John Dodd was born in 1890 in Eastham, Chester, and the fourth of six children to John Dodd and Sarah (Foster).
John’s parents were both born in Little Sutton, Wirral; John, who was a Master Mariner in the Merchant Service, in c.1855 and Sarah in c.1857.
Soon after John junior was born the family moved to Chester Road, Little Sutton, Wirral and the 1901 census found them living at 13, Harrison’s Terrace, Little Sutton.
John married Susan Smith at the English Presbyterian Chapel, Chester Road, Flint, on 18th December, 1910. She was born in Flint and a daughter of William Henry Smith, a mariner’s mate in the Merchant Service, and his wife Caroline (c1861–1947). Caroline was employed as a domestic servant at Huntley Lodge, Flint, and resided at 191, Chester Road, Flint.
In the summer of 1910 Susan had an illegitimate son named Sydney Taylor Smith who died on 18th August 1999.
The 1911 census revealed John Junior to be living at Broad Oak, Northop, the home of farmer John Cheers Waight, where he was employed as a farm labour. John parents were now living at 24, Black Brook Street, Chester. It is not known what became of them after this date.
John and Susan had two children: John Henry (1911–1944) and Richard (1914–?). They set up home at 9, Queen Street, Flint, and John changed jobs to work as an ironworker at the Hawarden Bridge Ironworks, Shotton.
He enlisted in Shotton on 28th August, 1914 and served as a dispatch rider. He landed at Gallipoli circa June 1915.
He died in Malta on 19th October, 1915 from the effects of pneumonia and was buried in the Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta (Plot A, Row XV, Grave 6).
He is remembered on two war memorials: Flint Town and the English Presbyterian Chapel, Chester Road, Flint, and was awarded the 1914–15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor.
Private Dodd’s last letter home was dated 2nd October, 1915. He wrote informing people that he was in good health. He was well-known and very popular among his comrades in Flint.
Susan re-married in 1919 to Reginald Dennis Blakemore (1890–1980) and they had five children – Elizabeth, William Joseph, Lilian May, Sheila and Reginald Dennis.
John and Susan’s eldest son, John Henry, served in World War 2 as a Trooper with the 3rd King’s Own Hussars, Royal Armoured Corps, No. 4193804, and died in Italy on 26th May, 1944 and buried in Cassino War Cemetery, Italy (Plot XI, Row J, Grave 9). He married Eva Hough of Flint in 1935.
Susan died 17th January 1951, aged 60, after a short illness, at her home, 187, Chester Road, Flint, and buried in the Old London Road Cemetery with second husband, Reginald. She was a member of the English Presbyterian Church.