George Charles Dodd was born in Westminster, London, England on 21 August 1867 and was baptised on 15 September that year at Lancaster Gate Christ Church, Westminster.
At the time of his birth his parents, George Dodd (1837-1901), a coachman, and Charlotte Firman (1841-1912) were resident at 7 Queen's Mews. Both natives of Middlesex, George and Charlotte had married on 21 March 1865 in St Andrews, London.
His known siblings were: Amy (b. 1866), Ada Ellen (b. 1869), Albert (b. 1871), Florence Charlotte (b. 1873), Walter (b. 1875), Charlotte (b. 1876), Ethel Charlotte (b. 1878), Ernest Alfred (b. 1881), Richard Firman (b. 1882) and Violet Maud (b. 1886).
On the 1871 census George is not listed with his family but his mother and siblings are listed at 7 Queen's Mews. They are listed at 40 Palace Street, St Margaret, London on the 1881 census and his father was then described as a barkeeper. George was absent from the following census in 1891 but his family were listed as living at 39-41 Palace Street and his father was still a licensed victualler. Following his father's death in 1901 his mother continued to run their public house, which was later the Old Anchor on Richmond Road in Twickenham.
A freemason, Dodd was inducted into the Light of the South Lodge on 2 December 1890 and was then described as a livery store keeper.
Dodd was married in Marden, Hereford on 16 February 1899 to Edith Mary Parry (b. 4 March 1867 in Holmer, Herefordshire, daughter of John Parry and Ann Mason). They went on to have two sons: George Edward (b. 17 June 1899) and Leslie Charles (b. 12 March 1902), both born in Cheshire. He was described as a mariner on both his children's baptismal records, the home address being stated as Clarence Road on the former and Liscard, Cheshire on the latter.
On the 1901 census George was absent but his wife and first child were living at 17 Oxford Road, Liscard, Cheshire. He was in the service of Bruce Ismay as his valet for ten years, as reported in the Liverpool Echo on 7 May 1912. By the time of the 1911 census George and his family were living at 59 Morris Road, Southampton and he was described as a mariner.
Prior to going to sea Dodd had faced the loss of his mother; she had passed away on 18 March 1912, with her modest estate passing to Dodd's younger brothers Ernest and Richard, both publicans.
Dodd initially joined the Titanic in Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton. When he signed-on for the maiden voyage on 4 April 1912 he gave his address as 59 Morris Road, Southampton; his previous ship had been the Olympic and as second steward he received monthly wages of £10.
During the evacuation Dodd was instrumental in directing passengers to the lifeboats. First class masseuse Maude Slocombe recalled encountering Dodd in a passageway and he urged her to get dressed and go up on deck immediately. When pressed for an explanation he confessed he did not know what the urgency was about. Other crew members would recount encountering Dodd throughout the night; second steward Joseph Wheat recalled him assisting with manually closing watertight doors in the vicinity of the Turkish Baths on F-Deck. Later on in proceedings steward James Johnstone stated that Dodd approached him whilst on the boat deck in the vicinity of lifeboat 2, asking him to hold his jacket and lifebelt and after which he never saw him again.
George Dodd perished in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
George Dodd, senior second steward, on the Titanic, who was among the drowned. Before going to sea, Mr. Dodd was valet to Mr. Bruce Ismay for ten years. Many years of his life have been spent in Liverpool, and he leaves a wife and two children who mourn his loss. - Liverpool Echo, 7 May 1912
Dodd's estate, valued at £2845, 2s, 3d, was administered to his widow on 21 June 1912. He is remembered on a family gravestone in Wallasey Cemetery, Wallasey, Cheshire.
His brother Richard would later lose his life on board the HMS Laurentic when that ship sank on 25 January 1917 following a collision with two mines near Lough Swilly in Co Donegal, Ireland.
George's widow Edith never remarried and relocated to Cheshire, initially living in Wallasey before later living at 45 Barn Hey Crescent, Meols where she died on 23 March 1950, leaving her estate valued at £8678, 19s, 10d to her son Leslie, then a traffic manager.
Neither of his sons married; the elder, George died in Wallasey in 1923. His younger son Leslie died in Meols, Cheshire on 22 March 1974.
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