The Book of Soden

 History of the  Soden Family 1146 - 1950





James Soden, [1861 - 1944 ] of Albury,NSW

Hotel Proprietor of 'Soden's Hotel Australia'

PO Box 3038,Albury, NSW 2640

1894 - 1944

Another interesting Soden story is that of James Soden, born in Ireland in 1860, probably in Mohill area and his life and successful business career in Albury, NSW , Australia.

Albury lies between Sydney and Melboure in Eastern Australia. When and how James got there is not known but he did serve his time there as the phrase goes and worked his way up through all facets of the hotel hospitality business. It seems this was in his blood and so no one was surprised when he purchased the 'Old Building' as it was known, renovated it increasing the number of rooms from 15 to 60. At the beginning of the 20th century the hotel was ideally placed for those aficionados of horse racing to visit the Melbourne Cup . James Soden added on fine stables to cater for the high quality race horses that would be kept there as they passed through the area to the races.

The biggest names in Australian Horse Racing both horses, owners, trainers and jockeys stayed at Sodens during these year. The horses stabled there were Melbourne Cup Winers such as

1909 Prince Foot

1912 Piastre

1925 Windbag

1928 Statesman

1930 Pharlap

1932/4 Peter Pan

1947 Hiraji

1949 Foxami

1951 Delta

The hotel was also very popular with commercial travellers, shopkeepers and business people who came to inspect goods and place their orders. By all accounts James Soden ran 'a tight shop', never lowering the price of beer and maintaining a very high service standard.

James Soden died in 1944 aged 83 years at which point the hotel was put into the hands of George Carter who had started with the Sodens in 1907 as an apprentice.He ran it until 1966.He retired in 1968 and the hotel is still going strong. The stables are gone though the hotel caters for many events locally .

[Source: Fiona McVitty, Ballinlee, Co. Longford & Roberta

Soden Machnik, Montreal,Canada]



18th May, 1940



RAF Hero

18th May, 1940

UK/ Flight Lieutenant Ian Scovil Soden shot down over Arras, France

18th May, 1940 – June, 1940

On this day because of his heroic spontaneous action Flight Lieutenant Ian Scovil Soden earned the award of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) from His Majesty the King, George VI.

Flt.Lt. Soden in the last three days of his life was engaged in numerous attacks on German enemy aircraft. He personally shot down 5 enemy aircraft and possibly 2 more, and his flight squadron shot down 7. On one occasion when his aerodrome was being attacked he ran to his place, boarded it and took off through the smoke and past delayed action bombs into the sky and was never seen again. His plane crashed near Arras in NW France.




22nd December, 1779

Ist Free Mason Lodge in Mohill, Co. Leitrim was founded by Henry Soden of Hill Street, Mohill but a number of Sodens from the Church of Ireland community belonged at one time or another to the Free Mason Movement in several towns.

The earliest on record was Thomas Soden of Sligo, a grandnephew of the first Thomas Soden of Grange, 1594-1705. He was enrolld in Lodge 530 in Sligo on 22nd December, 1779. This Lodge was cancelled in 1813.

James Soden enrolled as a member in Sligo 989, this Lodge closed though in 1835.

Edmund Soden joined Lodge 854 in Carrick-on-Shannon and in 1889

John Henry Soden joined Lodge 76 in Longford.

It was John Soden of Hill Street, Mohill who founded the 1st Free Mason Lodge , Lodge 495, in Mohill, this.

[Source: Ms. Alex Ward, Curator, Grand Lodge Masons of Ireland, 17, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.]

Free Masons in Ireland -

Ms. Alex Ward, Grand Lodge of A.F. & A. Masons of Ireland, Molesworth St., Dublin 2. , 20th February, 1998




In his book ‘Times to Remember’ Wayne Salisbury recounts how, William Soden of Oregon, was taken prisoner by the Confederacy in Texas during the American Civil , 1861-65. While prisoner William had to visit the death bed of a sick relative. Being a member of his local Masonic lodge, he approached one of the sentries, whom he suspected of being a Mason, and got his ok to leave for a few days and visit his family member. The agreement for his punctual return for a few days had to be adhered to. He returned within his time allowance.

It is interesting to note that he was taken prisoner at the Battle of Sabine Pass, at which the Confederates successfully prevented the Union side from getting Texas. The Confederate leader at this engagement was Dick Dowling from Tuam in Co. Galway, Ireland. He owned a few pubs in Houston and at the outbreak of the Civil War he got command of the Davis Guard which with its expert use of artillery sank a number of Union ships and took over 350 prisoners.

Will Soden was one of them. William married Harriett Louisa Hayes , and set up his own carriage making shop at which trade he was qualified. He served as a town clerk from 1888 to 1906 . He then resettled in Edgeley , North Dakota at the age of seventy , to be near his two daughters. William died on 31st May , 1917 at 79 years of age as the result of a stroke. Harriett, or 'Hattie' as she was known , died on 25th August , 1917. They were married for 51 years.

( Source: Times to Remember by Wayne Salisbury, 1998)



Robert Soden, 1591 – 1st Soden mentioned officially on the island of Ireland

ROBERT SODEN (1591-1643??)

Robert Soden (Sodden) was born in Bourton-on-Dunsmore,Warwickshire in 1591,the son of Robert Soden, born 1556, grandson of Gregory Soden, great-grandson of Thomas Soden. He is first recorded in Ireland in the company of Lt.Col.Henry Smithwicke in 1651 as a private soldier and later mentioned in the Decree of Innocents ,the Claims of Adventurers and the 1689 Will of his brother,Thomas Soden.

According to the pedigree of Rosemary Ffolliott, Robert through his son ,James ,is the progenitor of the Soden family ,though at this time there is a Thomas Soden Junior recorded in the Hearth Money Rolls of 1665 for Sligo. On the other hand,Ronald Soden in his work believes Robert died in Warwickshire in 1643, though he says little is known about the movements of the Sodens of Bourton at this time as a result of the Civil War.

There is no recorded burial for Robert in Ireland. However in the year 1691,Elizabeth Soden is born to Robert and Jeane in Templemore , Derry City. The presence of a Robert may well indicate the grandson or grandnephew of Robert Senior, especially as this name occurs in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh later in 1732.

Source - 

Robert Soden, 1594 –

Council Book of Youghal, Cork

Index of the Decree of Innocents, 1651, VIII, page 560

Hearth Money Rolls, Sligo, 1665

Betham Extracts, National Archive, Dublin

1689 Betham Abstract Page 205 in the GO,Dublin

Ulster's Office

Wills Old Serves

volume 4,90/226,O-Y

Chester Refugees 1689

The Grove Extracts by Tenison Grove in the National Archives of Ireland, 1651

Penders Census for 1659

Pedigree of the Genealogical Office, Dublin by Rosemary ffolliott 1972

1689 Grove Abstract ,

National Archives,Dublin

Pre(rogative) Will 22 Jan(uary) 1689 20 Aug(ust) 1699

1689 Betham Abstract of Wills

GO. MS.227, pp. 168/169

GO. MS. 227

Pages 168-9




April, 1772

In the Abstracts of Tenison Grove Edward Soden of Sligo is recorded as an importer of Brandy. It seems to have been shipped to Mullaghmore,, Co. Sligo and brought to Sligo town and even inland to Cootehill or Virginia , Co. Cavan where there is resident another Edward Soden.

1772    Grove Abstract 2/434/....

            Executive Presentments

            Nos. 1055,1056,1057            3 Exan 25 bunch?  27 bunch?

13 April 1772  Impor(ter) Edward Soden on a ship loading brandy

            at Mullaghmore Bay,Co(unty).Sligo

            Ch(ancery)  Rejoinder & D(e)p(osi)t(ion). Feb 1627

            Mr.Smith & Bevil Predeaux

Source - 

Edmund Soden - 1772 Grove Abstract 2/434/....

Executive Presentments

Nos. 1055,1056,1057 3 Exan 25 bunch? 27 bunch?

13 April 1772



The pain and sufferings Hitler and the Germans brought upon the world in World War II were tragic and inhumane, but with the death of Hitler, Admiral von Donitz was appointed his successor. He was considered a safe pair of hands, a Navy man, not a member of the Nazi Party. However after surrender at the Nuremberg trial the Allies attempted to indict him for war crimes in view of the German Navy’s treatment of prisoners. However this was unsuccessful as the American Rear Admiral Nimitz had to admit that the US Navy practised a similar policy in the Pacific.

The Laconia , Robert Sharp and Flight Lieutenant Soden

The Laconia Order (Der Lakonien Befehl) was issued by Admiral von Donitz after the prisoner of war ship SS Laconia was sunk off the coast of West Africa. The Laconia was under the command of Captain Robert Sharp and was bringing 1500 Italian prisoners of war with 300 Polish guards and 25 aircraft to.a  prisoner of war camp. They were torpedoed and sunk by U-156 . When the German U-boat commander surfaced and discovered they were Italian prisoners of war , he proceeded to form plans to bring them safely to land. He radioed for assistance and other U-boats from the wolf pack Eisbar came to the rescue. There are dramatic pictures showing the prisoners standing on the deck of the U-boat as it heads for the West African coast. The U-boat and lifeboats were spotted by an American flying fortress and this bomber was ordered to attack the submarine by the American Commander Ralph Richardson. The plane attacked, the U-boats dived and the prisoners jumped into the sea. Some drowned , others were eaten by the sharks and the rest were picked up by nearby ships. One of the pilots of the 25 aircraft was flight Lieutenant Graham flewelling Soden. How he died is not known. He was returning to Britain after a campaign in Iraq. The captain of the Laconia that day was Robert Sharp, the same man who captained the S.S. Lancastria on 17th June, 1940 at Dunkirk.

After the Laconia incident von Donitz ordered all German Navy units to never rescue survivors. This was to be used against him at the Nuremberg Trial.

The S.S.Lancastria, Robert Sharp and Henry Ernest Soden

Of the many terrible sea tragedies of the world, the sinking of the S.S.Lancastira is one of the most notorious. It occurred two weeks after the Battle of Dunkirk, in Northern France on 17th June, 1940. Lancastria was evacuating men, women and children from that war-torn area. There is an estimate that nearly 5,800 were on board.  1,113 survived. Amongst the lost was one Soden, .Pte.Henry Ernest Soden. His body was buried in the military cemetery at Dunkirk. The Captain of the Lancastria on that day was Robert Sharp. 1,619 of the 2,732 died.


Dunkirk Military Cemetery, France 

Soden,Private,Henry Ernest, 2188507. 46 Company,Aux.Mil.Pioneer Corps.

Lost in the S.S.Lancastria (Liverpool)

17th June,1940. Age 27.

Son of Henry and Carrie Soden. Husband of Lily Evelyn Soden,of Yardley Wood,Birmingham. Column 154.


Commonwealth Graves Commission

John Fl Ssoden Alamein

Ian Scovil Soden, Pas de Calais

Frank Graham Soden, Imphal, India

London Gazette, 28th June, 1940 [ DSO for Ian Scovil Soden]

London Battle of Britain Monument [John fl. Soden]

War Memorial , Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, England

Ernest Soden, Dunkirk, Lancastria, 1940

John Flewellym Soden , Laconia , 1942

Researcher Alistair Jack at Kew Archives regarding the 3 Soden brothers and the Winchcombe Memorial, in Gloucestershire.

Royal Air Force, Personnel Management Agency, Innsworth, Glouc ester , 

19 August, 1998

Das U-Boot Archiv, Cuxhaven, Germany

References BAL/02/8/Feb

LV/G2/6 Feb.

Source: PRO ,Kew,England.

List of the crew of the U624 and the Report of Fortress pilot who sank the U624:

(U Boot Archiv, Cuxhaven,germany)

This is the report of the Fortress Pilot who sank the U624 in February , 1942.

(PRO,Kew, England.)

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