Lieutenant Donald O'Neill Hodson, MC



Donald O’Neill Hodson was born in London in June 1893, son of John Hodson and Amy Frances (nee Hamilton).

He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant on 26 March 1916 (with seniority from 6 July 1915), posted to the 1st Reserve Cavalry Regiment, and attached to the North Irish Horse.

Hodson joined E Squadron of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment in France in August 1916. He became a lieutenant on 27 August 1917.

The regimental diary notes that in the weeks following the Battle of Cambrai, Hodson led a team of Hotchkiss gunners to the trenches to help hold the line in the vicinity of Havrincourt and Marcoing.

During September 1918 Hodson acted as captain in command of E Squadron, and was awarded a Military Cross for his actions during the advance that month:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in command of a squadron [during the advance in September 1918]. On coming under heavy fire from a party of the enemy in concealed positions, he at once attacked them, capturing eighteen, and killing the remainder. Later, during an attack, he organised three Lewis-gun teams to protect the flank, and thus caused a flanking movement by the enemy to be repulsed. He rendered very valuable service.

He relinquished his commission on 11 April 1919.

It appears that at some later time he served in the rank and file, as a driver in the Honourable Artillery Company (No.1396108), and was again commissioned during World War 2.

He died in December 1967 in Hillington, Middlesex.

Hodson's older brother, Sydney, had also served in the Great War. A 2nd lieutenant in the King's Royal Rifle Corps, he was killed in action on 21 March 1918.


Image courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, Catalogue No. HU 11537