Dodd, Harry

Harry Dodd was born in 1909 (Flintshire (Mold) FLNT/47/15) the son of Richard & Gertrude J. Dodd (nee Bennett) who married in a Civil Ceremony in Chester 1906 (Cheshire West ROC/50/158).

Harry age 2, is seen for the first time on the 1911 census where he was the 2nd son and child of Richard & Gertrude, his siblings were Albert, 4, and sister Elsie, 1.     Richard, 30, was head of the household, a Shunter for the Great Central Railway, Working at Home and born in Northop.   His wife Gertrude, 25 and the children had all been born in Connah’s Quay, Flintshire.   Richard and Gertrude tell us that they had been married for 5 years and 3 children had been born to them and were still living.

Sadly I cannot find Harry on any documents after that till he is involved in WW2, but his parents and some siblings are seen on the 1939 Register.   However, I don’t know why Richard and Gertrude are listed no’s 8 & 9 in the household and the first record is redacted.    Any help would be appreciated.

1939 Register.


Household (9 People)

22 Bryn Road , Connah’s Quay U.D., Flintshire, Wales

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Mary E            Lamb* (Dodd)            20 Feb 1920    Female Spinner Assistant Silk Works Single  82        2

Agnes M Challinor** (Dodd)  09 May 1922 Female Spinner Assistant Silk Works Single  82        3

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Joyce   Dodd   02 Feb 1926    Female At School        Single  82        5

Derek  Dodd   22 Aug 1928   Male    At School        Single  82        6

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Gertrude J       Dodd   01 Mar 1888    Female Unpaid Domestic Duties        Married           82        8

Richard           Dodd   28 Nov 1880   Male    Railway Shunter         Married           82        9

Harry’s siblings – *Mary J. Dodd married Ralph Lamb in St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay in 1941 and ** Agnes M Dodd married Kenneth Challinor in the Golftyn Presbyterian Church, Connah’s Quay in 1948

I do not know when Harry met Catherine Edwards but although I can find Catherine living with her family on the 1939 Register, at 3, Salisbury Street , Flint,  I cannot find Harry, but as that was taken on the 29th September 1939, he may have been already in the Royal Naval Reserve, in any case, Harry married Catherine on the 8th April 1939 at St. Mary’s Church, Flint and Harry was killed on the 30th October the same year, however, his death was recorded as the 5th November 1939 as that was the date the boat was overdue, and probably at that time, they had no idea what had happened to it..   Sadly Catherine and Harry were not to have any normal married life 

Please click on the link to read the story of Kenneth Reddin who was also lost on the Northern Rover, they probably were mates or knew each other in Connah’s Quay, as they both born there. 

I was able to find information about what happened to Harry and the Northern Rover thanks to

November 1939

November 5 – Trawler NORTHERN ROVER (R, 655t, 1936), overdue at Kirkwall, Orkneys by this date and also thanks to the story of Northern Rover and it’s crew can be told, it was Commissioned  Sep 1939 and Lost 30 Oct 1939, Loss position          59° 57’N, 4° 24’W.

Displacement: 655 tons.

Torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-59 about 100 miles west of Sumburgh Head, Shetland Islands in position 59.57’N, 04.24’W on 30 October 1939.  ).   It’s Commmander  from 27th September  1939 – 30th October 1939 was Lt. (retired) Martin Hugh Macpherson, RN.


Ships hit by U-boats –

Fate     Sunk by U-59 (Harald Jürst)

Position           59° 57’N, 4° 24’W – Grid AN 1313

Complement    27 (27 dead – no survivors)


Route  Kirkwall – patrol area – Kirkwall


History            – Completed in October 1936 as steam trawler Northern Rover (LO 164) for Mac Line Ltd (Lever Brothers Ltd), London. 1937 transferred to Northern Trawlers Ltd, London. In August 1939 requisitioned by the Admiralty and used as armed boarding vessel, based in Kirkwall for Contraband Duties.

Notes on event          

At 23.35 hours on 30 Oct 1939, HMS Northern Rover (4.58) (Lt M.H. Macpherson, RN) was hit by one torpedo from U-59 and sank about 100 miles west of Sumburgh Head, Shetland Islands. The commander, three officers and 23 ratings were lost.

Crew list of Ships hit by U-boats –

Harry Dodd RNR (P/X 9848 B). British. Born 1909, Died  30 Oct 1939, (30), Roster information listed for Harry Dodd:-

Ship     Type    Rank / role       Attacked on    Boat

HMS Northern Rover (4.58)   A/S trawler      Seaman            30 Oct 1939 (+)          U-59

Personal information

Son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Dodd; husband of Catherine Dodd, of Flint.

List of all U-boats – U-59 Type IIC

Ordered           17 Jun 1937

Laid down      5 Oct 1937      Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel (werk 258)

Launched        12 Oct 1938

Commissioned            4 Mar 1939      Oblt. Harald Jürst


4 Mar 1939      –           17 Jul 1940                  Kptlt. Harald Jürst

Career – 13 patrols

Successes -17 ships sunk, total tonnage 34,130 GRT

2 auxiliary warships sunk, total tonnage 864 GRT

1 ship damaged, total tonnage 8,009 GRT

1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 4,943 GRT

Fate – Scuttled on 3 May 1945 in the Kiel Arsenal after being decommissioned in April 1945. Wreck broken up in 1945.

History on Kptlt. Harald Jürst –

Lancashire Evening Post dated 11th November 1939 printed an announcement of the loss of the Northern Rover and it’s Crew.

Any help to tell Harry’s Story would be gratefully received.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial

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