Lot Archive


№ 136


27 September 1994

Hammer Price:

A group of three to Private William Dodds, Duke of Wellington's Regiment, who was killed in action during the retreat to Dunkirk

INDIA GENERAL SERVICE 1908-35, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1935 (4611444 Pte., D.W.R.); 1939-45 STAR; WAR MEDAL, together with a privately printed Memorial Scroll, nearly extremely fine (3)

Private William Dodds was killed in action on 31 May 1940, during the retreat to Dunkirk, and is buried in Hondschoote Communal Cemetery, France. The following extract is taken from the Regimental History, 1919-52, by Brig. C.N. Barclay: 'Sunday 2nd June dawned, a beautiful day, with no sign of enemy ground troops, although air raids were frequent. During the day the troops left in small numbers, but the majority had to wait till dusk. As twilight approached the Battalion was formed up and led to the Mole, where they went on board a waiting ship. So the remnants of the Battalion reached England, having suffered very heavy casualties. Many fighting units suffered heavily in the Dunkirk campaign and most fought in the best traditions of the British Army. The 1st Bn. The Duke of Wellington's Regiment had, perhaps, a unique record. They were the first British Army unit to deploy against the enemy in the Second World War and one of the very last to embark at Dunkirk. Throughout this short but intense campaign they maintained their morale and discipline at the highest pitch, and inflicted very heavy losses on the enemy.