Thomas Hodkinson, Private 45986, 12th Bn, Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 6th February 1918 in Greece, aged 34
Son of John and Rachel Hodkinson; husband of Sarah Jane Hodkinson, of 24 Garden Street, Hurdsfield, Macclesfield.
Thomas enlisted in September 1916. After training, he was drafted overseas to Salonika on 3 May 1917, where he was killed in action nine months later on 6 February 1918.
Thomas’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 8 March 1918:
LOCAL POSTMAN KILLED – A POPULAR SOLDIER
Official news has been received by Mrs Hodkinson, 24 Garden St… that her husband, Pte Thos Hodkinson, Cheshire Regt, was killed in action in Salonica on February 6th. Pte Hodkinson was 33 years of age and in civilian life was employed as a postman at the Macclesfield office. He had been in the service of the local office for 18 years and was held in the highest esteem by all his comrades. He was a regular attendant at Hurdsfield Church. Pte Hodkinson enlisted in September 1916 and went overseas about thirteen months ago. Two brothers are also serving, one in Italy and the other is in training in England.
Mrs Hodkinson has also received the following letter from the platoon officer: “You will no doubt have already received official information regarding the very sad death of your husband… At the time of his death your husband was on a working party in the trenches, when the enemy suddenly opened a burst of shell fire on the trench, and one shell dropped right in the dug-out excavation your husband was working in, instantly killing him and another man and severely wounding two others… Your husband… was so well-liked and was so willing and reliable, and always cheerful under all conditions.”
His death was also reported in the Macclesfield Courier the following day:
PRIVATE THOMAS HODKINSON
Mrs Hodkinson, 24 Garden Street, has received notification that her husband… was killed at Salonica on the 6th February… He … had written to his wife on the 3rd February, in his usual cheery manner, this letter arriving after the notification of his death. Mrs Hodkinson is left with two young children…
Private Thomas Hodkinson is buried in Grave Ref. VI. K. 25. of the Doiran Military Cemetery, Greece. His widow asked for the inscription “THY WILL BE DONE” to be added to his headstone. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Thomas Hodkinson, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Private Thomas Hodkinson is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church and Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church war memorials, and on Macclesfield Post Office war memorial and roll of honour. The floral tributes laid when the Macclesfield Park Green War Memorial was unveiled on 21st September 1921 included one with the words “In fond remembrance of Private T. Hodkinson.“
Brother of John Hodkinson, who served as Pioneer 304679 with the Royal Engineers; and Harry Hodkinson, who served as Private 555983 with the 366th Company Labour Corps. Both survived the war.
Lives of the First World War website
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920
WWI Absent Voters Lists: Macclesfield Parliamentary Division
Macclesfield Times: 8 March 1918
Macclesfield Courier: 9 March 1918, 24 September 1921