On this day in 1916, Henry ‘Harry’ Vodden (1893-1916) was killed in action in the French village of Ginchy in the Great War.
Harry, who was 23, was a private in the 9th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment when he lost his life.
He was reported as ‘wounded and missing’ in The Western Times on January 17, 1917 – four months after he was killed.
His picture with the headline ‘missing’ was published in the newspaper in June that year.
Eight officers and 100 men of the battalion were cut down by machine gun fire and heavy shelling in Ginchy on September 6, 1916.
The 9th suffered 730 casualties in three days.
Henry died three days before the Battle of Ginchy in which the 16th (Irish) Division captured the German-held village.
Harry, who went to war in 1915 after working at Sandford, is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and on Morchard Bishop War Memorial.
Harry’s sister Jane Vodden (1886-1959) married John Roberts (1886-1939) on June 27, 1909 in Crediton. John – whose brothers Archie, Harry and Walter served in the Great War – was the son of Henry Roberts (1861-1937) and Mary Ann Kerslake (1859-1933). Henry was the fifth son of John Roberts (1829-1919), my great-great grandfather who had 30 grandsons serving in the Great War.
Born in Woolfardisworthy in 1893, Harry was the son of John Vodden (1854-1925) and Sarah Ann Gardiner (1867-1906). In 1901, aged seven, he was living with his parents at East Emlett Cottage, Woolfardisworthy. His father was a shepherd. His parents lived at Coldicott, Morchard Bishop when he went to war.