I suddenly thought of old Freddie and wondered where his books were. He came to me for his eyes and sold me a book he’d written: From Hell to the Himalayas. Later he added to it and published a second, thicker edition. Made me buy one of the new ones too! A charming and persuasive rogue was old Freddie, Colonel CF Hodgson.
He must have been about ninety in the shade in 1980 which means born ca 1890. Got pushed around in a wheelchair by his young girlfriend – probly a mere seventy year old. She was very good to him. He ordered her (and everyone else) about with supreme confidence, pointing his walking stick at things and directions to go. Yes, he was in a wheelchair but he still carried a walking stick. He was an officer in the British army after all, and was stuck in the days when that meant you were king of the world.
Having thought of him, I went looking for him. On the ‘net of course. Eventually found something on germanmilitaria.com. It seems he must have shuffled off this mortal coil, gone to the big officers mess in the sky, as his medals and his book are for sale as a bundle.
The writing on the card the medals are pinned to reads: “Bombardier to Colonel; C.F. Hodgson, Royal Field Artillery; Commissioned 8:8:17; Wounded; Wrote a book ‘From Hell To The Himalayas’; Book comes with medals and medal entitlement card”;
The seven medals (three WW1 and four WW2) and the book can all be yours for $875. The sales pitch:
An interesting grouping of seven medals ranging from WWI to WWII and a career that is documented in his written autobiography of “From Hell to the Himalayas” (King & Wilks Publishers). The medals are affixed to a section of heavy white coverstock with a handwritten notation. The medals are in order: 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal 1914-1920 (engraved “2 Lt. C.F. Hodgson”), Victory Medal (engraved “2nd Lt. C.F. Hodgson”), 1939-1945 Star, British Commonwealth Africa Star, Burma Star and the 1939-1945 War Medal. The hardcover book is a first edition, printed in 1983 with a colour dust jacket. The book measures approximately 15cm x 21cm and consists of 206 pages with a section of 12 pages with black and white photographs to the center. Also included is a black and white glossy photograph with “Col. C.F. Hodgson (France)” to the reverse, as well as photocopied pages showing his career in WWI as a Bombardier in the RFA, through to WWII.
I can’t find his books on my shelves at the moment. They’ll be here somewhere. When I find them I’ll quote some or other bombastic comment by the bombardier. I’m sure there’ll be one!