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Hogan-J-S-Pte-5889

Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918

 

Pte James Stephen Hogan, AWM Collection

P06914.001

 

Hogan J S     Pte    5889    James Stephen      22 Inf Bn    21    State School teacher    Single    R C       

Address:    Essendon, Clarinda Rd, 23   

Next of Kin:    Hogan, Catherine, Mrs, mother, 23 Clarinda Rd, Essendon

                                                                                668 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds

Enlisted:    23 Mar 1916       

Embarked:     A71 Nestor 2 Oct 1916  

Prior Service:  2 years Senior Cadets area 67B; 1 year Citizen Forces Bendigo Exempt

 

Date of death: 04/10/1917

CWGC: "Son of Roderick and Catherine Hogan, of 668, Alexander Rd., Moonee Ponds, Victoria. Native of Bendigo, Victoria".

YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

 

A Brother’s Bequest

 

By Marilyn Kenny

 

'Bomb. James S Hogan',The Trainee, Special War

Number, 1919, page 22.

 

Just a month after she had learnt that her son had been Killed in Action a mother wrote to the Education Department. She enclosed an application from her youngest child, Doreen, for the position of 2nd Class Junior Teacher in the Essendon District. 

 

Mrs. Catherine Hogan appealed for the appointment writing. “In one of my soldier son’s last letters he said,

 

If anything should happen to write to the Education Department and state your position. Doreen should get the vacancy created by my death. She has first right to it, she should be appointed 2 Class JT [Junior Teacher], after one year practical training she will be eligible for a studentship at the Teachers Training College. If I am spared I will see her through. 

 

Mrs. Hogan continued- The carrying out of my son’s wish for his little sister lies in the hands of your Department. I have been widowed twelve years and all I had went on that boy and his sister (A. H. Hogan, teacher Kinglake West) who is the only one earning now. Trusting to hear soon I beg to remain respectfully yours."

 

Frank Tate (1864 –1939), Director of Education from 1902 to 1928.

Photo: The Herald, March 1924.

 

The Family

 

James Stephen Hogan was one of four children born to Catherine Anne and Roderick James (Rody) Hogan who had been married in 1892. James, born 1895, was the eldest boy, he having three siblings - Annie Kathleen (known as Daisy) born 1893, Bridget Doreen born 1900 and Edward Roderick (known as Eric) born 1897. The family made up one of the 8,000 households in Bendigo and lived in modern five room weatherboard house with bathroom in Chapel St. Rody Hogan was in partnership with his father, James, and brother, James, in a long established and highly regarded coach making business. Their buggies, gigs, farm wagons and delivery carts were lauded as substantially built and clean finished vehicles, and at its premises in Chapel St the firm displayed the many gold and silver medals awarded by the Bendigo Agricultural Society. 

 

St Kilian’s Bendigo, courtesy Betula 103, Trip Advisor.

 

Elementary School

 

James, along with several hundred others, received his elementary education from the Sisters of Mercy and the Marist Brothers who operated St Kilian’s Schools adjacent to his home. The Marist Brothers' School boasted a fine choir, band, miniature rifle range and cadets. The family worshipped at St Kilian’s Church in the same complex. This exposed James to the Irish traditions of the Sisters, the French of the Brothers and the Prussian/Bavarian ones of Father Backhaus, who had dedicated the church to a patron saint of Germany and Wilhelm Vahland the German born architect of Bendigo who designed this, the largest wooden church in the country. The Chinese community in Bendigo also had a high profile especially during the Easter Fair. In 1906, aged 39, after a three year illness, Rody Hogan died from a lung disease. His will was not probated until 1910 and showed a complicated estate with the house mortgaged and debts. He specifically bequeathed his gold chain to his son James. 

 

High School

 

In 1910 James became one of 150 -250 pupils attending Bendigo High School. This had been established in 1907 as a Continuation School, with a special role in preparing pupils for teaching careers, and was one of four high schools established in regional Victoria. The accommodation, however, was wretched, classes being held in four different locations including the Showgrounds, the old Gaol and School of Mines. Schooling extended over two years and students presented for University assessed examinations such as arithmetic and algebra which James passed in 1911. The school also had a Senior Cadet Unit which, along with 750 other cadets from Victoria’s secondary schools, participated in Easter training camps at Langwarrin. 

 

Seniors Cadets Defending the Camp, Weekly Times April 1910. 

 

James completed the Junior Public examination (Intermediate/Year 10) at the end of December and came fifth in the school shooting competition. 

 

Junior Teacher

 

In March 1912 James became one of the 5,710 teachers instructing Victoria’s 210,000 children. His maternal aunt, Elisabeth Brennan (1863-1944), taught at the local White Hills School, giving him background into the role. As a Junior Teacher 3rd Class he was placed on probation at Eaglehawk School No 210. This was a complex of buildings located about an hour’s walk north from James’ central Bendigo home. The total enrollment hovered at 900, the rooms were overcrowded, and there were drainage and staffing problems. James had to teach across eleven subjects and took seven hours per week instruction from senior teachers after school until 6-15  pm and on Saturday mornings. Junior Teachers were responsible for organizing events, such as the visit from Father Christmas. His salary was £40 per annum which rose to £50 per annum in 1913. 

 

Teachers were regularly reported on by School Inspectors. James’ initial assessment was two weeks after commencement… appears a fair teacher. He has some energy in him but is nervous and diffident due to his want of experience. His discipline at present is poor. By August he was still a fair teacher, maintained good discipline. Promises Well. In 1913 James was a 2nd Class JT and the verdict was inexperienced but willing. He needs a good deed of guidance at present. At the end of the year he was described as earnest and eager to excel. 

 

Moonee Ponds

 

 

The old St Monica’s Moonee Ponds 1910. Photo courtesy of

On Their Shoulders We Stand. 

 

In 1914 James became one of the 30,000 inhabitants of Essendon, with the population being the same as, but more concentrated than, Bendigo. The Hogans may have chosen this district as Catherine’s younger brother Edward Brennan, b 1870, was a compositor working at the Government Printing works and lived in Mcpherson Street, Moonee Ponds. The Hogans occupied a substantial house, Cupar, in Dickens St, Moonee Ponds. Daisy Hogan, 19 months older than James, had also attended Bendigo High and been a Junior Teacher at White Hills School from 1911 to 1913. Both she and James had been successful in the competitive examinations that gained them studentships to Melbourne Teachers' College. 

 

Melbourne Teachers' College

 

In February 1914 James (and Daisy) joined the 159 College students working towards gaining a Trained Teacher's Certificate. The College had reopened in 1900 and was a key element in Frank Tate, Director of Education’s, vision to reform and introduce the New Education into Victoria. This cohort was regarded as atoms of an elite who would oxygenate the system and elevate the teaching profession. Students studied all subjects covered in the school curriculum as well as teaching skills. One week a month was spent in one of 18 Practice schools, observing others and demonstrating their skills. Students also undertook at least 6 weeks of rural school teaching. The College in Carlton had 6 acres of grounds including ornamental gardens and tennis court. It offered residential accommodation to rural students and had developed its own culture with initiation ceremonies, social events and sporting, religious and literary clubs. At the beginning of 1914 Optimism prevailed

 

The day started at 8-30 am with an Assembly and Principal’s address. Principal Smyth spoke of the things that make life worthwhile – cheerfulness and ambition, the ideals of loyalty and devotion and willingness to die the death of sacrifice. After an hour’s lunch the day ended at 4-30 pm. Saturday was a half day ending at 12-30 pm. Studentships offered an allowance of £26 pa if living at home. Students were required to bond themselves to work for the Department, usually for a period of 4 years, and repay the allowance. In September James may have attended a college function to honour ten ex-students who were to embark with the First Convoy, AIF. Speeches were made and they were presented with a silver talisman. This was engraved with the College motto Non Omnus Moriar-I shall not wholly die. (My work will live, a reference to teachers being craftsmen of the mind, live on in their students). It was hoped this would sustain them in the dread day of battle, fighting the battle for humanity

 

Dr John Smyth (1864-1927) Scots born, Irish and German educated, recruited

from New Zealand to serve as Principal from 1902. First University

Professor of Education, 1919.  Herald 1914.

 

In mid-1914 Principal John Smyth described James as an earnest student who is applying himself admirably to his studies. As a teacher he is developing although slowly. Ultimately likely to do useful work. His final report continued this theme, Regular and sturdy work has marked his work for the year but Mr. Hogan needs insert brightness in his teaching. At times he has shown quite a natural gift for little descriptive touches in geography and history classes. With more experience will do good work. 

 

On leaving College James was to teach in one of Victoria’s 2,175 Schools. A list of vacancies was circulated to graduates and James applied on 21 December for School 3497 Carlisle River. His appointment dated from 1 January 1915, and he would have arrived in Carlisle River about then for the school term starting February 7. James was prepared to be a Third Parent and to teach, unaided, his two dozen pupils ranging in age from 5 to 14 years the subjects of reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, geography, history, drill, singing, drawing, science, gymnastics, swimming, health and temperance, and if practicable, woodwork for boys. He would have known how to take the school and its community through the rituals of the school year - Arbor Day, Bird Day, Discovery Day [Australian history] and Empire Day. His classification was that of Head Teacher Class V1. His salary was £160 pa plus a remote allowance. 

 

Carlisle River

 

Bridge over Carlisle River and butter factory, Weekly Times 13 April, 1918.

 

James became one of the 200 folk living at Carlisle River. It was a rural village situated in the Otway Ranges, south-west of Colac. Farms had been established about 1892, the giant trees (up to 300ft) on the river flats felled and a saw mill started in 1893. The district abounded in all types of timber with thick ferny undergrowth. The land around the town was steeply undulating and had plentiful wildlife. The town was described as a fertile oasis with rich pasture alongside the river producing quality dairy products. A co-operative butter factory was opened in 1899 (enlarged 1911) and in 1902, when a railhead was established, dairy produce was transported to Gellibrand railway station.

 

There were regular stock auctions and the breeding of milking herds was a subject of perennial interest. The climate was cold and damp, summer temperatures peaking at 5F (24C) and rainfall 40” -50” (127cm) pa. The community was regularly affected by bushfires and floods. Rural teachers had a standing instruction to locate a fire refuge -old mine workings and caves were recommended –to which they could evacuate if threatened by fire. Bushfires in February 1914 had destroyed property, the Carlisle River community working together to save stock and infrastructure. About 30 families made up the rising population, two dozen of them farming on the river flats, the others on roughly cleared land up the slopes. The settlement had a public hall (1902) which from 1905 also doubled as the school, an hotel (1907) and general store. It was becoming a holiday location for anglers and duck shooters. A very active Progress Association raised funds and lobbied for better roads and facilities. These included a racecourse (1909), a covered rifle range (1914), and piano for the hall (1915). A telephone line was eventually laid in November 1915. 

 

The township was difficult to reach. From Melbourne one took train to Geelong and thence to Colac. There one took the narrow gauge railway to Gellibrand. The last 11 miles from that township was traversed by coach which made three trips a week carrying the post, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Those travelling with produce or needing to travel independently tramped the 25 weary miles to Colac, made up of sand-bound track, dense green timber, and a range with steep gradients. Automobiles made it to the township in 1914 but these were demonstration ventures only.  

 

Church services and dances were held in the public hall. There was a football team and sports groups came from Colac for events such as the St Patrick Day games. There was a debating club, whist drives and euchre tournaments. In 1910 and 1913 a majority of electors at Carlisle River’s polling place voted for James Scullin (Prime Minister 1929-1932) as MLA. Both Federal Opposition leader, Andrew Fisher and Prime Minister Joseph Cook had made historic speeches regarding the impending war at Colac in July 1914. With the declaration of War a Carlisle River a Patriotic Committee had been established, raising £21g within three weeks. 

 

Four teachers had rotated through the school in 1914. The fact that James Hogan’s appointment had been declared In the Public Interest indicated that it was not a sought after position. James would have boarded at the hotel or with a local family. He appears to have had an active school committee who may have assisted with the weekly packing and unpacking that the schools residence in the much used community hall would have required. The settlement had a population of 900 cows and some of James’ pupils would have responsibility for milking before and after school. The Education Department had an ongoing concern with the effect these tasks had on childrens’ development, health and educational attainments. Some denounced it as child slavery. At practical level teachers contended with children falling asleep in class and being unable to complete homework. 

 

The Inspector’s report five weeks into the school year comments that He is well equipped for his task and is a promising teacher. He is vigorous in deportment and has a good theoretical knowledge of methods. Within another month his efforts were put on display when in April the school concert and dance was held –the funds being put towards the erection of a shelter shed. It was standing room only with some fine patriotic items. The verdict was The performances of the pupils gave evidence of very careful training. James was listed as one of the accompanists. 

 

In mid-June James wrote requesting five days leave explaining that there had been an accident to his glasses and that his eyes would require retesting. Travel to and from the specialist would require a school week. The request was granted subject to a certificate of verification from the oculist. Barely returned, James wrote to the Department again asking to be put on the transfer list. Owing to health reasons it is essential that I should leave the district before winter sets in. He also alluded to certain family reasons being behind his request though these are not specified. James request was declined. He had sought the appointment and it would stand. In late 1915 the Public Works Department announced the building of a new school (opened 1917). 

 

James’ main community involvement was via the Rifle Club. The Club was a source of pride and was referred to as training snipers for the battlefield, though affected by a shortage of ammunition. Results were published in district papers showing James shot the lowest score in the club of 16. Within a few months James retired from the competition, however he stayed involved, offering prizes such as English leather shooting bag. At the AGM he was appointed Club Secretary also contributing an item to the evening’s social programme. 

 

In August 1915 the Inspector found James to be a young teacher with good all round ability, energetic and getting good work from his grades. However at present he seems unsettled and impatient sometimes overbearing in his manner with pupils

 

A number of Carlisle River men had already enlisted. In December 1915 a farewell was held for several of these - Rifle Club members and siblings of James’ students. James returned to his school for the new term 1916. The afternoon of the first day local identity W Collyer presented cash prizes to the children who had during the holidays made the best collection of local grasses. He advised the children to persevere with their work, and not to be satisfied with being mere hewers of wood and drawers of water. James spoke of the relationship between community and school. 

 

Enlistment

 

In 1916 James became one of that year’s 124,352 enlistments in the AIF. On his 21st birthday,  Tuesday 7 March 1916, he was examined and passed as fit in Colac. Had he waited until then because his mother refused enlistment permission when he was underage, or because he did not want to subject her to the stress of making the decision? James ceased duty with the Education Department on the 14 March. By this time 59% of James 1914 College class had enlisted and five of those who had embarked in October 1914 were dead. Principal Smyth, with a son in the AIF, regularly wrote to those serving and read their letters at the morning assembly. Students raised funds to send Comfort parcels to comrades overseas and visits made to hospitals.  

 

James was re-examined in Melbourne on Thursday 16 March and took his oath. His enlistment form states he had blue eyes, brown hair, was 5’ 7” in height and at 123lb (56k) slightly underweight. His pay was to be 5/- per day, or £92 per annum, plus 1/- for every day of service deferred and payable on discharge or death. James allocated 2/5 of his pay or £37 pa to his widowed mother.   

 

Carlisle River gave him a farewell on Saturday 18 March. The School Committee eulogized Mr. Hogan for his many amiable qualities and members of the Rifle Club spoke glowingly of him. The pupils presented a neat little pocket wallet, as a souvenir from the children and the community gave a gold-mounted fountain pen. James responded briefly thanking the community for the nice things they said of him, for their good wishes and the gifts, which would always be cherished, and would be a lasting reminder of the pleasant times spent at Carlisle River. There followed an evening of dancing, entertainment and supper with James contributing a recitation. No replacement teacher was available for weeks and the 20-30 children ran wild

 

Australian Medical Corps

 

On 28 March James was allocated to serve with the over 3,000 men in the Australian Medical Corps (AMC). Men who required spectacles were often allocated to the AMC. For two months he was located at Ascot Vale, presumably at the Showgrounds camp. For the next three months he was loaned to 11 Australian General Hospital, better known as Caulfield Military Hospital. This opened in April 1916, and was to grow into the largest in the country. James then spent a month with the AMC at the Royal Park Camp.

 

Grandfather James Hogan, 1835-1915

 

James was one of about 25% of Australians who were Irish born or of Irish heritage. This proportion also roughly equated with the number of Catholics in the population. James had grown up in the part of Bendigo known as Irishtown. He had been named for both his Irish born grandfathers James Hogan and Stephen Brennan (1835-1881). The former was a patriarch who regaled his community with his memories of Tipperary, including his sightings of Irish emancipist, Daniel O’Connell. The Easter Rising of April 1916 and its aftermath must have sent shock waves through the Hogan family and tension mounted throughout the year with enlistments decreasing and the first Conscription plebiscite. James, with his exposure to the casualties of Gallipoli and Western Front knew something of the cost of war. Weekly, the Bendigo, Essendon and Colac papers carried the names and photographs of men he knew, with whom he had shared a school, church and community, now dead, wounded, disabled. He could have continued with his noncombatant role instead he requested a transfer to the Infantry. 

 

Colour patch, 22 Battalion. 

 

On 6 September 1916 James became a member of the one thousand strong 22 Infantry Battalion, one of the 5,000 men who served during the War. This Battalion had been formed in 1915, emerging from the Richmond Rifles/Yarra Borderers militia units. The first Commanding Officer, Lt-Col R A Crouch, had given them a notorious Regimental motto of Wipe Out the Bloody Germans. The Battalion served at Gallipoli from September to December 1915. After the withdrawal and regrouping in Egypt, the 22 Battalion was the first Australian Force sent to Europe, arriving in France in March 1916. 

 

16th Reinforcements

 

Leader newspaper, 1905 

 

James became one of the 150 men making up the 16th Reinforcements for 22 Battalion. Their ages ranged from 18 to 44 years. Twenty-seven were Catholic and there were five other teachers. None of the men gave their address as Carlisle River, Colac or Bendigo, though there were several from the Essendon district including Arthur Hancock, the second son to enlist of Canon Hancock of St Thomas’, Moonee Ponds. One of the two officers however would have been well known to James. Pat Gorman, 1891-1973, had grown up in Bendigo, attended Marist Brothers and St Kilian’s and had completed his legal studies with James’ uncle, Daniel Hogan. A few years older than James, Gorman owed his education to a scholarship provided by the Bendigo community, the generosity of the Marist order and the sacrifices of his parents.  Now a Melbourne barrister, Gorman was already known for his political and social activities.

 

In his memoirs Sir Eugene Gorman wrote of his decision to enlist. I was not influenced by any heroic considerations but felt that it was impossible for me to continue in practice while so many men were giving up greater prospects. He vividly recalled the impact on his parents:  My poor father's obvious emotion when he came on his first visit to camp after my enlistment. Uniforms were not yet available and I was in ill-fitting dungarees: probably I was on fatigue duty, cutting firewood. The poor man, along with my mother, had sacrificed a great deal to provide me with a profession; and now looking at me his thoughts could easily be read: 'Is this what we have received for all the care we devoted to this boy?

 

16th Reinforcements waiting to embark Nestor 2 October 1916.  Photographer Josiah Barnes.

Australian National Maritime Museum Collection 00027618

 

The Nestor 

 

On 2 October James embarked with 2,040 others aboard the troopship Nestor. The first conscription plebiscite took place on 28 October and arrangements were made for those at sea to cast their vote prior to embarking, or on board. Was James one of the 72,399 soldiers who voted for or one of the 58,894 against? The time aboard the troopship would have been spent in drills, exercise and training lectures enlivened by tough boxing competitions and concerts. Mid voyage James spent four days in the ship’s hospital with influenza. 

 

United Kingdom

 

The Nestor avoided the torpedoes and in mid-November 1916 James disembarked at Plymouth. to be prepared for the Western Front. James was moved to the 6 Training Battalion at Rollestone. This was one of a complex of training camps on the Salisbury Plain, in the south west, at which hundreds of thousands of men were trained for battle. Rollestone Camp, established in 1916, was situated in an upland area and was described as a bit bleak, especially for Australians used to a warmer climate. It was a very snowy and wet year in the UK, and many of the men were barracked in tents. The training was intensive, with a trench system layout, underground tunnels and live fire sessions, including grenade throwing. 

 

1916 The aftermath of an accident at the Rollestone training camp live bombing

range. One man was killed, seven wounded. (AWM P10688.011.005)

 

The Western Front

 

At the beginning of February James left Rollestone to become one of the 295,000 Australians to serve on the Western Front. Hours before dawn he would have marched the five miles to the railhead, band playing. The train took them to Folkstone in the east, arriving in the early afternoon. After lunch, torpedo boat destroyers escorted the ship with 1,000 odd soldiers for the two hour trip to France. He would have overnighted at Boulogne then on 8 February he was entrained to the reinforcement unit at Etaples. There James would have undertaken further training at the bull ring. 

 

On St Patrick’s Day 1917 James was admitted to hospital with influenza. By the end of the month he had recovered enough to be one of 85 Other Ranks taken on strength with the 22 Battalion. The snow and rain continued, the frost making the ground iron hard, then with the thaw came slush. Fuel for fires was almost unprocurable. One of James’ officers on the Nestor, Lt Bill Braithwaite of Northcote, used a local image to describe the battlefield. 

 

Imagine the West Melbourne swamp for 10 miles. Then in the wettest and muddiest patch dig a trench, then make a dugout by digging out of the side of the trench a couple of square feet and putting a piece of iron over the open space. I must mention the swamp must have shell holes in every available inch…. and now I hasten to inform you it is snowing. All the time shells are going both ways….. we are really sitting on the ground with our legs out in the snow or rain or just with a piece of iron over our heads. 

 

The Battalion then consisted of 25 officers and 807 Other Ranks. Within days they were on the line engaged in stunts or shows with deaths and casualties. A senior officer of the 22 Battalion, Aubrey Roy Liddon Wiltshire, CMG, DSO, MC (1891-1969), noted in his detailed diaries of the 16th Reinforcements.   ...are not up to the standard of the old heads and take a long while to acquire guts. Our veterans are like lions among them. The sick parade is nearly all new men and the complaints are aches and pains and some exhaustion. Another said, “Can I go into the stretcher bearers, Sir I don’t like being in the line like this!”

 

Wiltshire, Braithwaite and Gorman all wrote of their personal times of funk or of getting the wind up and of the physical and mental effects on their men of this and the all-pervading atmosphere of death. Men also however had to be bumped up to the line when they showed reluctance. Gorman wrote of how he volunteered to take one evil post.  I felt very unheroic but in order to avoid any suggestion of favouritism I somewhat reluctantly volunteered to take it... Most of us were young and quite unsophisticated. To use a single word, we 'believed'; propaganda, of course, was used but we were not conscious of it. We believed in the battalion, we believed in ourselves. 

 

We know from James’ letters that initially his role was that of Bombardier. Although all infantry were trained in bomb throwing some soldiers specialized in this difficult and dangerous task. James was twice offered a transfer to the Postal Unit but declined as he preferred seeing it through with his mates. Gorman also wrote of how the men looked askance at those who accepted transfers to cushy posts or used slight wounds to get behind the lines. He refused transfer to the Legal Department as I did not go to war to practice law. 

 

ANZAC Day 1917 was observed as a holiday with sports in the afternoon. At the end of the month troops could vote in the General Election, though the officers noted that there was apathy. On 3 May the Battalion took part in the disastrous Second Battle of Bullecourt. James was not one of the 7,000 casualties. Both Lieutenants Gorman and Braithwaite were awarded Military Crosses for their exploits at this time -A very bloody and day of death today. In May, after the battle, James became a Signaller, which was an equally perilous job. Signallers operated a variety of equipment from flags, Fuller phones, and portable telegraph signalling devices, heliographs, pigeons, signal lamps and acted as runners, carrying messages and orders. This required mastery of varied technology and as Signallers operated forward of the firing lines they were more exposed to danger. 

 

June and July were spent largely in billets in various locations including a countryside chateau where the daughter of the house took photographs of the whole Battalion. The troops went through  5½ hours a day of training - battle practice, route marches, tactical exercises, gas drill, camp maintenance and manoeuvres,  with tanks being represented by hessian screens. The reminder of the day was spent in sports including aquatic games at nearby canals or helping the locals bring in the harvest. Troops in specialist roles, such as signallers, performed only half of the required drills and spent the rest of their time practicing with the Signals Officer.

 

James’ letters home contained many interesting descriptions of the scenes and customs abroad which his observant mind noted. The weather continued wet, causing cancellation of events such as church parade. In June the Battalion was inspected by former Prime Minister Andrew Fisher, at the end of August there was a March past General Birdwood and on 29 August an inspection by the Commander in Chief Sir Douglas Haig. He later voiced his appreciation of the smartness and soldierly bearing of the troops. 

 

Broodseinde

 

Huge crater Broodseinde Ridge. Courtesy AWM Image E01034.

 

A year almost to the day since he embarked James died, along with 183 men from the 22 Battalion, 6,432 Australians in total. Broodseinde then, as now, would be unknown to most people, however Bean devotes a whole chapter of his history to it. He summed it up as this overwhelming blow counted for more than others though unrecognized then and now. It was a significant defeat for the German forces. Part of the Third Battle of Ypres it involved a successful assault on and capture of the high ground around the Belgium village of Broodseinde. The Battle was significant for the fact that 4 ANZAC Divisions went into battle together, in good weather, in a well-planned and prepared-for operation. At 3-30 am under a full moon, in cold drizzling rain, the men came up to the jumping off tape. Quite coincidentally the Germans had planned an attack for the same time and place and opened a heavy pre-advance barrage. Most of those killed were victims of too concentrated a front line which took the brunt of this shelling. Wiltshire ordered that band to play whilst the troops were waiting but the operatic airs were hard to hear. He described it Tongues of living flame seemed to jump out of a thousand gun muzzles This barrage was so intense and in our little trench we quaked and closed our eyes.... I was in a dreadful state of nerves and nearly broke down all together as I thought our chaps must be catching it on the tapes …. My whole body was ashake and it took a great effort to pull myself together. 

 

Then it was time to jump off. Brave men leapt out in their waves into this hell – everyone a brave man for it is a dreadful business. They were then astounded to find their enemies advancing with fixed bayonets into no man’s land. There were many accounts of hand to hand bayonet and small arms battles, machine guns being fired from the hip, the capture of pill boxes and German Company Headquarters. By mid-morning it was clear that the Allies had gained the Ridgeline and taken many prisoners. By noon the rain was heavy and it was decided to consolidate the ground gained and not advance further. The men created a trench lines connecting shell holes and pill boxes. About noon the Germans, hoping to counter attack, commenced a solid, hellish artillery bombardment. 

 

At 2 pm James Hogan and Richard Samuel Gillott, had been sheltering in a trench when a German heavy field howitzer fired a 5.9 shell which hit this spot. James was killed immediately by the concussion of the blast, falling on top of Gillott. Later in his Red Cross statement, Gillott said that when pulled from under James he could see there was not a mark on him. Gillott, born also in 1895, was a farmer from Wangaratta who had enlisted in January 1916, embarked in July and been with the 22 Battalion since November 1916. Wiltshire writes of a similar scenario when the day after the Battle - Tonight I sent out and brought in a poor badly wounded chap who has been lying in a shell hole full of water all day his two dead mates beside him. He was brought in moaning and chilled to the bone; we fixed him up for the night as well as possible.

 

Gillott’s severe wounds to wrist and shoulder warranted evacuation to the UK. In early February 1918 he was Court Martialed for going AWOL and spent part of his sentence in the newly established AIF Detention Barrack, HM Prison Lewes, near Brighton. By the time the Red Cross agent caught up with Gillott in May 1918 he was at Sutton Veny on the Salisbury Plain undergoing further Field Punishment for another period of being AWOL. He returned to France in August 1918, served until the Armistice, undertook training in farming in the UK and France and returned to Australia in 1919. Gillott enlisted in the 2nd AIF. He died in Bendigo in 1971. 

 

James, along with a third of Australians killed in the Great War, has No Known Grave. German shelling continued until late afternoon of the 4 October and torrential rain set in. Stretchers were not available, and the wounded lay about all day. The men of the 22 Battalion had to be intent on their own survival and recovery. The men would perhaps throw a sandbag or German great coat over these strange little heaps.

 

Wiltshire wrote I wonder at the manner in which we accepted death… Very few men showed emotion, no matter how seriously they were hurt by the loss of an intimate pal. …we shrugged our shoulders as though we had merely lost a few kitchen utensils… … What strikes the new hand as callous is the way our dead boys are left lying about in the front battle line without any effort being made to bury them. Really this is due to reliefs. A unit marches out only too glad to get away and leaves its dead lying round. They have no sentimental interest to newcomers and they don’t bury them, leaving the task to the burial parties coming along a week or so in rear. 

 

William McCarthy Braithwaite aged 25. Killed in Action 3 October 1918, the last day of the

22 Battalion’s final combat action. ‘Billy Braithwaite has also run his race’, records

Col Wiltshire on 4 October.  Image courtesy Virtual War Memorial Australia 

 

Arthur Hancock’s brother Jimmy had been Killed in Action two months before and his comrades later explained, perhaps rather defensively, He was left where he fell …. there was too much of a mixup to bury men. Those bodies which survived the barrages might lose their disc or papers, be lost in the ground or buried in common graves. Post war, however, recovery, identification and reburial became a Sacred Duty which continues to this day.  The degree to which the landscape was torn asunder is testified to by the recovery of Sgt Jack (John James) White of the 22 Battalion who was presumed dead after the Battle of Bullecourt. In 1994 a farmer ploughing near the area uncovered the remains which after identification were given formal burial. 

 

The White family, 1916. Seventy-nine years later the infant 

 Myrtle attended her father’s funeral.  (AWM DA14919). 

 

The Hogan family was notified of James’ death on 14 November. Family notices and obituaries appeared in the Melbourne, Essendon, Bendigo and Catholic newspapers and the Education Department’s monthly Gazette. Letters of sympathy were received from the Bendigo Hibernian Catholic Benefit Society, James’ father having been a Past President. Frank Tate made it a practice to write to the families of his fallen teachers, as did Principal Smyth. The news became more widespread with James’ name being included among 347 Killed in Action appearing on Casualty Lists 367/368 in December 1917. A letter was received from his Officer, Captain Edgar Alfred Davis, who was awarded a Military Cross for the great dash and determination with which he led his men at Broodseinde Ridge and his great initiative in the work of consolidation. The letter praised James as always to the front when required. 

 

Lest We Forget

 

James was one of 416,809 men who served in the AIF, one of than 60,000 who sacrificed their lives. All these Volunteers had been given explicit promises that their names would never be forgotten. Even before the war ended memorials were erected to record the names. This began a process of memorialization that continues 125 years after James Stephen Hogan’s birth. He was commemorated by his Empire, Commonwealth, State, City, birthplace, schools, college, department, workplaces, place of enlistment and Battalion.

 

Catherine Hogan died in 1939 in Moonee Ponds. Her burial was with her husband Rody at White Hills Cemetery, Bendigo. Daisy joined them in 1966 and Eric in 1970. On this grave monument Hogan descendants have installed a plaque commemorating James’ service and death, symbolically reuniting James Stephen Hogan with his family. 

 

Memorials

 

©M Kenny 2020 

 

 

References

Archives and libraries

  • PROV Wills and Probate, Land Titles, Teachers Records of Service, School Files
  • National Archives of Australia,  B2455 Service files, Pension files 
  • Australian War Memorial, Unit Diaries, Information Sheets, Photographic and Biographical Records 
  • State Library of Victoria, MMBW plans
  • Victorian BDM, Cemetery Records 
  • Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales,  Wiltshire A. R. L War Diaries.  Transcribed by Gail Gormley, John Stephenson, Judy Macfarlan, John Kerr and John Glennon and others. 

 

Newspapers and serials

  • Essendon Gazette, Bendigo Advertiser, The Advocate, Age, Argus, Colac Advertiser, Weekly Times
  • Government Gazette, Victorian Education Department Gazette, Victorian Parliamentary Papers Database 

 

Publications

  • Australian Dictionary of Biography
  • Bean C.  Official History of Australia in the war of 1914-18 Sydney: Angus & Robertson 1921-194. 
  • Gorman E. With the Twenty-Second: a history of the Twenty-Second Battalion, A. I. F. Melbourne: H. H. Champion, 1919. Second Edition 2001 edited by Carl Johnson and Kristine Braddock
  • Inglis K.  Sacred Places, MUP 2008
  • Lanigan J. On their shoulders we stand: the story of St. Monica's Parish Moonee Ponds, 1854-1984 Moonee Ponds 1984 
  • McMullin Ross. Will Dyson Scribe Publications, Scoresby 2016 
  • Sands and McDougall Directories,
  • Selleck R.  Frank Tate Melbourne University Press 1982 
  • Smart J. A sacred duty: locating and creating Australian graves in the aftermath of the First World War AWM Summer Scholars, 2016
  • Sweetman E. History of the Melbourne Teachers' College and its predecessors MUP, 1939. 
  • Training College Carlton.  Trainee 1911-1920 
  • Westerman W.  Broodseinde Ridge 1917, Big Sky Publishing Sydney 2018 

 

Websites 

 

 

 

 

Pte. J. S. Hogan, elder son of Mrs. Catherine Hogan, of 13 Clarinda road, Essendon (late of Bendigo), was killed in action in France on 4th October.

 

ROLL OF HONOUR. (1917, November 22). The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3 Edition: Morning. Retrieved May 30, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74604374

 

Pte. James S. Hogan, elder son of the late Mr. Rody Hogan, an old resident of Bendigo and Mrs. Hogan of Essendon, was killed in action on 4th October.

 

ROLL OF HONOUR. (1917, November 29). The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: Morning. Retrieved May 30, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74604445

 

Roll of Honour

PRIVATE JAMES S. HOGAN (Killed in Action).

 

 

News has been received that Private Jamas S. Hogan had been killed in action on 4th October, somewhere in France. Deceased was the elder son of the late Mr. Rody Hogan, of Chapel-street, Bendigo, and of Mrs. Catherine Hogan, now of Essendon, and nephew of Mr. D. H. Hogan, barrister and solicitor, Bendigo. Educated at the Marist Brothers' College, and later at the Bendigo High School, he spent a year as a junior teacher at the Eaglehawk State school, and subsequently gained a University Training College student Ship. Passing through his course there with distinction, he obtained his trained teacher's certificate at the age of 19, and was appointed to take   charge of Carlisle River State school in January, 1915, and remained in charge until his enlistment in March, 1916. He sailed for the Front in October, 1916, with the 16th Reinforcements. 22nd Battalion, 6th Brigade, and his letters to relatives contained many interesting descriptions of the scenes and customs abroad which his observant mind noted.. - R.I.P.

 

 

Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiries  Bureau Correspondence

 

5889 Private James Stephen Hogan, 22nd Battalion

Killed 4/10/17

He was a Company Signaller D XVI and I was in charge of them, and we were the only two left on October 4th, when we hopped over at about 6 am.  We gained the second objective, and had just dug in and were sitting in a corner of the trench at about 2 pm when a shell a 6.9 came over and blew up the trench.  I was buried and Hogan was lying over the top of me, and when they got us out Hogan was quite dead - I went down to the D/S, and don't know anything about his burial.  His mother's name and address is Mrs Katherine Hogan, 13 Clarendon Road (sic), Essendon, Victoria.  

SEARCHERS NOTE:  This was taken from note book in which he kept record of his Company Signallers)


Hogan must have caught the full force of the shell and have been killed instantly by the concussion: he wasn't hit.

Witness No 5013 Pte R Gillott.
C XVI, 22nd Battn
No 1 Command Depot
Sutton Veny

 

http://static.awm.gov.au/images/collection/pdf/RCDIG1049466--1-.pdf

 

War Service Commemorated   

1917 Carlisle River Honour Roll

1917 Bendigo City temporary Roll of Honour

1918 Eaglehawk School No 210 Roll of Honour

1918 Marist Brothers School Bendigo Roll of Honour

1919 Bendigo High School Roll of Honour

1919 Special War Edition of The Trainee Old Trainees Association Teachers College 

1919 With the Twenty-Second: a history of the Twenty-Second Battalion, A. I. F. E. Gorman

1920 Memorial Windows and Memorial with tiled portraits Teachers College Melbourne

1921 The Education Department’s Record of War Service, Victoria 1914-1919

1921 Memorial Scroll

1921 Memorial Cross Dochy Farm Military Cemetery 

1922 Memorial Plaque

1923 Victory Medal

1924 British War Medal 

1924 Colac War Memorial Roll of Honour 

1926 Bendigo City Permanent Roll of Honour 

1927 Menin Gate Ypres Memorial

1934 Book of Remembrance Shrine Melbourne 

1963 Roll of Honour Australian War Memorial Canberra

2001 With the Twenty-Second A. I. F.,  E. Gorman Rev. edited by Carl Johnson and Kristine Braddock with photographic and biographical Roll of Honour. 

2009 With the Twenty-Second: a history of the Twenty-Second Battalion, A. I. F.,  E. Gorman Facsimile Edition 2014-2018 Anzac Centenary Project 

2017 ANZAC Memorial Wall, Queens Park, Moonee Ponds

2020 Roll of Honour Name Projection Australian War Memorial April, July, September 

 

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