Hodge was born in Sunderland, the son of John Rowland Hodge and Emily (née Davis). He entered the shipbuilding industry and later founded his own company, the Northumberland Shipbuilding Company, of which he was managing director for more than twenty years. He was also chairman of Eltringhams Ltd, another shipbuilder.
He was created a Baronet in the 1921 New Year Honours for his company's services during the First World War, despite a conviction in 1918 for "food hoarding". The Hodges were fined £600 and £100 costs for hoarding over a ton of food. The BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are? broadcast on 24 September 2008, in which model Jodie Kidd traced her ancestors (Hodge was her great-grandfather), suggested that he may have bought his honour from David Lloyd George, part of the scandal that led to the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.
The programme reported that the archives of Parliament contain letters to Lloyd George, from Winston Churchill complaining of having been offered a bribe of £5,000, and from King George V complaining of the honour having been granted.
- Obituary, The Times, 23 September 1950
- Time magazine online
- Who Do You Think You Are?
- Sunday Sun, 13 April 2008
- Vera, Countess Cathcart at thepeerage
- Picture of Visit of George V to Northumberland Shipbuilding Company
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