CAPTAIN PERCY REED DODD
THE CAMERONIANS, SCOTTISH RIFLES
10TH MARCH 1915 AGE 33
BURIED: BROWNS ROAD MILITARY CEMETERY, FESTUBERT, FRANCE
Captain Percy Dodd was killed in the first hour of the first day of the battle of Neuve Chapelle "gallantly leading his men" in an attack on the German trenches. His inscription quotes Siward, leader of the victorious English army in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Siward's son, Young Siward, is killed in the fighting. The context of the quotation gives it extra meaning.
Ross: Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt: He only lived till he was but a man; the which no sooner had his prowess confirm'd in the unshrinking station where he fought, but like a man he died.
Siward: Then he is dead?
Ross: Ay, and brought off the field: your cause of sorrow must not be measured by his worth, for then it hath no end.
Siward: Had he his hurts before?
Ross: Ay, on the front.
Siward: Why then, God's soldier be he! Had I as many sons as I have hairs, I would not wish them to a fairer death: And so, his knell is knoll'd.
"Had he his hurts before?" "Ay, on the front". Were his wounds on the front of his body? Yes. Young Siward, like Percy Dodd, was facing the enemy when he was killed. John Dodd, Percy's father, had been a soldier in the 78th Highlanders. Like Siward, knowing the manner of his son's death would have brought him some comfort.