Mr George Charles Dodd


Mr 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.

A freemason, Dodd was inducted into the Light of the South Lodge on 2 December 1890 and was then described as a livery storekeeper. 

Dodd was married in Marden, Hereford on 16 February 1899 to Edith Mary Parry (b. 1867 in Hereford) and they went on to have two children: George Edward (b. 6 July 1898) and Leslie Charles (b. 12 March 1902), both born in Cheshire.

On the 1901 census George is absent but his wife and first child are living at 17 Oxford Road, Liscard, Cheshire. He was in the service of Bruce Ismay as 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.

Dodd initially joined the Titanic in Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton. When he signed-on to the Titanic, 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.

George Dodd himself perished in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. He is remembered on a family gravestone in Wallasey Cemetery, Wallasey, Cheshire.

His widow Edith never remarried and relocated to Cheshire, 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.

George's son George Edward died in Salford, Manchester in 1976 and his son Leslie Charles died in Wirral, Cheshire in 1974.

George's brother Richard would later lose his life on board the HMS Laurentic when that ship sank on 25 January 1917 following collision with two mines near Lough Swilly in Co Donegal, Ireland.

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References and Sources

Daily Sketch 18 April 1912
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Search archive British newspapers online

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(2019) George Charles Dodd Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1840, updated 17th September 2019 05:22:07 AM)