Percy Cyril Dodridge
Corporal, Alberta Regiment, Canada
Percy Cyril Dodridge was born 18 October 1885 in the King’s Cross area of London to his parents Henry Percy and Eliza Dodridge. He had six siblings and entered Alleyn’s on 2nd January 1899 while living at 39 Belvoir Road in East Dulwich. By the time of the 1901 census the family lived at 231 Friern Road, Dulwich. Percy left Alleyn’s in April 1900 having won a prize for drawing in Class 11, and went to work, by the age of 15, as a life assurance office clerk.
Percy, or Cyril, as he was known, emigrated to Alberta in Canada in 1909. His family remained in the UK and are shown on the 1911 census as living at 76 Boscombe Road in Southend in Essex.
Cyril joined the 31st Battalion of the Alberta Regiment 3rd December 1915 as part of the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force. His occupation is given as a farmer, he was 5 ft 4 inches in height, was aged 30 at enlistment and declared previous military experience. It is believed he held the ranks of Private, Corporal and finally Sergeant, although paperwork from the CWGC gives his rank on death as A/Corporal.
After enlisting he returned to England for training in Kent before being posted to France. He fought in the Battle of Vimy ridge but was later killed by machine gun fire on 3rd May 1917 in Fresnoy in France. He is commemorated on the Canadian National Vimy memorial but has no known grave.
Although Alleyn's School tried hard in the years after 1919 to trace all of its old boys who had fought in WW1 it was unaware of Percy's role in WW1 until contact was made in 2018 by Percy's great niece, Janet Blair, to whom we are grateful for the information and photographs contained in this biography.