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Amy Victoria HODSON (later FIELD) (1901-1967)

Biographical Details

Amy Victoria Hodson (1901-1967) was the great-niece of Eugénie Sladden, being the daughter of Eugénie’s niece, Annie de Salis Hodson (née Mourilyan).

Amy was born in Brussels on 23rd February 1901, the second of four children and only daughter of Ernest and Annie Hodson.

On the outbreak of the First World War, Amy and her younger brothers found themselves trapped at the Belgian seaside.  Amy kept a diary throughout the war.  Her great-niece, Monica Kendall, has edited the diaries which were published in 2015 by SilverWood Books under the title, “Miss Cavell was Shot, The Diaries of Amy Hodson 1914-1920”.  This includes an account of her experience of the start of the war, which begins:

On the 1st of August 1914 we all went for our summer holidays to Crocodile, a little seaside place between Westend and Middelkerke.  I had a lovely time for two or three days while Mother was with us, but on the 4th the landlady of the Villa Hortensias, where we were staying, came in all of a flurry, while we were breakfasting, saying that the Germans were in Belgium.  Mother immediately thought of Daddy and Auntie, who were in Brussels.  I helped her to pack, and she left us in charge of Mlle Hannah, the landlady.  But Mother promised us to come back in a few days, so we kissed her and wished her farewell:  she did not come back, for the Germans came into Brussels the 20th of August.

There was speculation in Fred’s letter of 29th October 1914 to Eugénie as to whether, if the children did turn up, Amy could go to Badsey.  He described her as “quite a nice child, intelligent, sharp and can be very useful, of course speaks French as well as she does English, and might perhaps be useful to May in making her pupils talk”.  In the event that didn’t happen.  Amy and her brothers were rescued at the end of October by the American Consul-General and returned to Brussels.  Amy remained in Brussels for the duration of the war; full details of Amy’s war-time experiences may be found in the diaries.

Amy emigrated to Canada in 1921.  On 12th May 1923 in Winnipeg, she married Thomas Field.  They had one daughter, Miriam (1924).  Annie died at Essondale, British Colombia, on 12th January 1967.

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