Martlet Books

War Timelines for Herbert Hodgson and Richard Cook

Herbert Hodgson

Albert and Richard Cook






Hodgson joined the 1/24th (County of London) Battalion (The Queen’s), Royal West Surrey Regiment



4 August

Britain declared war with Germany

4 August

Britain declared war with Germany.

11 August

Hodgson marched with battalion for training at Gorhambury near St Albans, Hertfordshire, England.

16 October

Convoy of ships left Wellington Harbour in New Zealand with Albert Henry Cook (Richard’s brother) aboard.

11 August-December

Hodgson was in training at Gorhambury near St Albans.

3-31 December

The New Zealand Expeditionary Force disembarked from the convoy at Alexandria in Egypt and engaged with the Turks near the Suez Canal.






Hodgsin in training at Gorhambury near St Albans.

 January - April

The New Zealand Expeditionary Force remained in Egypt.


Travelled from England to France

10-13 March

In reserve at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle



10 April

The New Zealand Expeditionary Force departed by boat from Alexandria in Egypt.

25 April

The New Zealand Expeditionary Force took part in the landings on Gallipoli.

15-25 May

Hodgson was in the front line at the Battle of Festubert

5 May

25-26 May

With others Hodgson went over the top in Festubert-Givenchy area, captured a German trench and held it overnight. Suffered shrapnel injury in knee and shell shock.

20 May

Richard’s brother, Albert Henry Cook, was injured by bullets and shrapnel while landing at Gallipoli and then transported to a hospital in Alexandria.

26 May – 30 June

Hodgson was in a field hospital

25-28 September

Hodgson was in the transport section at Battle of Loos.


In the Loos Salient

20 December

Gallipoli was evacuated and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force returned to Egypt.






In the Loos Salient



Moved with his Division to the Carency and Souchez sector on Vimy Ridge.


March ?

Hodgson took seven days’ leave in Blighty



Hodgson’s division was at the Carency and Souchez sector on Vimy Ridge.

12 June

Hodgson’s division moved north to Angres Sector, just north of Arras – a bluff move in preparation for the Battle of the Somme

1-20 August

Hodgson’s division marched south to Baisieux, 10km west of Albert.

20 August – 10 September

Hodgson was billeted around Bresle, Franvilliers and Lahoussoye.

23 August

Richard Cook enlisted in New Zealand. His army record describes him as 5ft 6in in height, weight 140 lb, blue eyes, fair hair, and Anglican by religion.

10-12 September

Moved through town of Albert and relieved 1st Division in the High Wood Sector.



15 September

Hodgson’s division was in the attack on High Wood. Hodgson was in the transport section.

19 September

47th Division relieved by 1st Division.

12-30 September

Returned to the Baisieux area, billeted at Henencourt, Bresle and Millencourt.

1-14 October

Hodgson’s division billeted around Albert.

14-16 October

Hodgson’s division moved by train through Amiens and Étaples, to the Ypres  Salient at Hooggraaf near Poperinghe.

16 October – 31 December

In Ypres Salient, around Hill 60 to the east.

30 December

Richard Cook left Wellington in New Zealand on a troop ship to England.





1 January - March ?

In Ypres Salient, including around Hill 60 to the east.

3 March

Richard Cook arrived at Devonport in England and was sent for training to Codford on Salisbury Plain.

March ?

Hodgson was run over by limber wagon, injured, and sent back to England.

24 May

A postcard from Cook was sent from the "Codford Hills", which are on Salisbury Plain in England. The postcard indicates that he would be engaged in battle in a few days.

28 May

Richard Cook travelled from England through France to Belgium, where he joined his battalion near Wulverghem.

March ? – September

Hodgson was recovering in England, out of active duty. After some time in a military hospital near York he spent four weeks in Cloughton near Scarborough. He was sent for retraining in Winchester and qualified as a first-class signaller.

7 June

Cook probably lost his Bible shortly before he went over the top and participated in the successful attack on Messines.

10 June – 27 August

He was at the sector between Ploegsteert and Warneton. On 19 August he was briefly sent to hospital because of a sore throat.

17 September

Hodgson married Rebecca Moore in London.

28 August – 24 September

In training in the Lumbres area.

September - December

Hodgson was recovering and retraining in Winchester in England, out of active duty.

25-29 September

Marched through Renescure, St. Marie Cappel, and Watou, to the Ypres North area, to front line 1,000 yards west of Gravenstafel.

4 October

Took part in attack against Gravenstafel and the Abraham Heights. “We went over the top at six o'clock on Thursday morning Oct 4th and it was about an hour afterwards I got the two smacks, one in my left hip and the other in my right shoulder.”He was taken to hospital in Étaples.

8 October

Richard Cook bled to death in a stretcher in Étaples Military Hospital.






Hodgson was recovering and retraining in England, out of active duty.


Buried in Étaples Military Cemetery.


Hodgson was transferred to the 9th Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers

15-21 March

9th Battalion was in reserve at Seraucourt-le-Grand, 10km southwest of Saint Quentin on the Somme.

21-27 March

German attack forced a retreat of 40km to south of Arvillers.

28-31 March

Withdrew to St Quentin-le-Mott near Abbeville.

1-8 April

Recreation and training around Eu and St Quentin-le-Mott near Abbeville.

9 April

Battalion moved by train to Poperinghe in the Ypres Salient.

10 April

Battalion moved by motor lorries to Kemmel

11 April

Battalion moved from Kemmel to Stinking Farm near Wulverghem.

12 April

Battalion moved to North Midland Farm near Wulverghem. The Germans attacked but British counter-attack “completely restored position”. Hodgson found the Bible in this counter-attack but was invalided by a shell burst.

13 April-December

Hodgson was put on light duties for remainder of the war.

11 November







Hodgson on light duties in France.




Hodgson took boat from Dieppe to Southampton and returned to London.


Byrne, A. E. (1921) Official History of the Otago Regiment, N.Z.E.F. in the Great War 1914-1918 (Dunedin: J. Wilkie & Company).

Hodgson, Herbert (2010) Impressions of War: The Memoirs of Herbert Hodgson 1893-1974 (Oakham: Martlet Books).

Maude, Alan H. (1922) The 47th (London) Division, 1914-1919 (London: Amalgamated Press).

New Zealand Archives, New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Records.



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