Laurence Hodgson 44 Recce

Discussion in 'Recce' started by Hodgy8403, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Hodgy8403

    Hodgy8403 Junior Member

    I believe this to be my paternal grandfather . I am estranged from both sides of my family and have been since I was 16 on my fathers side and 20 odd years on my mothers side. This doesn't bother me at all...but I am trying to research my family tree for my own interest and for my daughter to see my history. I can't even find out if any of my fathers side, including him, are alive. I know my grandfather emigrated to Oz (Perth, I believe) in the early 80's as my Aunt lived there. From what little I have managed to work out, is there any other info I should look for to confirm this is him?
  2. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Hello Hodgy and welcome to the forum.

    My first thought was do you know anything at all about your grandfather? Any photos at all of him in uniform?

    I would start with your father, get his birth certificate if you know his date of birth. Your grandfather's full name, address and occupation will be on there,.

    Then when you have his full name, obtain your grandfather's marriage certificate too, some details could be on there about his service, if he married after he joined up.

    We usually advise new members to apply for army records of the member of family you are researching, but until you can confirm if it is the man in 44 Recce who received the Military Medal, it could be a waste of money.

    Others may be along to help, as there are a few members who can help with genealogy :)


    (Mods-do you think this enquiry should be moved to a separate thread??)
    CL1 likes this.
  3. Hodgy8403

    Hodgy8403 Junior Member

    Thanks Lesley. I am trying to find any proof at all...I found a spurious link off the Ancestry site which confirmed he was married to a woman with the same name as my grandmother and used to live in Harwich, Essex, but try as I might, I am getting nowhere as I can't even retrace that link!! I have no photo's of any of my family at I'll just keep on digging to see what I can find!!

  4. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum, Paul.

    This award of the MM for L Hodgson is listed in 'This Band of Brothers' (Taylor), but not otherwise indexed - so no detail to go with it.

    He is shown as a Sergeant, so it may be he had a wartime rank of Sergeant (but a substantive Corporal) when the award was made, or he was promoted to Sergeant afterwards...

    I'll see what else I can find.


  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Moved posts to own thread.
  6. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Paul welcome to the forum, great to have another Recce on board.

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    From Ancestry there is a link to his TNA file for the MM award:

    Reference: WO 373/5/73
    Name Hodgson, Laurence
    Rank: Corporal
    Service No: 3651910
    Regiment: 44 Reconnaissance Regiment
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Italy
    Award: Military Medal
    Date of announcement in London Gazette: 04 May 1944
    Folio: 138
    Date: 1944
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record

    If you can provide as much known detail as possible we may be able to find some information

  8. grunson

    grunson Member

    The War Diaries have an entry for 27th February 1944 mentioning the award of the MM to Sgt Hodgson of C Squadron. The award was for the period of the crossing of the Garagliano which would have been roughly the third week of January that year.

    Attached Files:

  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Hello and welcome to the Forum.

    Good luck with your Research.

  10. Hodgy8403

    Hodgy8403 Junior Member

    Thanks everyone for the advice and apologies for finally getting round to replying. After months of digging, I can confirm that this is my paternal grandfather as a very skilled friend of mine managed to trace my family tree back, but I have no other records as apparently my granddad "did not exist" before the war, which leads her to think he may have enlisted under an assumed name.
    I have had no contact with members of my fathers side of the family for nearly 30 years, and on my mothers side about 15. I left home at 17 (now 44) to join the RAF so very rarely returned to my home town (Harwich) and subsequently lost contact with anyone who may have ,more info.
    I have no photo's at all as my parents divorced when I was 4 and contact with my father was very sporadic due to the acrimony involved.
    I am starting to look for books about recce now. I have "Only the enemy in front" and have read "With recce at Arnhem" and I will keep my eyes peeled for more info.
  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Hodgy

    Do you recall any other names (or initials) for your grandfather, or an approximate area of birth. I ask as Hodgson would appear to be a Lancs or Yorks name. Any idea roughly what age he might of been to establish an approximate year of birth.

    I assume that your grandmothers maiden name would have been Gostling. Have you a copy of your fathers birth certificate??

    Hodgy8403 likes this.
  12. Hodgy8403

    Hodgy8403 Junior Member

    Tricky Dicky, You're right, my grandmother was Sylvia Gostling. I have no other details or initials. Like I said, contact with my father was very sporadic thanks to my mothers venom. I'm not even sure if he's still alive!!!
  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Lawrence Hodgson in the England & Wales, Marriage Index, 1916-2005
    Name: Lawrence Hodgson
    Spouse Surname: Gostling
    Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1942
    Registration district: Harwich
    Inferred County: Essex
    Volume Number: 4a
    Page Number: 2395

    Sylvia M Gostling in the England & Wales, Marriage Index, 1916-2005

    Name: Sylvia M Gostling
    Spouse Surname: Hodgson
    Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1942
    Registration district: Harwich
    Inferred County: Essex
    Volume Number: 4a
    Page Number: 2595

    From this marriage or rather searching for Hodgson with a mothers maiden name of Gostling gives 3 results:

    Name: Diane S Hodgson
    Mother's Maiden Surname: Gostling
    Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1945
    Registration district: Harwich
    Inferred County: Essex, Suffolk
    Volume Number: 4a
    Page Number: 1146

    Name: Michael L Hodgson
    Mother's Maiden Surname: Gostling
    Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1947
    Registration district: Harwich
    Inferred County: Essex
    Volume Number: 4a
    Page Number: 841

    Name: David L Hodgson
    Mother's Maiden Surname: Gostling
    Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1958
    Registration district: Stoke
    Inferred County: Staffordshire
    Volume Number: 9b
    Page Number: 684

    Do you recognise any of the above?
  14. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  15. Hodgy8403

    Hodgy8403 Junior Member

    Hi Tricky Dicky, Massive apologies for not seeing this. That is my aunty Diane, she lives in Perth WA, father Mick, who I believe still lives in Harwich and Uncle Dave, again, I think he's still in Harwich. I haven't been back since 2000, and that was a fleeting visit to sort out my own divorce! I've got confirmation of his medal being awarded in the above posts, I am now actually trying to trace who he actually is/was. There is no record of his birth that I or my friend has been able to find out. I am starting to think that he may well have been either a renamed "Germanic" person who may have enlisted under a false name , in the same way Louis Hagen in the GPR who fought at Arnhem did, or had an underlying reason to be renamed. Hopefully, I'll find out one day.
  16. Chris Davies

    Chris Davies Member

    Hodgy8403 this is my Great Uncle - Lawrence Hodgson. He was born in 1910 and lived at Skelton Green until his death on 6 March 1990. He married Vera and had no children, to the best of my knowledge.

    In terms of the MM, it was granted for action on 19 Jan 1944 in San Salvatito where he was commanding a troop of the Royal Armoured Corp as Lance Sgt. What I understand is that he was holding a position when German soldiers attacked from 3 sides, killing a NCO by his side. He then left his slit trench and opened fire alone, killing 2, injuring 1 and taking another prisoner. The enemy then withdrew. This is confirmed here:

    If you look for records you’ll see a lot of activity on & around 18/19/20 Jan 1944 involving the 44th recce and other American divisions. You can also find LH’s MM in the London Gazette - 3rd page, left side, 4th down
  17. Chris Davies

    Chris Davies Member

    Hodgy8403 Looks like you’ve already found the MM records so probably worth adding that Lawrence was the brother of my maternal grandmother - Edith Hodgson - who married Kenneth Peattie. Lawrence was one of 10 children, all were born in & around Skelton in Cleveland and most, if not all remained there. Lawrence & Edith lost a brother - George - in WW2. He was killed in action in France on 2 Aug 1944 and was in the 5th Royal Iniskilling Dragoon Guards RAC.

    I’m in the process of creating a family tree, which is the reason for me stumbling across this post just now! Please reach out if you would like to connect.
  18. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    At the time, 56 Infantry Division had got themselves across the Garigliano on the night of 17 Jan 44 and had established themselves on the far side but were holding on by their fingers nails. The four key features that needed holding because they completely dominated the valley floor over which equipment and men had to be brought up were Monte Salvatito, Monte Damiano, Castelforte and Sujo. 169 Infantry Brigade had secured Sujo and 167 Infantry Brigade had secured bits of Monte Damiano and Monte Salvatito but Castelforte was still very firmly German despite 168 Infantry Brigade repeatedly trying to get them out.

    56 Infantry Division was running out of fresh troops and so they pushed 44 Recce Regt - in the dismounted roll as infantrymen, up on to Monte Salvatito and 10 Berkshires on to Monte Damiano to replace the very tired 167 Infantry Brigade.

    As a result, 56 Infantry Division were able to block any counter attacks but they did not have enough energy left to push on into the Ausonia valley which was their original objective.

    I walk that ground a lot as a battlefield guide and it is easy to see why holding Monte Salvatito was so important.


  19. Chris Davies

    Chris Davies Member

    Hi Frank,

    Thank you for sharing. It’s so fascinating to hear this!

    I now live in Australia but my mum, auntie & uncle (L/Sgt Hodgson’s nieces & nephew) still live in the UK. I would love to hear more about your battlefield guide options in this region as I have no doubt that they would like to visit. Is there anything more that you can share?


Share This Page