John Dodds Price (1865-1944)
John Dodds Price was born in Blackheath on 29th May 1865. Referred to in the family as ‘Dodds’, he was living at the family home in Greenwich in 1871 and 1881, and he also followed a medical career, qualifying on 13th February 1889. On that date he became a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians. He married Jessie Elinor Smart on 20th February 1893, in the Bengal Presidency, India and they had at least two children – Kenneth John Dodds Price (5th June 1895, in Bombay) and Violet Elinor Dodds Price (b. 27th February 1902). This family was not in England for the 1901 census and he was recorded as practising in Assam, India in the 1913 Medical Register.
He returned from India, arriving in England from Calcutta on 9th December 1933. He was aboard the M.V. Domala and the ship’s manifest gave his profession as ‘Medical’. He gave an address in London of 2 Eliot Place, Blackheath, which is about half a mile from Vanbrugh Park Road.
John Dodds Price and his wife, Jessica, strolling along the sea front at Hove in the 1930s.
He died on 1st September 1944 at Camperdown Green Park, Ferring, Worthing, Sussex aged 79. He was a retired Medical Practitioner, M.R.C.S., and had been suffering from diabetes mellitus. He finally succumbed to chronic renal disease and gangrene of the foot. The informant, present at the death, was his widow - "J. E. Dodds Price". This was Jessie Elinor Price (nee Smart) who was calling herself "Dodds Price" – a version of the surname apparently adopted by this branch of the family. His address in the Medical Register of 1943 was 12 Lee Terrace, Blackheath, so he and his wife probably moved down to the South coast near Worthing to escape the bombing/V1 attacks in London as his medical condition worsened. Jessie died in Worthing in 1956, aged 85 years.
A summary of the life of Dr John Dodds Price was published in an obituary in the British Medical Journal of 23 September 1944. He was described as a great sportsman who rode in amateur steeplechases in his bachelor days and was captain of his district polo team in India. As a boy he sang in Westminster Abbey and was trained as a tenor. He felt a musical career too hazardous as his mother was dependent upon him, so trained as a doctor. After qualifying in 1889 he went to work on tea estates in the Bengal Dours and then the Nowgong District of Assam, where he completed nearly 35 years service before retiring to England. For his work he was awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind medal, first class.
During World War I he served as civil surgeon in the Nongong District in addition to his other work. He had carried out an investigation into kala-azar disease in 1896-97 and published papers on this subject, stressing the importance of isolation of healthy workers from known infected locations. In retirement he served on the Council of the British Medical Association in 1926 and 1927 and for two years on its Dominions Committee and two of its sub-committees. In later life he was crippled by progressive osteo-arthritis of a hip-joint.
The Descendants of John Dodds and Jessie Elinor Price
Kenneth John Dodds Price, the son John Dodds Price married Nancy Everard Hamfrey at All Saints Church, Simla, India on 16th August 1930. Kenneth had attended St Lawrence’s College, Ramsgate, Kent and left in 1911. They had two sons, Justin Dodds Price and Jeremy J. D. Price (b. 1934). The latter married Rosalynde Bloxham and they had three daughters in the period 1964-1970.
Kenneth Dodds Price arrived in England from Hong Kong on 11th April 1960, aged 64. His occupation was given as ‘Managing Director’ and he was stated as domiciled in the UK, living at 87 Bickenhall Mansions, London W.1. He was aboard the S.S. Canton together with his second wife, Winifred Dodds Price (b. 3rd February 1897, Bombay). Winifred ‘Dodds-Price’ died in early 1978 in Lewes, Sussex and Kenneth died in Eastbourne in 1982.
Violet Elinor Dodds Price was born on 27 February 1902, in Newgong, Assam. She married Robert Arnold Sharples (b. Rishton, 1899) at All Saints Church in Jorhat, India in 1925. He was a tea planter of Dibrugarh. They had a son, Peter Kenneth Sharples, in India, born on 25th October 1925 (d. 24th May 2016). Violet and Robert divorced and she then married Leslie Healey - they had two sons, Timothy (1936-2006) and Hugo (1941-2014), both of whom were born in Shillong Meghalaya, India. Violet died in 1950, aged 52, in Worthing, Sussex.
Angela McNairn, nee Sharples, is a daughter of Peter Kenneth Sharples, and has supplied the information on these descendants of John Dodds Price.
Kaisar-i-Hindi medals. John Dodds Price received the first class (gold) version.
Violet Elinor Dodds Price (1902-1950)
Kenneth John Dodds Price
Jessie Elinor Dodds Price nee Smart