Sam Hodder

Date of birth: 1897
Place of birth: Shirley, Southampton
Regiment / Division: Mercantile Marine
Vessel: SS Arcadian
Rank / Service No: Trimmer
Died: 17th April 1917, aged 20 years
Commemorated: Tower Hill Memorial


Sam was the youngest of 11 known siblings born to Charles John and Ruth Hodder (nee Mattingly), who married in the New Forest in 1874.

The couple are known to have had 13 children, so the 2 unaccounted for almost certainly died in infancy.


The family lived in Totton and Shirley, latterly at 11 Kingsley Road, Shirley.


Charles was born in Bramshaw in 1853 and he died in Southampton in1933.

Ruth was born in Totton in 1856 and she passed away in the city in 1929.



William   b. 4 February 1875 Totton  d. 1945 Winchester   Married Maud Bennett in Shirley in 1902.

Richard Charles   b. 29 November 1876 Southampton   d. 1942 Southampton Married Lily Kate Gradidge in Millbrook on 31 October 1903.

Kate   b. 1877 Totton   d. 1934 Winchester   Married George Edwin Carter in Millbrook in 1899.

Annie Jane   b. 1879 Totton   d. 1935 Southampton   Married Thomas Stone in Millbrook in 1898. Married Alexander Vine in Shirley in 1904.

Fanny Elizabeth   b. 11 November 1882 Southampton   d. 1959 Southampton Married George Daniel Meek in Gloucester in 1902.

Sarah Ann   b. 1884 Totton   d. 1956 Southampton   Married Frederick B. Walker in Portsmouth in 1911.

Emily   b. 1886 Totton   d. 1953 Romsey   Married Howard Cornelius Sheath in Shirley in 1907.

Ernest   b. 1887 Totton d. 1888 Southampton

Ruth   b. 1890 Southampton   d. 1891 Southampton

Edward FRANK   b. 1891 Southampton   d. 1976 Southampton   Married Beatrice L. Perry in Southampton in 1920.

Attested into 3rd Brigade Hampshire Reigment on 31 August 1906. Not only did he lie about his age (he stated 17yrs 5 months) but he was struck off for absence on 29 June 1909.



Arcadian was built in Barrow-in-Furness in 1899 and was requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1915.

She was converted into an armed merchant cruiser and was pushed into service as a troop ship in the Meditteranean.


Arcadian was, for a time, the HQ of General Sir Ian Hamilton in the early weeks of the Gallipoli campaign.


On the 15 April 1917, Arcadian was en route from Salonika to Alexandria with a company of 1335 troops and crew.


In the southern Aegean Sea, she was hit by a torpedo fired from UC-74. The troops had just completed a boat drill and this enabled 1058 souls to be rescued by the accompanying destroyer.


Arcadian sank in only 6 minutes, so it was very good fortune that so many survived.


233 Army personnel were lost, plus 10 naval ratings and 34 crew members.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 30th September 2016


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