Bond of Sacrifice: Officers Died in the Great War

Continuing on the theme of new record collections of use to your Suffolk or Norfolk family, local or military history project, here’s a quick look at a new collection on FindMyPast.


This is Lt William Henry Jordon Dods. You can find him at Picture Norfolk (picture credit: 30129032899909) where the image summary tells us that:

“William Henry Gordon Dods was from Thorpe St Andrew: Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment. He was killed in action 21st October 1914 aged 22 years. Son of Major William Sandars Dods (Norfolk Regiment) and Eurice Alice Gordon Dods of Paignton.”

I won’t go into lots and lots of sources for researching First World War soldiers (if you’re a beginner, check out or buy a glossy copy at Norwich Millennium Library, Norfolk Record Office or the Castle Museum), but rather just look at this particular collection.

In total there are 2607 indexed names from volumes of the Bond of Sacrifice. The series was originally intended to be a biography of all officers who died in the First World War (from causes directly related to active service), but only two volumes, covering August-December 1914 and half of 1915 respectively, were ever produced.

What sort of information do the volumes include? Well, officers are listed alphabetically, often with a photograph. This is the case for Lt Dods, pictured above, and I would suggest it is the same photograph (although the quality is much better at Picture Norfolk which holds a copy of the original compared to a printed volume). It is worth noting that I couldn’t get the Regiment search field to work on FMP tonight, only the name fields.

Additionally, there is a biography of variable length for each soldier. Lt Dods has only a small entry,  including his full name, battalion, regiment, the date he was killed in action and the name, rank and regiment of his father. He is also listed as being of ‘Uvedale’, Norfolk – his address in Sprowston? We’re also given his birth date and enlistment date. Other entries include more detailed information, particularly about education and military career – including gallantry – and sometimes with names of spouses and children.

All in all, this is a useful source if you’re researching an officer. You can actually view part one here: for free, so don’t need an FMP subscription. It’s also searchable at and There are also physical copies in libraries around the country – check with your local one.

Happy hunting!

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