1. Memorial:Tyne Cot MemorialPanel 4 to 6 and 162.
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.125
3. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour21B GQS

Awards & Titles:


Family :

Son of Lissie S. Hodgson of Lisswood Borth Cardiganshire and the late Rev. Samuel Hodgson husband of Bessie G. Hodgson.

Education & Career :

Author, Chelsea (1912).

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: 11th Army Brigade RFA 

Action : The Battles of the Lys 

9 April - 29 April 1918. As the first phase of the great German campaign of 1918 lost momentum and failed in its objective to split the British and French armies, subsidiary attacks were shift the balance of the attack and to seek opportunities to exploit other sectors. On the Lys the Germans initially enjoyed spectacular success against a Portuguese Division but the gap was soon plugged and the advance halted.

Detail :

See also: Biography and Commemorative website: Sam Gafford

Between 1907 and his death in 1918, William Hope Hodgson wrote some of the most unusual fantasy novels. He joined the University of London's Officer's Training Corps. Refusing to have anything to do with the sea despite his experience and Third Mate's certificate, he received a commission as a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery. In 1916 he was thrown from a horse and suffered a broken jaw and a head injury; he received a mandatory discharge, and returned to writing. Refusing to remain on the sidelines, Hodgson recovered sufficiently to re-enlist. His published articles and stories from the time reflect his experience in war. He was killed by an artillery shell at Ypres in April 1918; sources suggest either the 17th or 19th. He was eulogized in The Times on 2 May 1918.

Everts, R. Alain. Some Facts in the Case of William Hope Hodgson: Master of Fantasy. Soft Books, 1987. Everts recounts Hodgson’s final days: On 12 March, 1918 the Brigade took over positions at Brombeck, and on 20 March, sustained heavy gas shelling and high velocity shelling at the Tourelle Crossroads nearby. On 30 March, they were relieved by Belgian Artillery, and on 2 April the Battery marched to the Ploegsteert area to relieve Australian Artillery. This was to be the scene of the final act of Hodgson’s valiant life.

The Battery took a position at Le Touquet Berthe. The Front was quite silent for a time—and for the first time there were no casualties in action. On 9 March the Germans attacked south of the Armentieres and penetrated allied lines for some distance and forced the British to move further north from Steenbeke. On the dawn of the following day, the Battery had undergone heavy night shelling and all communications were cut. The Germans advanced and the front section of the Battery had to retreat, leaving behind their guns, which they blew up. The Germans circled behind Hope’s Battery and approached to within 200 yards forcing the whole detachment to fall back.

On the day of 10 April 1918, the Germans launched a big attack, and apparently this put Hodgson in hospital briefly. On the night of 16 April the Battery withdrew, and a Forward Observation Post was set up. The man who volunteered for the Forward Observing Office the next day—17 April—on Mont Kemmel, was none other than W. Hope Hodgson. The details surrounding the tragic death of Hope can now be clarified after nearly 55 years—and in clarifying them some errors regarding his death have been corrected. His Commanding Officer filled in the details—on Thursday, 18 April, he sent Hodgson with another N.C.O. on Forward Observation. On 19 April, Hope was heard from once and then there was silence from him for the remainder of the day. That day, 19 April, William Hope Hodgson was reported missing in action to his C.O. The following day, under continuous fire, the C.O. went to check himself to determine the fate of his F.O.O.’s. He eventually found a French officer who showed him a helmet with the name Lt. W. Hope Hodgson on it—and reported that a British Artillery Officer and a Signaler had suffered a direct hit by a German artillery shell on 19 April and had both been blown nearly completely apart. What little remained was buried on the spot—at the foot of the eastern slope of Mont Kemmel in Belgium. During this period, the C.O. was under continuous fire, and upon his return to base, he confirmed the death of Lt. W. Hope Hodgson, and it was entered on 23 April.

Citations & Commemorations :

  Hodgson’s Commanding Officer wired the heart-breaking news to Hodgson’s mother and wrote:

"I cannot express my deep sympathy for you in your great bereavement. I feel it most terribly myself, and so do all the other officers and men of the battery. He was the life and soul of the mess—always so willing and cherry. Of his courage I can give no praise that is high enough. He was always volunteering for any dangerous duty, and it was owing to his entire lack of fear that he probably met his death on April 17. He had performed wonders of gallantry only a few days before, and it is a miracle that he survived that day. I myself am deeply grieved, having lost a real, true friend and a splendid officer.”

Hodgson’s obituary appeared in newspapers around the world, signifying his stature in the writing world. Of these many notices, The Times is perhaps the most poignant:

"Second Lieutenant W. Hope Hodgson, RFA, killed in action on April 17, was the second son of the late Rev. Samuel Hodgson, and the author of “The Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’”, “The Night Land”, “Men of the Deep Waters” and other books. His early days were spent in the merchant service, where he gathered his material for many of his thrilling sea stories. He was a notable athlete, a fine boxer, a strong swimmer, and an all-round good sportsman. He was awarded the Royal Humane Society’s medal for saving life at sea. At the outbreak of the war Lieutenant Hodgson was living in Sanary, on the south coast of France. He returned to England, joined the University of London Officer Training Corps. and got his commission in the RFA in 1915. As the result of a serious accident in camp, he was gazetted out of the Army in 1916; but he never rested until he passed the medical board as fit, and obtained another commission in March 1917, in the RFA. He saw much active service round Ypres during last October."

There was nothing left of Hodgson’s body to send home. This was not an uncommon experience in war. Many soldiers died in foreign lands with nothing left to send back home to their grieving families. What often takes their place are memorial cemeteries that honor those who had fallen. There is one such cemetery in Belgium. At Tyne Cot Cemetery, William Hope Hodgson’s name is engraved.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Blackheath No. 1320 E.C.London

20th June 1912
17th October 1912
12th December 1912

Source :

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Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2019-09-10 14:43:55