Walter Robert Dodge


Previous Dodges were in the cotton trade and were mayors of Stockport as far back as the 17th century. Walter’s paternal grandparents were William Henry Dodge and Ann Elizabeth Daniel. William was born in Stockport about 1828 and Ann in Holywell, Flintshire, about 1831. William was an engraver and calico printer and later a die sinker. In 1861 they lived in Hewitt St, Cheetham and had 4 children, all born in Manchester, William, born about 1855, Arthur, born about 1857, Walter Lloyd (Walter’s father), born about 1858, and Charlotte, born about 1860. They had a further 4 children, Anne, born about 1863, Sarah, born about 1865, Ada, born about 1867, and Herbert, born about 1869. Ann died on 21 July 1870 of typhus fever, aged 40. William married his second wife, Margaret Jowett, in 1871, and they had one son. William Henry died on 19 January 1900, with son William in attendance. He was described as a confectioner on the death certificate.

The maternal grandparents were Thomas Dalton and Sarah Ann Bower. Thomas was born in Dunham Massey about 1837 and Sarah in Wilmslow about 1842. In 1871 they lived in Grove St, Bollin Fee, Wilmslow with 4 children, all born in Wilmslow, and a servant. Thomas was a lithographic writer. The children were Mary Bower, born in 1866 (Walter’s mother), William Bower, born about 1868, Robert, born about 1870, and Clara, born about 1871.


Walter Lloyd Dodge was born about 1858 in Cheetham. At the age of 12 he lived with his widowed father and siblings at 41 Bishop St, Cheetham. In 1881, aged 22, he lived with his father and step-mother at 37 Bishop St. He was now a salesman. Mary Bower Dalton was born in Wilmslow on 1 September 1866, at which time her parents lived in Church St, Bollin Fee, Wilmslow. In the 1881 census she is shown as a boarder at a school, Clifton House, in Knutsford. Walter and Mary married on 5 October 1886 at the parish church, Wilmslow. Walter was now 28 and a buyer.

In 1891 and 1901 the family lived at Cedar Bank, Hawthorn Lane, Pownall Fee, Wilmslow. By this time Walter was a jewellery buyer and watch worker and they had 2 children, Mary Lloyd, born in Cheadle Hulme about 1888, and Walter Robert, aged 8. In 1911 Mary (mother) and Mary (sister) still lived in Wilmslow. In 1939 Mary Snr lived at 16 Oaker Avenue. (Walter’s sister, now married to Tom Burgess, lived at no 14.) Walter Snr died on 15 January 1908 of influenza and bronchopneumonia. Mary died on 19 March 1954 at Sandown Nursing Home, 55 Palatine Rd, and both are buried in Southern Cemetery.

Walter Robert

Walter (apparently sometimes known as Bob) was born in Wilmslow on 3 March 1893. He was educated at Wilmslow Grammar School and briefly in 1908 at Rossall School on the Fylde. We have been unable to trace him in the 1911 census but he later worked for J and N Philips and Co, a textile company who had a building at 35 Church St, Manchester. (After his death he was named on the company’s war memorial which was salvaged when the building was demolished and is now on the wall of a multistorey car park in Church St.) Walter signed attestation papers in Manchester on 16 November 1914, aged 21. His address at the time was 16 Oaker Avenue. He joined the 20th Service Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, service number 17337.

Walter married Mabel Spall at Holy Trinity church, Poulton-le-Sands, on 17 July 1915. At the time his address was Belton Camp, Grantham, and Mabel lived at Lingard, Park Terrace, Bare, Morecambe. Mabel was the daughter of the late George Spall, a baker. She was born in West Derby, Liverpool, on 5 June 1892.

Walter was posted to France with the Expeditionary Force on 9 November 1915. He received a commission as temporary second lieutenant on 26 February 1917. He received the Military Medal. He was killed in action on 2 October 1917 (although there is some uncertainty about the precise date) and it is likely that this was towards the end of the Third Battle of Ypres. He was buried next to his colonel, who died the same day, in the Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, grave reference I. C. 10. His major wrote to the family to say that Walter had been one of the best officers in the battalion. Walter left £127 14s 2d to his widow. He is commemorated on memorials at Rossall School, Wilmslow, the Cheshire Roll of Honour, Church St, Manchester, and on his parents’ grave in Southern Cemetery. Walter and Mabel had a son, William, born in Morecambe on 25 February 1916. He later became a lieutenant colonel in WW2 and lived in Cheadle Hulme. He married Helena Marion Connolly in 1940. William died in Taunton on 29 September 1991 and Helena on 12 March 2014. We have been in contact with William and Helena’s son, Simon, in the USA and are grateful for his assistance in compiling this account. During WW1, Mabel lived in Morecambe but in 1918 she was living at 97 Boswell St, Liverpool, and later had an address at 24 Thelwall Avenue, Wilbraham Rd, Fallowfield. She died on 1 November 1980 at Northwood, Middlesex, leaving £5454.