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Person Details
Beeston Nottingham
James was the eldest son of George Thomas and Lily Dobson (née Brown). His father George Thomas Dobson was born in Castle Donington, Leicestershire, in about 1862 and his mother Lily Brown in Crewe, Cheshire, in about 1866. They were married in 1894 (J/A/S Nottingham) and had four children who were born in Beeston, Nottingham: Ada Elizabeth b. 1895, James b. 1898, Herbert b. 12 December 1900 (reg. 1901) and Melessa Kate birth registered 1903 (J/F/M Basford). In 1901 George (39) a cycle fitter, and Lily (35) were living in Windsor Street, Beeston, with their three children, Ada (6), James (3) and Herbert (under 1 year). Also in the household was a boarder, William Paling (36), who was also a cycle fitter. By 191 Geore, now an iron driller for a lace machine manufacturer, and his wife were living at 18 Constance Street, Nottingham, with their four children, Ada a cigarette maker, James, Herbert and Melessa (8), and George's niece, Emiline Dobson (7). The family was living at 35 Lambert Street, Hyson Green, Nottingham, when James attested in March 1915 and were still living at the same address as the time of his death the following year. George Thomas died on 13 February 1930 at 121 Highbury Road, Nottingham, although his home address was 95 Manton Crescent, Lenton Abbey Estate, Nottingham. Lily died the same year, 1930 (J/A/S Basford). Of James' siblings: Ada Elizabeth married Arthur E Maddock in 1913 and they had at least three children: Arthur E b. 1915 (J/F/M) and Gerald b. 1917 (J/F/M), who were both born in Nottingham, and James L who was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1919. Arthur served in France during the war. He and Ada probably emigrated to Australia in 1921 as there is a record of the family on the passenger list of SS Themistocles departing London for Brisbane on 2 July 1921. There are subsequent entries for Ada Elizabeth Maddock on the Queensland immigration records and Australian electoral rolls (not sighted). Herbert married Annie E Nightingale in 1924. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled they were living on Goodliffe Street, Nottingham. Herbert, a machine stoker and Annie (b. 22 November 1904) had two sons, James (b. 18 April 1925 d. 1999) a van driver and Frank (b. 15 July 1925) who was at school. Herbert died on 28 September 1958. His widow married Arthur Green in 1960 (J/F/M) and died in 2000. Melessa Kate married Leonard Maskery in 1921 (J/F/M Nottingham). They have not yet been traced after this date.
01 Jul 1916
279353 - CWGC Website
35 Lambert Street Hyson Green, Nottingham.
1/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Dobson's army service record has survived. He attested on 9 March 1915 claiming, incorrectly, to be 19 (born A/M/J/1898). He was posted to the 3/7th (Reserve) Bn Sherwood Foresters and served at home until March 1916 when he embarked Southampton for France, disembarking on 3 March. He transferred to the 1/7th Bn (Robin Hood Rifles) on the dame date. He was killed four months later during the diversionary attack at Gommecourt on the first day of the battle of the Somme. According to his army record, James was buried on 1 July by the 1st Bn, QWR (sic); the location was not specified. However, his body was exhumed from the burial ground after the war and he was reinterred in the Arras Road Cemetery, Rolincourt, France (grave ref. III. B. 7). James had served for 1 year 115 days. He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - Arras Road Cemetery Rolincourt (extract): 'Roclincourt was just within the British lines before the Battles of Arras, 1917 ... Arras Road Cemetery was begun by the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade soon after the 9th April, 1917, and until the Armistice it contained only the graves (now at the back of the cemetery) of 71 officers and men of the 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion (British Columbia Regiment) who fell in April, May and June, 1917; but in 1926-29, it was enlarged by the addition of 993 graves from a wide area, mainly North and East of Arras [burial grounds listed].'
Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 2 August 1916: ‘Dobson. Killed in action, July 1st, 1916, Private James Dobson, Sherwood Foresters, eldest and dearly-beloved son of Mr and Mrs GT Dobson, of 35, Lambert-street, Hyson Green, aged 18 years.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 2 August 1916: ‘Dobson. In action, July 1st, 1916, Private James Dobson, Sherwood Foresters, aged 18 years. His duty nobly done. Sorrowing sister and brother Ada and Arthur [Maddock] (in France).’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father, George Thomas Dobson, was his legatee. James' personal possessions were returned to his father in November 1916 and comprised letters, photos and postcards. However, his father wrote to the army the same month to say that three of his son's possessions had not been returned: a silver watch and prayer book and 'another book'. There is no information in the service documents as to whether these possessions were traced and returned to the family.
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