Hodgson Meets His Doom at Ypres

Among connoisseurs of fantasy fiction William Hope Hodgson deserves a high and permanent rank...
— H.P. Lovecraft, "The Weird Work of William Hope Hodgson"
Among those fiction writers who have elected to deal with the shadowlands and borderlands of human existence, William Hope Hodgson surely merits a place with the very few that inform their treatment of such themes with a sense of authenticity...it would be impossible to withhold the rank of master from an author who has achieved so authoritatively, in volume after volume, a quality that one might term the realism of the unreal.
— Clark Ashton Smith, "In Appreciation of William Hope Hodgson"

On this date in 1918, William Hope Hodgson met his fate in the blood-soaked, shambolic trenches of northern France, well-nigh disintegrated by a German mortar round. He was forty-one years old. England and the world lost a weird fiction author possessed of rare gifts on that spring day.

In 1916, Hodgson had been seriously injured at the front. Rather than taking the easy out, WHH rehabilitated himself and was back in France by October, 1917. There is no doubt that he held within himself deep wells of patriotism, cold courage and iron resolve. I would also speculate that he could not countenance leaving his fellow British soldiers to face the German onslaught.

World War I was the Mother of All Wasteful Wars, but losing people like Hodgson really drives the point home.

Sam Gafford runs an excellent website devoted to Hodgson. He has written a fine article commemorating WHH's final days here:

100 Years Ago Today