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HENRY GEORGE BODDY

[BODD691] Henry George Boddy (born 1891, son of George & Sarah Ann, see GEORGE BODDY), was orphaned at the age of 10, and was almost immediately despatched to The Duke of York's Royal Military School in London, to complete his education. He was taken up to Chelsea on 5th September 1902 by an uncle (probably Edward Gavins). He was assigned to "C" Company, given the number 33, and afterwards wore the appellation "C33" on his forage cap as part of his uniform. All new entrants were allocated to a particular employment, and in his case he was sent to the needle-room to darn socks. After a brief period of that, he decided he fancied joining the band. He first chose drums, but was rejected by the Drum-Major. Then through the influence of the chaplain he was accepted in one of the Band Companies to be taught how to play the clarinet, and he now became known as "A28". As a novice he was allocated to the "B" Division of the Band, and finally progressed to the "A" or premier Division, where a special uniform of distinction was worn.

His conduct at the school was described as Exemplary, though he did have 4 strokes of a switch in January 1904 for not reporting he had wet his bed! The school was run on military lines, and he was appointed Acting Lance Corporal on 24th August 1905, Lance Corporal on 13th October 1905, and Full Corporal on 15th January 1906. He received his 3rd Good Conduct Badge on 5th September 1905, and his 4th G.C.B. on 5th September 1906, these being the anniversary dates of his admission to the school.

Henry completed his education at the age of 15, with the necessary papers for him to become a teacher. However, he decided instead to become a soldier like his father. So on 31st December 1906 he enlisted in London for twelve years in the 18th (Victoria Mary, Princess of Wales' Own) Hussars, as a bandsman. (He played a clarinet.) His service number was 6889. He did his initial training in York (arrived 1st January 1907) and his medical history showed that at that time he was 5ft. 1in. tall (he was only age 15) and weighed 73 lb. (i.e. 5 stone 3 lb.) The Regiment left York on 2nd October 1907 and arrived next day at the Curragh (the race course near Dublin), and was quartered in Ponsonby Barracks.

In 1910, the Regiment left the Curragh on 6th August, arriving at Tidworth (on the Salisbury Plain) on 24th September, after having meantime performed manoeuvres in the West Country. The Regiment became known as the 18th (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars from 16th October 1910. At the 1911 Census (which took place on 2nd April) Henry was recorded at Aliwal Barracks, South Tidworth, Hampshire, as Harry George Boddy, age 19, a Private in the 18 Q. M. O. Hussars. As an aside it should be noted that other barracks were at North Tidworth, Wiltshire. This was the occasion of the new King's coronation, as Henry subsequently related in the May 1937 issue of "The Tramwayman" journal of the Leeds City Transport:

"June 22nd, 1911, the appointed day for the Crowning of King George and Queen Mary, was a day of sunshine and great rejoicing. In the neighbourhood of Salisbury Plain, where villages abound, the desire to celebrate was no less evident than in other parts of the country and, as a consequence, I was detailed as one of a small band to enliven the proceedings at one of those Wiltshire villages.

"Our Regimental band was strong enough to furnish three scratch combinations under the pressing circumstances -- Bands being at a premium on such an auspicious occasion -- so, under the direction of the Band Sergeant, our make-shift Band motored to the village rendezvous where the entire complement of inhabitants appeared to congregate.

"The local Rector had quite a leading hand in the arrangements, but we soon found something to raise a smile, for an open-air Dinner was about to commence, and the Rector intoned the customary Grace and endeavoured to lead the singing of that popular Hymn, The Old Hundredth. By some mishap, half of the diners struck up with God Save the King and thus we did get an unexpected musical switch -- and how the Band chuckled at the frantic efforts of the stewards to sort things out.

"Sports and dancing were thoroughly enjoyed and when the full programme was got through, we duly boarded our 'bus to return to our barracks. Alas! We had not proceeded more than four miles when things went wrong with the motor-bus. Naturally, we felt somewhat alarmed as we were stranded between villages. However, we had to hope for the best and walk round in the meantime.

"Strolling aimlessly about we came upon a party still celebrating, although it was near midnight, and we joined in. The beer was by then at its zenith, so far as quite a few of the villagers were concerned. Eventually, even these belated celebrations came to an end, and as our 'bus was still "hors de combat", we whiled away the hours of the night by kipping in the 'bus. The 'bus proprietor subsequently managed to get another conveyance out to us, and our arrival at the barracks was something like 14 hours overdue and, believe it or not, we got choked off for getting unavoidably stranded. That, of course, crowned it all!"

At the outbreak of war on 4th August 1914, the regular cavalry regiments were mobilised, and reserve regiments were formed for the purpose of training new recruits and thereby providing replacements for losses in the line regiments. A new 11th Reserve Cavalry Regiment was established at Tidworth, affiliated to the 10th and 18th Hussars, to which Henry was transferred (as a bandsman) on 15th August. What percentage of regular cavalry men ended up in a R.C.R. unit, or what criteria were applied is not known. Henry was apparently not a well man at the time, and this could have been the reason for his selection. At this time he was given a new service number, H/47735. Initial promotion was rapid: he was appointed Unpaid Lance Corporal (20th August), promoted Corporal (back-dated 17th August) and appointed Unpaid Lance Sergeant (1st September). Later, he was appointed Acting Paid Lance Sergeant (on 10th August 1916). On 12th February 1917, the 11th and 13th R.C.R.'s were amalgamated into a newly reconstituted 5th R.C.R.

Henry thus escaped being sent abroad, though he said most of his colleagues were at Battle of Mons (24th August 1914) as part of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade, and many never returned. Henry spent his time training new recruits before they were sent to the continent, and it said as a result he was not very popular with the local wives and widows on the occasions he went on leave to Leeds. Whilst at Tidworth he joined an Irish Free Masonry Lodge, the St. Patrick's, No. 295, which was (and still is) associated with the 4th Dragoon Guards. He was also a football referee at Tidworth and on one occasion had to be escorted off the pitch in a borrowed raincoat, when the home team lost!

Whilst home on leave Henry George (a sergeant in the 18th Hussars at Tidworth) married 1. (at Leeds, Richmond Hill Chapel, 21st April 1918) Ada Mills (born 1890), a tailoress of 15 Doris Grove, witnessed by Charlotte Annie Boddy (Henry George's sister) and Albert Mills (Ada's brother). At that time he was a Lance Sergeant in the 18th Hussars, 5 Reserve, stationed at Aliwal Barracks, South Tidworth.

Henry George and Ada

 

Ada was not a well person, and others had tried to dissuade Henry from marrying her. Shortly afterwards Henry was discharged from the army, after serving his twelve-year term. He applied for a pension in December 1918, on the grounds of having a goitre (appeared in August 1914, and said to have been caused by blowing a musical instrument!) and also having D.A.H. (Disordered Action of the Heart) presumably the result of war-time strain. His application for a pension was taken seriously, but turned down. He was transferred on 1st March 1919 to Clipstone Camp near Mansfield for demobilisation, being discharged on the 30th of that month, technically transferred to Class Z Reserve.

Henry and Ada lived with Ada's mother (Hannah Maria Archdale, widow of her second husband Reuben Archdale) at Doris Grove, Leeds. Henry became a tram conductor with Leeds City Tramways, a job he held until 1932. Henry and Ada had no children, and she died (age 30, of tuberculosis and heart failure) at Doris Grove (20th June 1920, buried at Harehills Cemetery, Leeds, 23rd June 1920, in the grave of Reuben Archdale).

 

 

Ada Boddy buried in the Archdale Grave
Harehills Cemetery

(1 July 1990)

For the time being Henry George continued to live at Doris Grove.

Henry George (widower, a tramway conductor of 15 Belle Vue Avenue [where lived Martha Waites, widow]) married 2. (at Leeds, St. George, 27th January 1923) [LYNE692] Grace Beatrice Lynes (born 1890, see LYNES), of Belle Vue Road, witnessed by Florence Ada Tomlinson (Grace Beatrice's sister) and George Tomlinson (Florence's husband). It is understood Grace had been a friend of Ada's.

 

 

   
 

Leeds St. George
 without its spire
(c.1992)

 

Leeds St. George
 with its new spire
(6 August 2008)

   

Henry and Grace lived for a while in this area, where they had three children as follows:

Eric George (born at 11 Raglan Road, 24th January 1924), died of marasmus when 6 hours old, buried at Woodhouse Cemetery (26th January 1924);

Kenneth Lynes (born at 3 Belle Vue Street, 17th October 1927; baptised at St. Andrew's, 11th November 1927), born premature. He died (age 4 weeks, 13th November 1927; buried at Woodhouse Cemetery, 15th November 1927);

[BODD701] Maurice George (born at 3 Belle Vue Street, 4th April 1932; baptised at St. George's, 15th May 1932), married Margery Lee, see later.

Probably around 1928, Henry introduced "The Tramway News", costing one penny each monthly issue, for the benefit of his fellow employees at the Leeds City Tramways & Transport Department. In 1932, at about the time that Maurice was born, Henry was called in before the management and told it was not proper for such a journal to be edited by a mere tram conductor, and he was offered a post as a clerk in the offices. Thus he became a traffic clerk, a "wizard" with figures was how he was described, and produced thereafter the schedules for tram car crews. (His retirement in 1956 just about coincided with the end of the tramcars in Leeds, and his post does not appear to have been filled.) In December 1932 he introduced "The Tramwayman", which was now the authorised monthly journal of the employees. It was distributed free, the costs being covered by the income from advertisements.

In late 1934/early 1935 the family moved to the Wortley district of Leeds, first living at Malmesbury Terrace, a terrace house. (Their house in the Belle Vues had been a back-to-back house.) By April 1936 they had moved to Penrith Grove, a new terrace house also in Wortley. By April 1937 the family had moved to Wesley Road in Armley, a large terrace house near the top of a hill -- but as it transpired conveniently close to a doctor who lived nine doors away. In the December of that year, Henry suffered a heart attack, at the age of 46. Fortunately, the doctor nearby was able to attend, and he said if he hadn't been called, then Henry "would have been a gonner". Henry returned to work in March 1938 and later that year the family moved to a terrace house in Southfield Mount, at the bottom of Wesley Road and closer to the tram route.

Henry was forbidden to attend football matches and so on, and was told to take it easy. He resumed editorship of "The Tramwayman", but for only a few months. He gave up other activities, too, in which he had been involved, such as playing in (and occasionally conducting) the Leeds City Tramways [later Transport] Military Band. But War was not far away, which would have curtailed such activities anyway.

During the 1939-45 War his sole contribution to the war effort -- he was then in his late forties -- was "fire watching" at one or other of the premises owned by Leeds City Corporation, e.g. Red Hall, Shadwell, where they also indulged in a spot of target practice with an air rifle.

Grace Beatrice died at Southfield Mount (age 62, of heart failure) at home (11th December 1952), the month when the killer "smog" (smoke plus fog) was particularly virulent in the north of England. She was cremated at Cottingley, Leeds, (14th December 1952).

Afterwards Henry George (a traffic clerk, of 4 Southfield Mount) married 3. (at Armley, St. Bartholomew, 19th June 1954) Ada Johnson nee Hammill (born 1895), witnessed by Maurice George Boddy (Henry George's son) and Joseph Verity (Henry George's brother-in-law). Ada, widow, of 62 Back Hunslet Lane, was a cleaner at the Leeds City Transport offices where Henry George worked. Henry George retired in 1956, and died (age 68, of heart failure, following an influential chill) at Southfield Mount (30th November 1960). He was cremated at Lawnswood, Leeds, on what would have been his 69th birthday, 3rd December 1960. Ada died (age 70) in Leeds General Infirmary (22nd January 1966), and was cremated at Lawnswood also (26th January 1966).

[BODD701] Maurice George Boddy (born 1932, son of Henry George & Grace Beatrice) married (at Armley, St. Bartholomew, 17th April 1954) [LEEE702] Margery Lee (born 1931), see MAURICE GEORGE BODDY.

CENSUS DETAILS

Ada Mills
1891 Census  3685-64  Leeds, 34 Oak Street
Joseph       Mills    H   M 36 wood sawyer             Leeds
Annie        Mills    W   M 35                         Leeds
William      Mills    S   - 16 brick presser           Leeds
Joseph       Mills    S   - 14 brick presser assistant Leeds
Albert       Mills    S   - 11 scholar                 Leeds
Emily        Mills    D   -  9 scholar                 Leeds
Ada          MILLS    D   -  1                         Leeds
James        Stott    -   - 45                         Ripon
1901 Census  4224  Leeds, 18 Doris Avenue
Reuben       Archdale H   M 47 gas stoker              Leeds
Annie        Archdale W   M 45                         Leeds
Elizabeth    Archdale D   S 21 worsted weaver          Leeds
Liza         Archdale D   - 14 worsted weaver          Leeds
William      Archdale S   -  9                         Leeds
Pamelia      Archdale S   -  1                         Leeds
Albert       Mills    S-S S 21 boot machine operator   Leeds
Emily        Mills    S-D S 19 presser machinist       Leeds
Ada          MILLS    S-D - 11                         Leeds
1911 Census       Leeds, 15 Doris Grove
Reuben       Archdale H   M 57 gas-works labourer      Leeds
Annie        Archdale W   M 55                         Leeds
Ada          MILLS    D   S 21 tailor's machinist      Leeds
William      Archdale S   S 20 plaster model maker     Leeds
Pamela       Archdale D   S 17 worsted twister         Leeds
Henry George Boddy
1901 Census  4245-62  Leeds, 21 Holderness Terrace
George       Boddy    H   M 50 commissionaire          Leeds
Mary H       Boddy    W   M 48                         Cork IRL
Henry G      BODDY    S   -  9                         Leeds
Charlotte A  Boddy    D   -  7                         Leeds
Francis E    Mosey    S-S S 23 druggist warehouseman   Leeds
1911 Census        South Tidworth (HAM), Alival Military Barracks
Harry George BODDY    Priv  19 18th (QMO) Hussars      Leeds