Dorothy Winifred Miles (1922-2004)

Dorothy Winifred Miles (1922-2004)

Alfred George HODGES’ family in Dunedin NZ had very limited communication between, and knowledge of, the Hodges relatives back in England.  However, Elsie BLYTHE (née Hodges) remembers they had some correspondence with the family of a ‘cousin’ called Dorothy Miles. Apparently she was virtually the same age as Elsie’s sister Dora(thea) (born 31 December 1922) and was once crowned ‘Queen of the May’.

Dorothy Winifred Miles was born on 4 October 1922 in Southwark, London, England.  Her parents were Ernest Samuel Miles and Louisa A Miles (née Hodges).  Dorothy appears to have been the youngest of eight children.  Her brothers and sisters were all born in Southwark and were:

  • Gwendoline Emily (b. about 1903)
  • Louisa Hannah (b. 20 Feb 1904)
  • Ernest Benjamin (b. 21 Jul 1906)
  • Henry George (b. about 1909)
  • Benjamin A. (b. Dec 1911)
  • Alice E. (b. Mar 1917)
  • Rose L. (b. 28 Jul 1919).

Dorothy’s mother Louisa was a daughter of Frederick John Hodges – a younger brother of Alfred’s father, Henry George Hodges.  This makes Dorothy Miles and Alfred’s children (Dora, Elsie, Alan, Harold and Grace) second cousins, meaning they share the same Hodges great grandparents.

Ivor Hodges – the Dunedin Hodges’s first cousin – is also second cousin to Dorothy (see family tree below).

Descendants of George Hodges

Interestingly Dora also shared Dorothy’s middle name – ‘Winifred’.

Eventually the Dunedin Hodges family lost contact with Dorothy Miles.

Towards the end of 1940, at the age of 18, Dorothy married Benjamin H. Smith (b. 10 February 1918) in Lambeth, London.

The next record for the couple is them returning to Liverpool on 29 April 1952 from Lagos (Nigeria) on the ship ‘M.V. Apapa’.  Benjamin is listed as a building supervisor, and Dorothy is a housewife.  Accompanying Benjamin and Dorothy were David M Smith (aged 10) and Michael J Smith (aged 2), probably their two sons.  Their intended permanent country of residence was England, and their address was 25 Madron Street, Walworth, London SE 17.

In or before 1960, Dorothy and Benjamin moved to Florida, United States (they first received Social Security Numbers in 1960).  Here they had at least one more child – Deborah Leigh Smith (born in 1964).

When Benjamin died, aged 56, on 21 July 1974, he (and presumably Dorothy) were living at 354 Palmetto Street, West Palm Beach, Florida.

Dorothy continued to live at 345 Palmetto Street until at least 1997, and died on 2 October 2004 in West Palm Beach, aged 81.

Back of 354 Palmetto Street, West Palm Beach with label

Timeline and information sources

For a more detailed timeline for Dorothy Miles, and references to information sources used, click here.

Image sources for this page

(All accessed May 2016)

Top left: Richmond May Fair 2013-06.  Photo by Garry Knight, Flickr (photo taken 11 May 2013) –

Top middle: Aboard the Elder Demster Line’s MV APAPA in 1950 from West Africa to Liverpool.  In article ‘Elder Dempster Line – One of the UK’s largest shipping companies…by  Michael L Grace, March 24, 2008.

Top right: West Palm Beach, Floride.  Cocotiers en Floride.  Photo by Eighties 1980 at English Wikipedia.

Family tree: created by Caroline Maskill, 15 May 2016

Bottom of page: 354 Palmetto Street, West Palm Beach, Florida.  Zillow website.

For more information on the other Hodges-Shanks family connections , click on the links below:

Jessie Roberta Hodges (nee Shanks): The Early Years – Jessie talks about growing up in Dunedin, her first job at the Kapai photo studio, and meeting her future husband, Alfred George Hodges.
Binning Benjamin Whetton (1846–1924) was Jessie Hodges’ maternal grandfather. Read about his life and family here.
Harold Hodges / Agnes Haig wedding reception photos, 6 November 1954.  View more than 60 newly discovered photos of Hodges, Shanks, Haig and MacCallum family members and friends who attended this event.
Dora’s Ninetieth – The Speeches – On the last Sunday of December, 2012, a family party was held at the Harding’s farm to celebrate Dora David’s (nee Hodges) ninetieth birthday.  Click here to see some of the amusing birthday speeches given by family members in honour of Dora.
Shanks at Mount Peel – Jessie Roberta Hodges (nee Shanks) was born at Mount Peel Station on 14 September 1896.  The station is located 30kms north of the inland South Canterbury town of Geraldine. Click here to see photos of Mount Peel Station and nearby Peel Forest, taken in September 2016.
Elsie Blythe (nee Hodges) – Early Memories – Elsie talks about growing up in Dunedin, her childhood interests, schooling and work, and why she eventually moved to Wellington.
Photos of the Week: Descendants of Alfred and Jessie Hodges have been emailing ‘photos of the week’ to each other irregularly since 2009.  A selection of 40 of these family photos are shown here.
Mid-twentieth century Dunedin: Courtesy of the Dunedin City Council, view photos of the city and suburbs taken in the 1960s and 70s.


2 thoughts on “Dorothy Winifred Miles (1922-2004)

  1. Riveting! Amazing that Auntie Dora had virtually the same name. I wonder what the origin is of the name “Skellom”.

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