Great War Battle of Jutland 31st May 1916 Imperial Russian Order of Saint Anne Medal of Distinction for Foreigners recipient’s group awarded of four to Carpenter Lieutenant, one time Chief Carpenter J.W. Dodds, Royal Navy, one of two of his rank recommended for distinction by the Russians, he received the Order of Saint Anne Medal of Distinction for Foreigners in the London Gazette of 1st October 1917, ‘for distinguished services in the Battle of Jutland’ aboard the battleship H.M.S Canada, he having previously served aboard the corvette H.M.S Bacchante during the Third Burmese War in 1885.
Group of 4: India General Service Medal 1854-1895, 1 Clasp: Burma 1885-7; (J.W. DODDS, SKD. SHIPWT. H.M.S. BACCHANTE.); 1914-1915 Star; (CH.CARP. J.W. DODDS. R.N.); British War Medal and Victory Medal; (SHPT.LT. J.W. DODDS. R.N.).
Condition: Good Very Fine.
James William Dodds was born on 24th February 1864 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and having worked as a shipwright, then joined the Royal Navy as a Skilled Shipwright (Portsmouth No.131752) with Asia on 13th April 1885, being then posted to the corvette H.M.S Bacchante on 21st April 1885. Dodds sailed out aboard Bacchante to the East Indies, where she relieved Euryalus as flagship of the East Indies Station, and saw service during the Third Burmese War in 1885, transferring three-quarters of her complement to serve on gunboats on the Irrawaddy River or in the suppression of banditry.
Dodds then transferred to the sloop H.M.S Reindeer on 12th October 1886, and then saw further service on the East Indies Station, before being posted home to Pembroke on 8th April 1888. Posted to the battleship H.M.S Rupert on 20th October 1888, he was promoted to Shipwright on 10th July 1889, and then joined Victory II on 16th January 1893. Posted to the central battery ironclad H.M.S Bellerophon on 27th April 1893, he rejoined Victor II on 18th June 1893, and was promoted to Leading Shipwright on 28th September 1893. Posted to the battleship H.M.S Ramilles on 17th October 1893, she was the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet, and he as then posted to Victory II on 9th December 1896, being promoted to Carpenter’s Mate on 27th January 1897, and then put forward for a Warrant Officer’s Commission, was granted the rank of Acting Carpenter on 23rd March 1898.
Posted as Acting Carpenter to the ironclad battleship H.M.S Neptune on 8th June 1898, at the time she was serving with the Reserve Fleet, and Dodds was confirmed in the rank of Carpenter on 28th March 1899. Transferring to the cruiser H.M.S Fox on 1st October 1899, he then transferred to the cruiser H.M.S St George on 6th March 1901, she being the flagship of the Cape and West Africa Station. Posted to the armoured cruiser H.M.S Cumberland on 9th February 1903, when she was still under construction, on 1st December 1904 he was part of her first crew on commissioning, and Dodds then saw service aboard her with the Channel Fleet, and transferred with her to the Home Fleet in 1906. Posted to the battlecruiser H.M.S Invincible on 13th April 1907, he joined her at the time of her launching, and was then a part of her first crew on commissioning on 20th March 1909, seeing service in home waters. Dodds then transferred to the battleship H.M.S Monarch on 1st March 1911, being present for her launching on 30th March 1911, he was still with her on her commissioning in February 1912, and then saw service with her with the Home Fleet. Dodds was promoted to Chief Carpenter on 24th March 1913, and pensioned unfit for further service on 8th August 1913.
However he was recalled on the outbreak of the Great War as an additional with President on 23rd August 1914, and was then posted to the Staff of the Admiral commanding the Tyne Estuary. On 13th September 1914, Dodds found himself detailed off for service with the Chilean battleship Almirante Latorre, which vessel was then being built in Britain for the Chilean Navy. However with the ongoing war, the Almirante Latorre was taken over by the Royal Navy, and then commissioned on 15th October 1915, with Dodds being a part of her first crew on commissioning under her new name of H.M.S Canada, she being a super-dreadnought. Canada initially served with the 4th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet.
Canada saw action in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May–1 June 1916, firing 42 rounds from her 14-inch guns and 109 6-inch shells during the battle, and suffered no hits or casualties. During the battle, she got off two salvoes at the disabled cruiser Wiesbaden at 18:40, and fired five more at an unknown ship around 19:20. Her 6-inch guns were utilized for firing at German destroyers at 19:11. Dodds was aboard H.M.S Canada as her Chief Carpenter during the Battle of Jutland, and it was for his services in this action, that on 13th June 1917 his name was submitted for a decoration to be bestowed by the Russian’s. Dodds was one of two Chief Carpenter’s put forward for decorations, and he was eventually decorated with the rare Imperial Russian Order of Saint Anne Medal of Distinction for Foreigners in the London Gazette on 1st October 1917 ‘for distinguished services in the Battle of Jutland’. It is believed that only about 85 of these awards were made.
Dodds had in the meantime been posted to the Depot back on 19th October 1916, and then posted to the Staff of the Captain Superintendent of Torpedo Boat Destroyers on 27th October 1916. Commissioned as a Carpenter Lieutenant on 18th March 1917. An interesting note in his service records records that as of 23rd July 1917 he ‘was allowed to enter service of Turkish Government’ – the reason for this entry in his service papers is unclear, and remains a mystery, and at that time Turkey was at war with the United Kingdom. Dodds reverted to the Retired List on 30th November 1919, and died on 1st March 1937.