St Werburgh's Roman Catholic Parish, Chester

Edmund Francis Dodsworth

Lance Cpl London Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (London Rifle Brigade) 2305

Died: 02-07-1916 age 41

Francis was the second son of George Edmund Dodsworth and his wife Penelope Ruth nee Wilford. He was also the nephew of Mrs Amelia Barker nee Dodsworth of Heron Bridge, Eaton Road, Chester. Mrs Barker was the wife of Henry Yates Barker, a Chester solicitor. Mrs Barker worked very hard for Parish, City and War efforts. The Barker family were responsible for many donations to St Werburgh's Church, including in 1893 that of the baptismal font which is still used today. They may have had a particular regard for St Werburgh's, as Amelia Barker was the sister in law of its architect, Edmund Kirby. Mrs Barker also made donations of money and goods, in order to equip the Convent in Union Street to treat up to 10 resident wounded soldiers. The nursing sisters there had originally only limited room for hospitalised cases. They normally treated few such persons, concentrating on a free dispensary and outpatient treatment centre, for the poor of Chester. As the toll of war injured mounted, the places at the Union Street Convent were gratefully used, mainly by evacuated Belgian wounded.

Francis was the second son of Mrs Barker's brother, George Edmund Dodsworth. It seems strange that Francis, the son and grandson of professional military officers, should enlist as a private soldier. However, that appears to have been the case. His army records have not survived and so no details of his army career are available. Lance Cpl Francis Edward Dodsworth was reported killed in action in the August 1916 issue of St Werburgh's Parish Magazine. Mrs Barker also placed a notice of her nephew's death in the Chester Chronicle. Francis Dodsworth was entitled to receive the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. He was buried in Doullens Communal Cemetery, Extension Number 1. Edmund Francis Dodsworth is one of the few Anglicans who are listed on St Werburgh's Memorial Board.