*1894 - †6 Sep 1916


Initials: H
Nationality: United Kingdom
Regiment: Devonshire Regiment
Unit Text: 9th Bn.
Age: 23
Date of Death: 06/09/1916
Service No: 20802
Additional information: Son of John Vodden, of Coldicott, Morchard Bishop, Crediton, Devon.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 1 C
Country: France
Locality: Somme
Visiting Information: 11.03.2003 PLEASE NOTE In May and June this year there will be restricted public access to the Thiepval Memorial whilst it is being cleaned. The memorial suffers from both biological andnon-biological staining such as carbon grime. The cleaning to be carried out will remove the biological growth which forms the greatest part of the problem. Once this has been carried out we will then be in aposition to assess what additional cleaning will be needed in the following year. Cleaning will take place between 5-16 May and 9-20 June 2003. During this work only the external face being treated will be inaccessible to the public. However, the MEMORIAL will be COMPLETELY SHUTTO THE PUBLIC for 4 DAYS from 5 to 8 MAY whilst the main arch is being treated. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to visitors during this time. The Panel Numbers quoted at the end of each entry relateto the panels dedicated to the Regiment served with. In some instances where a casualty is recorded as attached to another Regiment, his name may alternatively appear within their Regimental Panels. Please refer to the on-site Memorial Register Introduction to determine the alternative panel numbers if you do not find the name within the quoted Panels.
Location Information: The Thiepval Memorial will be found on the D73,off the main Bapaume to Albert road (D929). Each year a major ceremony is held at the memorial on 1 July.
Historical Information: On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank,the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July. Attacks north and east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended on 18 November with the onset ofwinter. In the spring of 1917, the German forces fell back to their newly prepared defences, the Hindenburg Line, and there were no furthersignificant engagements in the Somme sector until the Germans mountedtheir major offensive in March 1918. The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. Thememorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in thepresence of the President of France, on 31 July 1932. The dead of other Commonwealth countries who died on the Somme and have no known graves are commemorated on national memorials elsewhere.
No. of Identified Casualties: 72100

  • 1894