Topic: Russell Nelson Hodder

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Russell Hodder (Service number WW1 34679, WW2 610176) was a First World War soldier with links to Wharenui School, Riccarton, Christchurch.

Russell Nelson Hodder was born in Pahiatua, Wairarapa, on 1 November 1897. He was the son of Charles Nelson Hodder and Annie Hodder (nee Cook). He attended three schools before Wharenui School, where he commenced on 28 January 1907 (started in Standard 2) and studied until November 1911 (Standard 6). He then went on to study at Technical School.

When Russell enlisted in the army he stated he was born on 8 October 1896, a year earlier than his actual birthdate, so he would be eligible to enlist . Russell had been employed as a clerk before he enlisted. In his medical record it states that he was 5'4" with dark hair and hazel eyes.

He left Wellington, New Zealand on 7 December 1916 on the Port Lytellton and arrived in Plymouth, Devon on 18 February 1917. His Next of Kin on embarkation was listed as his mother, Mrs C.N Hodder,  16 Station Road, Riccarton, Christchurch. He was part of the Canterbury Contingent, 20th Reinforcements, C Company. On arriving in England, he marched into Sling, the main New Zealand training camp, on 18th February 1917. From Sling he went to Codford Camp, England. He left for France on the 28th May 1917 and was posted to 3rd Batalion, Canterbury Regiment of the 4th New Zealand Brigade. 
Sadly, the casualty/active service form is missing from his personnel file so it is difficult to ascertain where he served and in what capacity. He was transferred often to reserve units, possibly in a clerical role. 

On the 8 November 1918 he was admitted to 20th General Hospital Camiers for two weeks with influenza and went on to a convalescent depot before being sent to 51st General Hospital Etaples on 6 December 1918. He was finally sent to England on 31 January 1919. It appears he was discharged from hospital on 1 February 1919. He was discharged from the army 12 June 1919. His period of service was 134 days and overseas service was 2 years and 160 days.

He married Annie Maher Hodder (nee Spencer) in 1920. Electoral rolls describe him as an accountant. He subsequently volunteered again in the second world war but did not see active service. 

Russell died on 10 March 1980 in Christchurch aged 83.


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Russell Nelson Hodder


First Names:Russell Nelson
Last Name:Hodder
Place of Birth:Paihiatua, New Zealand