No. 16438, ‘C’ Company, 10th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 17 June 1916 (aged 30)
Hamel Military Cemetery, France (Grave I. B. 20)
Portaferry Presbyterian Church
Portaferry Orange Hall (LOL 673)
Alexander Dodds was born on 23 July 1885 in Portaferry and he was a son of William and Elizabeth (Eliza) Dodds (nee Vance) who were married on 3 November 1875 in Portaferry Presbyterian Church. William Dodds from Back Lane, Portaferry was a son of Samuel Dodds, a labourer. Eliza Vance from Ballybrannigan was a daughter of James Vance, a farmer.
Lived in the townland of Derry, Portaferry and in High Street, Portaferry
William Dodds was a sailor and he and Elizabeth had at least seven children:
William (born 7 February 1878 in Portaferry)
Samuel (born 25 November 1879 in Portaferry)
John (born 4 April 1882 in Portaferry)
Sarah (born 27 August 1883 in Portaferry)
Alexander (born 23 July 1885 in Portaferry)
Elizabeth (Lizzie, born 5 January 1889 in Killyleagh; died of pertussis 15 December 1889)
Elizabeth (Lizzie, born 25 February 1891 in Killyleagh)
Alexander Dodds was baptised in Portaferry Presbyterian Church and his father died sometime before 1901. After William Dodds died, Alexander’s mother Elizabeth worked as a seamstress.
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Alexander Dodds worked in Belfast. He enlisted in Belfast and served with the 10th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division. After Alexander’s Battalion went to France his mother Elizabeth became ill and she died of cancer on 3 January 1916 (aged 64).
Rifleman Alexander Dodds (No. 16438) was 30 when he died on 17 June 1916, killed by shell fire in a front-line trench. He was buried in Hamel Military Cemetery, France.
Rifleman Alexander Dodds had made a will and his property and effects were received by his sister, Lizzie Dodds, of Derry, Portaferry.
His CWGC headstone bears the inscription:
O DEATH WHERE IS THY STING
O GRAVE WHERE IS THY VICTORY
Rifleman Alexander Dodds (No. 16438) is commemorated in Portaferry Presbyterian Church and in Portaferry Orange Hall (LOL 673).