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Todd, A., Lieut., 1917
In Sauchy-Cauchy Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France is the Commonwealth War Grave of Lieutenant Alick Todd, M.C., serving with the 18th Squadron Royal Flying Corps and 4th Battalion Durham Light Infantry who died 16/04/1917.

Son of Edward Todd, of Sidney Villa, Shiney Row, Philadelphia, Co. Durham.

Linda Gowans has submitted the following:-

Alick Todd was born in Penshaw in 1892. In 1901 he was at school in Scarborough, and in the 1911 census he is a boarder at The School, Durham, while his father Edward, born Shiney Row, Dentist, mother Annie, born Marlborough, Wiltshire, and five siblings including a Teacher and a Surgeon Dentist, are at Sydney Villa.

By 1914 he was a member of the Officers’ Training Corps at Durham, and one of University College’s shooting Eight which won the Gee Cup for the third successive year. The system of OTCs was established in 1908, with Durham University’s recruits attending training camp and being seen on early morning drills on Palace Green (or in the Covered Market if wet!).

Alick Todd took part in other camps beside those of Durham’s OTC. His connection with St Gabriel’s is shown in an account of the 1914 camp in Northumberland, where he evidently had a responsible position. ‘On August 4th war was declared and all the Tent Officers who were undergraduates from various universities were recalled to their Depots for they were all members of the Officers’ Training Corps. One of the Tent Officers, Mr. A. Todd, had to leave Camp to join his regiment before the close. He was escorted to Alnmouth station and the lads lined up on the platform to give him a hearty send-off. “For he’s a jolly good fellow”, “Auld Lang Syne” and the National Anthem were all sung and the train steamed out amid rousing cheers of all.’

Lieutenant Todd, like several of his fellow-campers and two more of his team members from Durham in 1914, died in World War 1.

One of Durham University’s archivists compiled the following notice of his service:

‘Alick Todd, an Arts scholar, B.A. (1914) and rugby player, served with the 4th DLI, the 2ndYorkshire Regiment, and the 10th DLI, attaining the rank of Captain and being awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry: the citation records “[h]e went over our barrier in broad daylight to reconnoitre the enemy’s barrier 50 yards away. On the two following days he organised and carried out two successful bombing attacks. He had to go a long way under heavy shell fire while making the arrangements with another unit, and was without food for 24 hours”.

Todd went on to join the Royal Flying Corps and served in 18 Squadron as an Observer/Gunner. He fought in France from 1915-1917, was wounded in 1915 and again in 1917: he was shot down whilst on a photo reconnaissance patrol on a snowy 12 April 1917, dying of his wounds in captivity four days later, aged 24. He is buried at Sauchy-Cauchy Communal Cemetery Extension.@

Alick Todd is remembered at Durham on D47.20, D47.043, D47.057 and D47.151, at Penshaw on P29.01, at Shiney Row on S124.01, S124.03, S124.07 and S124.08 and at Sunderland on S140.009 and S140.010

The CWGC entry for Lieutenant Todd

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk