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Tom Hodgson

In 1901 the family was living in Earl Street, Shipley, and Tom senior was working as a stoker in a silk mill, probably Ashley Mills in Shipley, while Christiana, the eldest child was already working as a worsted spinner.

1901 Census resident at 42, Earl Street, Shipley, North Bierley, Yorkshire, England

Tom, Hodgson, Head, Married, Male, 43, Stoker At Silk Mill, Bramley, Yorkshire, England

Hannah, Hodgson, Wife, Married, Female, 46, -, Yorkshire, England

Christiana, Hodgson, Daughter, Single, Female, 14, Worsted Spinner, Yorkshire, England

Mary, Hodgson, Daughter, Single, Female, 12, -, Baildon, Yorkshire, England

Tom, Hodgson, Son, Single, Male, 10, -, Baildon, Yorkshire, England

Tom senior died in the first quarter of 1909 and by 1911 Hannah and her children had moved to St Paul’s Road, Shipley.

1911 Census resident at 31 St Pauls Road Shipley, Shipley, Yorkshire, England

Hannah, Hodgson, Head, Widow, Female, -, 55, Yorks Rosedale Abbey

Christiana, Hodgson, Daughter, Single, Female, Dressmaker, 24, Yorks Rosedale Abbey

Mary, Hodgson, Daughter, Single, Female, Dressmaker, 22, Yorks Baildon

Tom, Hodgson, Son, Single, Male, Butcher's Assistant, 20, Yorks Baildon

Frank, Hodgson, Son, -, Male, School, 9, Yorks Shipley

It would seem that the family continued to live in Shipley until after the marriages of both the girls in 1914, but it was probably shortly afterwards that they all moved to the Malton area. For what reason they moved there is not clear. It may be that they were returning closer to their family roots at Rosedale - Christiana had also married a man from Rosedale but hey seem all to have lived in the area - Mary, Peter and Frank at Slingsby and Christiana and Fred in Norton.

 Tom Hodgson was born in Baildon in the third quarter of 1890 and was the son of Tom and Hannah (nee Peirson) Hodgson who married at Rosedale on 19th January 1882. Tom Hodgson senior who was born in Brawby was by the time of his marriage resident in Shipley and working as an engine tenter (overseeing the steam engine that powered factory machinery.) Hannah‘s father Francis Peirson was a butcher while Tom’s family seem to have been blacksmiths and engineers.

Young Tom was baptised together with his younger brother Frank on 26th January 1902 in Shipley.

Shortly after his birth, by the  1891 censusthey were living in Ada Street, Baildon where Tom senior was working as a Stationary Engine Driver.

1891 Census resident at 3 Ada Street, Baildon, Wharfedale, Yorkshire, England

Tom, Hodgson, Head, Married, Male, 33, , Engine Driver Stationary, Brawby, Yorkshire, England

Hannah, Hodgson, Wife, Married, Female, 35, , -, Yorkshire, England

Hannah Page, Hodgson, Daughter, -, Female, 7, , Scholar, Windhill, Yorkshire, England

Peirson, Hodgson, Son, -, Male, 6, , Scholar, Baildon, Yorkshire, England

Christiana, Hodgson, Daughter, -, Female, 4, , -, Rosedale Abbey, Yorkshire, England

Mary, Hodgson, Daughter, -, Female, 2, , -, Baildon, Yorkshire, England

Tom, Hodgson, Son, -, Male, 7 months, , -, Baildon, Yorkshire, England

What is clear is that Tom enlisted in Malton  and was first sent to France on 22nd December 1915 in the Army Service Corps in 31st Field Butchery which was attached to 13th (Western) Division, serving in Gallipoli in 1915.  After evacuation at the beginning of 1916 they concentrated at Port Said and began to move to Mesopotamia, to strengthen the force being assembled for the relief of the besieged garrison at Kut al Amara. Tom seems to have joined the unit at this point having served in France from 22nd December 1915 according to his Medal Roll card. By 27 March, the Division had assembled near Sheikh Sa'ad and came under orders of the Tigris Corps. It then took part in the unsuccessful attempts to relieve Kut. Tom Hodgson died in Iraq on 16th July 1916 and was buried at Amara. Amara was occupied by the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force on 3 June 1915 and it immediately became a hospital centre. The accommodation for medical units on both banks of the Tigris was greatly increased during 1916 and in April 1917, seven general hospitals and some smaller units were stationed there. Amara War Cemetery contains 4,621 burials of the First World War, more than 3,000 of which were brought into the cemetery after the Armistice. 925 of the graves are unidentified. The photograph was taken of the graveyard around 1919 showing it as it originally was.

In 1933, all of the headstones were removed from this cemetery when it was discovered that salts in the soil were causing them to deteriorate. Instead a screen wall was erected with the names of those buried in the cemetery engraved upon it. Plot XXV is a Collective Grave, the individual burial places within this are not known. The cemetery is currently reported as being in a very poor state, neglected and vandalised .(“Times”, 25/4/2014),.

In April 2016, Martin Fletcher of The Times, reporting from Amarah, wrote that the cemetery had seriously deteriorated, with plaques falling from the memorial wall and the Cross of Sacrifice smashed. The perimeter wall and other cemetery infrastructure are also damaged. A man who described himself as the caretaker reported the cross being blown up one night in 2006. The CWGC commented that they had not been able to work in Iraq since 1991, but the cemetery would be restored when conditions allowed.

Tom is also commemorated on the War Memorials in Old Malton church and Memorial Hall.