Born 25 November 1886 Westport, son of John Howard Dobson (1852-1924) and Annie Augusta Prince (1855-1913)
He trained for the priesthood in 1907 at the College of St John the Evangelist, Auckland before becoming a deacon in the Nelson diocese in February 1913, working in the Marlborough Sounds. In 1911 he took a commission in the Senior Army Cadets.
This led to him leaving with the Main Body of the NZ Expeditionary Forces after the onset of the First World War on 16 October, attached to the Otago Mounted Rifles as Chaplain 4th Class, serial no. 9/633. He was one of 13 chaplains to accompany the Main Body. Initially he served on a hospital ship running between Alexandria and Gallipoli.
He was wounded at Gallipoli on 28 August 1915 while visiting Hill 60 with fellow chaplain William Grant who was killed, the first chaplain to be killed in action in WW1. By November 1915 Dobson was in the 1st London General Hospital unfit for duty but did work in a hospital ship and Brockenhurst Hospital.
In February he was present at Buckingham Palace when the King and Queen entertained the New Zealand Prime Minister, Mr William Massey, his wife and Sir Joseph and Lady Ward. By March Dobson was in France; he was wounded at Passchendaele. He was appointed Assistant Principal Chaplain to the New Zealand Chaplains Department with the rank of Major (Chaplain, 3rd Class) in December.
While serving with the 2nd Battalion, Auckland Regiment he was awarded the Military Cross. The citation “for acts of gallantry in the field” stated:
During an attack the battalion was heavily shelled prior to its advance. The regimental medical officer and many of his men became casualties. Mr Dobson immediately took charge of the situation, established a regimental aid post, organised stretcher parties and himself dressed wounded men under intense fire with few facilities. His example of gallantry and unselfish devotion to duty won the admiration of all who came into contact with him.
On 12 May 1919, he married Helene (Eleni) Paolos Georgoulopoulos (1890-1940) of Athens.
He was officially discharged from the army in 1920 with a total service of 5 years 15 days. He remained in the UK as a curate in Middlesbrough before returning to NZ to become Vicar of Richmond. In 1922 he was appointed to the Gibraltar diocese. Ethnic violence saw him move his family to Malta. Later he served in the English community in Lisbon where he died on 6 May 1930 of complications associated with typhoid.