Fonds SC345 - William Okell Holden Dodds fonds

The German Kaiser with his six sons. Sir Douglas Haig with Currie and Canadian Division commanders (less Loomis, 3rd. Canadian Divisio... Passchendaele, destroyed tank in graveyard. German P.O.W.s with Canadians.
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William Okell Holden Dodds fonds

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  • 1913 - 1934 (Creation)

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45 cm of textual records
374 photographs

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Biographical history

William Okell Holden Dodds was born on 3 July 1867 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He was manager of the Montreal Agency of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, and a keen supporter of sports in that city. Prior to the Great War BGen. Dodds had been a militia officer, a Major in the Artillery--3rd Montreal Battery--although his military career began in the 5th Royal Highlanders. He also served in the Canadian Grenadier Guards and the Royal Montreal Regiment. In 1914 he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force and became Officer Commanding the 1st Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, at Valcartier Camp and shortly thereafter was promoted to Lieut. Colonel. For a time he was Adjutant of the 1st Brigade, C.F.A., commanded by L/Col. E. W. B. Morrison. He sailed with the First Contingent, C.E.F., for England in October 1914. He succeeded L/Col. Morrison as Commanding Officer of the 1st Bde., C.F.A., and served in France with the 1st Cdn. Division. L/Col. Dodds, later in 1915, commanded the 5th Bde., C.F.A., on Salisbury Plain and in France with the 2nd Cdn. Div. Returned to England in September 1916 to command the 8th Cdn. Training Bde. and almost immediately, in October 1916, was appointed C.R.A. (Commanding or Commander Royal Artillery) 4th Cdn. Div., with the rank of Brigadier General. On 29 March 1917 the 4th Cdn. Div. Artillery became the 5th Cdn. Div. Artillery following the re-organization of the artillery of the Canadian Corps. The 5th Cdn. Div. Arty. went to France in the late summer of 1917 and thereafter fought in all major offensives as Corps Troops. BGen. Dodds later served in Germany as part of the Occupation Forces, and for a short time, as Military Governor of the city of Bonn. In January 1919 he returned to the insurance business, in Montreal to continue his civilian career. Later he became Honorary Colonel of the Royal Montreal Regiment and, in 1929, Honorary Colonel Commandant, Canadian Artillery.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of instructional material, much of it technical, pertaining to the training of a divisional artillery and artillery officers; instructions for units proceedings overseas; artillery defence schemes; operation orders, and instructions for activities at the front; including the Ypres area and on the Somme. Notes regarding the establishment of the 4th/ 5th Cdn. Div. Arty.; and relating to forward observation officers (F.O.O.'s); a report covers a visit by Maj. Gen. A. W. Currie to the Verdun battlefield, Jan., 1917. Several instructions relate to the attack on Vimy Ridge: one with maps for Counter Battery operations; reports of the assault April 9,1917; and defence schemes (5th Cdn. Div. Arty) in 1917. There are extracts of instructions for trench mortar officers; material on gunnery, ammunition, maps and air photographs; copies of messages; instruction etc. for Nov. Dec. 1918. There are maps of areas in Germany occupied by the Cdn. Crops. (Cologne and Bonn). Photos relate to Valcartier Camp, 1914, overseas operations including the Western Front and Aerial photos. There is a scrapbook "relating to the life and service of Brig. General W. O. H. Dodds." Others series include military and civilian correspondence and army instruction booklets and pamphlets.

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See also UVic Libraries Digital Collections.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Finding aid by W. S. Thackray, May-June 1999.
Finding aid revised by David Smith, July 23, 2003.
Revised by JF, May 20, 2020.

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  • English

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