John Hodgson was born on 19th December 1894 in Macclesfield, the son of Margaret Ann and Albert Hodgson, a house decorator of 42 Albion Street, Macclesfield.
In 1901, six year old John was living at 33 Byrons Lane with his parents and siblings Ethel (16), Esther (15), Hannah (13), George (10), Mary (9) and baby Harry (9 months). Ten years later the family had moved to 17 Lord Street, and John had another sister, Elsie, aged 8.
John was educated at Lord Street School from the age of 3, attaining standard grade IV, and after leaving school and finding employment as an embroiderer he enrolled at Macclesfield Technical School on 27th September 1909 to further his education. John later worked as a machinist at the Sunderland Street Slipper Works.
John attested at Macclesfield, joining the 7th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment.
Following a period of training in various locations in the south of England, the 7th Cheshires, as part of 159th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, received orders to equip for service in an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean. In July 1915 they sailed from Devonport to Alexandria in Egypt, then on to the island of Lemnos on the 4th August.
On the evening of 8th August, the Battalion arrived off the coast of Gallipoli and the following day landed at “C” Beach, Suvla Bay. Having landed, they came under shell fire at about 8.30am and so moved north along the edge of the bay; they then received orders to attack in the direction of a dip in the hills behind Anafarta Saghir. By the end of the day, Private Hodgson was missing and he was assumed to have died on 9th August 1915.
The death of John Hodgson was reported in the Macclesfield Times of 22nd September 1916:
TERRITORIAL’S FATE – MISSING SOLDIER’S DEATH PRESUMED
Mr Albert Hodgson, 6 Knight’s Brow, Macclesfield, has received a communication from the Record Office at Shrewsbury stating that “as no further information has been received of your son, Private John Hodgson, Cheshire Regt, who has been missing since August 9th 1915, the Army Council have been regretfully constrained to conclude that he is dead and that his death took place on August 9th 1915.”
Private Hodgson was 21 years of age and enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war. He was drafted out to the Dardanelles and was reported missing after the landing at Suvla Bay. He was a native of Macclesfield and was educated at the Lord street Day School, and formerly attended the Park Street Chapel. Prior to joining up Private Hodgson was employed at the Slipper Works, Sunderland street. A memorial service will be held at Park Street Chapel on Sunday.
Private John Hodgson has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 75 to 77 on the Helles Memorial in Turkey. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private John Hodgson, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Private John Hodgson is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael's Church, and Park Street Methodist Church war memorials.
Research by Rosie Rowley, Macclesfield.