the 9th Brigade.
- 8.40am: Colonel Forbes, 1/RSF arrived with reinforcements and took over command.
- 10.15am: patrol reported heavy fighting in enemy trenches.
- 10.20am: Bombers and 2 platoons RSF send to join the fighting in the trenches on right flank.
- 11.50am: Orders received that the position was to be taken at once at all costs.
- 12.15am: Bombing party of 2/RS appeared on the left. They advanced quickly and carried all before them as they advanced, our men joined in and the fight was over at once.
- 1.00pm: received orders to consolidate the position as soon as possible.
- 2.00pm: Re-organised Battalion. The strength was 3 officers and 100 other ranks and 1 Lewis gun.
- Other Ranks……..81
- Other Ranks………218
- Other Ranks………..141
- 19 Officers
- 440 Other Ranks
14-20 July: The new position was held and suffered heavily bombardment, gas and lachrymatory shells. There were many casualties.
20/21 July: Relieved by the King’s Own Scottish Borderers.
It is assumed that Private John Hodgson died of wounds 20 July 1916, gunshot wound to the chest, at No.2 Stationary Hospital, Abbeville. 3 other ranks serving with 8/East Yorkshires died on this day.  Later research confirms that during this struggle, the 8/East Yorkshires lost 6 officers and 145 other ranks, killed in action or died of wounds between 14 and 21 July. 
Another workman from St. Helen’s Colliery to lose his life in this action, serving with the 8/East Yorkshires was Private T. Neal who died of wounds in No. 1/2nd Hospital Field Ambulance 22 July 1916.
Private John Hodgson is buried at grave reference V.F.13, Abbeville Communal Cemetery, France. Abbeville was the Commonwealth HQ for lines of communication. No.3 BRCS, No.5 and No.2 Stationary Hospitals were stationed there at various times between November 1914 and September 1916. The cemetery holds 774 Commonwealth WW1 burials and the extension holds 1,754.
 Commonwealth War Graves Commission
 1881, 1891 & 1901 census
 England & Wales BMD Death Index 1837-1916 Auckland Vol.10a p.149
 1911 census
 Army Form W.5080
 Army Form W.5080
 Army Form B.2065 Short Service Note: number not evident
 Army Form B.178 Medical History and description elsewhere
 Statement of Services and History Sheet
 Army Form B.103
 See 6
 8th Battalion, the East Yorkshire Regiment War Diary 4 – 26 July 1916
 Statement of Services and Post Office Telegraphs
 Soldiers Died in the Great War
 Officers and Soldiers Died in the Great War. Note: Private T. Neal is recorded as serving with 9th Battalion and was the only soldier to have died on the 22 July but this is incorrect since he had been transferred to the 8th Battalion 7 October 1915.
 Army Form B.103 Casualty Form – active service
 Commonwealth War Graves Commission