Topic: Frederick Hugh Dodson (1891-1915)

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Tauranga auctioneer Frederick Hugh Dodson was killed in action at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. Newspapers reported that after falling mortally wounded he 'got up on his knees and emptied his revolver into the enemy and then fell back dead'. In 1917 Dodson Avenue in Milford, Auckland, was named in Frederick's memory. Story by Debbie McCauley.

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Frederick Hugh Dodson was born in Hukanui on 20 May 1891 (reg. 1891/8993). His parents were Albert Frederic and Selina Maude Wade Dodson (nee Gery) who married in Worlington, Suffolk, England on 23 August 1889. 

Frederick worked as an auctioneer for the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Company.

He was also a Hauraki Regiment Volunteer and secretary of the Tauranga Rugby Union as well as playing hockey and being a keen sailor.

Frederick enlisted on 14 August 1914 (Service Number: 12/683) and served as a Lieutenant with the Auckland Infantry Battalion.

Frederick Hugh Dodson (1891-1915)

'A hero to the last' 2nd Lieutenant Frederick Dodson of the 6th Hauraki Regiment was killed in the first Gallipoli landings at age 23 on 25 April 1915 (reg. 1918/36756). Several months later, newspapers around the country reported the circumstances of his death. Including that after falling mortally wounded he 'got up on his knees and emptied his revolver into the enemy and then fell back dead'.

On 4 May the Bay of Plenty Times reported his death with the headline “Tauranga’s First Loss” and the following day published a long tribute that detailed Frederick's contribution to the town, making clear the full extent of his loss to Tauranga and indeed the country;

The Fallen, Lieut. Dodson. The late Lieutenant F. H. Dodson was only twenty-five years of age and had resided in Tauranga for about seven years, where he was associated with the office staff of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, Limited. He was posted to the Sixth (Hauraki) Regiment on the inauguration of the compulsory service system about four years ago. He at once displayed a keen interest in his work and showed great promise, which led to his promotion from the ranks of Colour-sergeant of his company. After one year in this position he was promoted to Acting Second Lieutenant and shortly afterwards qualified for is Lieutenancy, receiving his commission. He then took charge of the Tauranga Platoon and filled the command with great credit up to the time of his appointment in the main Expeditionary Force in August last. Close attention to military duties did not prevent Lieutenant Dodson from taking a keen interest in various branches of sport. For several seasons he was a member of the local representative hockey team and was regarded as one of the finest exponents of the game in the Bay of Plenty. He was an ardent boating enthusiast and for some years was part owner of the well-known launch Coy. He was always actively associated with the annual visits of the Waikato hounds to this district. For several years he acted as secretary to the Tauranga Rugby Union, his work in the cause of football earning the heartiest appreciation of the Union executive, the public, and players. In the local realm of sport his death leaves a gap that will indeed be hard to fill. Mr Dodson’s manly and unassuming qualities won the esteem of all with whom he came in contact. Deceased was an only son, his parents residing at Takapuna, Auckland. Yesterday the flags on the public buildings in town were half-mastered in memory of deceased. The news of Lieutenant Dodson’s death has cast a gloom over the town, and the people in this district will join in extending their heartfelt sympathy to a brave New Zealander, who so ungrudgingly gave his life in the service of his King and country.

Frederick is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial in Lone Pine Cemetery, Anzac, Turkey.

In 1917 Dodson Avenue in Milford, Auckland, was named in Frederick's memory.

Frederick Hugh Dodson (1891-1915)

His mother Selina's ashes are buried in Waikumete Cemetery in Auckland, whilst his father is buried in O'Neill's Point Cemetery in Auckland.


Archives New Zealand: Military Personnel File.

Auckland Libraries: North Shore Street Names (Dodson Avenue).

Auckland War Memorial Museum: Cenotaph Record.

Bay of Plenty Times (4 May 1915). 

Births, Deaths & Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Fiona Kean (Tauranga Heritage Collection).

New Zealand Herald (1915, July 7, p. 9). Three Against Seven: Incident While Sniping: Brave Officers' Death.

Suffolk Heritage Direct (Marriage) Worlington, Suffolk, England.


A version of this article was archived in August 2016 at Perma CC

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Frederick Hugh Dodson (1891-1915)

Note:Service Number: 12/683
First Names:Frederick Hugh
Last Name:Dodson
Date of Birth:20 May 1891
Place of Birth:Hukanui
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:25-29 April 1915
Place of death:Gallipoli, Turkey
Place of burial:Lone Pine Memorial, Lone Pine Cemetery, Anzac, Turkey
Fathers name:Albert Frederic Dodson
Fathers date of birth:c1864
Fathers place of birth:Worlington, Suffolk, England
Fathers date of death:13 October 1943
Fathers place of death:Auckland, New Zealand
Mothers name:Selina Maude Wade Gery
Mothers date of birth:27 September 1868 (baptism)
Mothers place of birth:Colmworth, Bedford, England
Mothers date of death:27 August 1943
Mothers place of death:Auckland, New Zealand
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)