Frederick William DODD

DODD, Frederick William

Service Numbers: 1320, Q221718
Enlisted: 9 August 1915, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 18th Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps
Born: Townsville, Queensland, 11 February 1888
Home Town: Kuranda, Tablelands, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Naturalist
Died: Natural causes, Ravenshoe, Queensland, 21 November 1962, aged 74 years
Cemetery: Ravenshoe General Cemetery, Queensland
Memorials: Kuranda State School
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World War 1 Service

9 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1320, Brisbane, Queensland
30 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1320, 11th Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
30 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1320, 11th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Suffolk, Sydney
19 Apr 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 1320, 11th Light Horse Regiment, Battles of Gaza , Shell wound (right thigh)
30 Oct 1917: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 1320, 11th Light Horse Regiment

World War 2 Service

1 May 1942: Enlisted Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2, Private, SN Q221718, Ravenshoe, Queensland
2 May 1942: Involvement Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2, Private, SN Q221718, Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC), Homeland Defence - Militia and non deployed forces
21 Oct 1945: Discharged Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2, Private, SN Q221718, 18th Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps

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Biography contributed by Paul Trevor

'Letter from Trooper F. W. Dodd.

The following is a copy of a letter from Trooper F. W. Dodd, of Kuranda, written from Egypt on 4th: -

Dear Father, - You will have received word by now re my being admitted to hospital. I have a shrapnel bullet in right thigh, but am mending rapidly; just a fortnight yesterday since I got it. Can hop about on crutches comfortably now, and can even limp a little without them. Shall be able to dispense, with them altogether soon. By jove, my usual bad luck stuck to me, I caught one of the first shells to burst over us, together with two other chaps, both leg wounds also. This was a big fight to which Rafa, etc., were only small affairs, bigger too than the Romani battle. There were English infantry in it too, any amount of them, together with our brigade, and the L.H. and several tanks. We started to advance just after daybreak, and had gone something like a couple of miles, when we extended in fighting form, and soon afterwards I got mine, before we had even opened fire (stiff luck, eh?)

I saw a tank moving a little way ahead of us, but hadn't the luck to see it in action. It took a redoubt, and was soon afterwards hit, and we could see the smoke over a rise where it was burning (the oil in it I suppose). I think the crew got away but can't say for certain. By jove, what pluck they must have, poor beggars! Fancy being shut up in a machine like that, so slow moving, and such an easy mark in open country.

Our front extended for miles. We were on the right of the British, and the L.H. next to us on the extreme right. One of our chaps, who came over with me, and afterwards got into the regiment, was killed, and two other wounded. Two others who were with us at Ferdan were wounded, one (I think) fatally. By jove, the shrapnel was hot, and later the machine gun and rifle fire (which I did not get up to, although when lying waiting to be carried away, an occasional bullet, whizzed by or landed close) were much worse from, what I hear. There was absolutely no cover, except when we were behind a ridge, and of course, the barley in places (about 15 inches high) afforded a certain amount of cover to men lying down. The "Joe Burkes" of course were strongly entrenched in shrapnel proof redoubts, with prickly pear instead of barbed wire (I am told, but of course saw nothing). It was a battle comparable to some of the big fights in France, and several Gallipoli men said it was worse than over there. You see we had such a long way to advance, over open ground, on which the Turks knew the range of every rise and hollow perfectly.

So you see I have had a taste of real fighting, even though I did not get right into the thick of it. The blow was as if I had been hit with a big hammer, and I dropped at once, bled freely but not for long. One of my mates (been together for over 12 months) ripped my trousers open and put on a field dressing. Later on stretcher bearers came along and dressed it a little better, after which we lay for an hour or more when we were carried back, put on stretchers on camels, one on each side and carried back for about 2 miles, to a dressing station, where the wound was cleaned and an injection put in to stop poisoning. Then in a cart with a spring mattress bottom, holding three men, to a clearing station where I got an injection against tetanus, and then motor ambulances to head of line. Sandcart about 3 miles, motor another 5 or 6. All the way I had a rough time, every little jolt (and there were many big ones, the roads being bad) used to give me an awful time, the muscles in the groin and hip evidently being very badly bruised. Strange to say, the wound itself, never troubled me, only the muscles, which must have been twisted, I think. Trying to twist in bed was just the same, but this wore off after a week or so.

At the Railhead I had to wait for 2½ days, the more serious cases being shifted first, and then only got to El Arish, where we remained another 4½ days. From their to Kantara, which we reached about 2 o'dock one morning and shifted again at 10, reaching here about 4 or 5 in the evening. Attention good everywhere. On the Red Cross trains we were served with cigarettes, lollies, biscuits, etc., by Y.M.C.A. and British Red Cross, and here we received similar gifts, socks etc., from our own Red Cross. Some new nurses arrived here a few days ago, one named Dodd, who has visited Kuranda a few times, I remember once when she was there.' from The Northern Herald 13 Jul 1917 (nla.gov.au)

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