Size: 6.6 MB
The Great War may have made Hodgson’s reputation as a poet but it also killed him. Like so many of his generation he was an unlikely soldier and this first groundbreaking biography explores his early life and his reasons for abandoning it and volunteering for the Army. Today Hodgson is remembered as one of the ill-fated 9th Battalion The Devonshire Regiment whose fate in the opening moments of the Battle of the Somme has become one of the emblematic stories of the most costly day in British military history.
Before Action draws on Hodgson’s own writing and letters of his fellow officers to recreate the life and demise of a volunteer battalion from its formation in 1914 to its virtual destruction. Through their eyes and words we experience war: the Battle of Loos, where Hodgson won the Military Cross and the buildup to the Somme.
At the same time the Author uncovers the hidden meaning of Hodgson’s poetry. Its themes of family, friendship, grief and remembrance strike cords a hundred years on.