Alan Heaton Hodgson
Alan was educated at Oakworth School, Holycroft School and Keighley Technical College. When he left school he worked as a shop assistant in the Lidget Co-op stores, Oakworth. Alan's one ambition in life was to be on stage as a comedian. In the early 40's an impresario named Carroll Levis used to tour round the provincial theatres looking for talent. The chosen ones were featured in a radio programme called Carroll Levis' Discoveries. When it was advertised in the local paper that Carroll Levis was coming to Keighley Theatre looking for talent, Alan applied to be considered and after an audition, was accepted to appear before Carroll Levis. When the date was fixed for Carroll Levis to be at Keighley Alan was sent an invitation to appear on stage before the "talent spotter". But Alan had been called up a month before and therefore could not attend. What a huge disappointment! On the very few occasions Alan came home on leave, in co-operation with one of his Oakworth friends, Allan Parker, he always put on a concert in the local assembly hall in the New School at Oakworth - These concerts were always called "Private Hodgson Entertains" Alan was only 20 years old when he was killed in action - What a waste of life and a waste of talent.
Alan's sister, Freda Hodgson.
Alan enlisted on December 17, 1942, and his early service was with the East Yorkshire Regiment. He later served with the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders, and was taking part in their attack on the German Army in Goch a town in the district of Kleve in Germany, when he was killed in action on 20th February 1945. He was buried nearby along with a number of his comrades but due to the grave location being difficult to care for, their graves were moved to Rheinberg Cemetery in 1946 and remain in the care of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
He is named on the WW2 Oakworth War Memorial in Holden Park, Oakworth and on the Bogthorn Methodist Sunday School memorial in Oakworth Community Hall.
Keighley News March 3, 1945. [Page 66 of the Keighley War Scrapbook in Keighley library, which includes his photograph]
Mr and Mrs J. W. Hodgson, of 7, Myrtle View, Oakworth, have received official information that their son, Lance-Corporal Alan H. Hodgson, serving in the Gordon Highlanders, has been wounded in Western Europe. Lance-Corporal Hodgson, who is aged 20, was before joining up two years ago, employed in the grocery department of the Oakworth branch of the Keighley Co-operative Society. He formerly attended Keighley Technical College.
Keighley News March 10, 1945. [Page 66 of the Keighley War Scrapbook in Keighley library]
Lance-Corporal Alan H. Hodgson, son of Mr and Mrs J. W. Hodgson, of 7, Myrtle View, Oakworth, who was reported wounded in last week's issue of the "Keighley News," is now known to have been killed in action. He was formerly employed in the Oakworth branch of the Keighley Co-operative Society and had been in the Army two years.
An account is available here of: The Capture of Goch by the 1st Gordon Highlanders by Martin Lindsay
The personal effects of Lance Corporal Alan Heaton Hodgson were donated to us in the will of Freda Hodgson after she died a couple of years ago. Some of these items are contained in a framed display about Alan which we use when attending events and local history exhibitions.