Private Angus Hodge


In the recent research of my paternal family history, I found reference to David Melville Hodge signing the papers for an Angus Hodge. These papers were permission given by David for Angus to join the Australian Infantry in 1916 for service abroad. He was only 18 years and 2 months old.

Private Angus Hodge was my Great-Grand Uncle.

Based on my recent research into a Private Albert Lock, I knew I could find Private Angus Hodge’s service records at the National Archives. A few personal notes where an injured right leg from a horsing accident in 1912, and many teeth missing. He was also noted as “stocky” at only 5 and a half feet tall. His denomination was listed as Methodist.

Private Angus Hodge became a part of the 6th reinforcements for the South Australian 43rd Battalion, AIF. The 43rd Battalion made up the 11th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Division of the AIF. Landed in the UK during the early part of 1917. (note: This Order of Battle is extremely useful and the War Diaries of the 43rd Battalion are insightful)

At this stage, Private Hodge started to have a bout of Measles and Mumps and finally arrived in France 30th July 1917. He joined the front line on 24th August 1917. Just in time for the 3rd Battle of Ypres. (also known to Australians as Passchendaele)

From this time, there were many times in hosipital listed as “NYD” and “PUO” : not yet determined and pyrexia unknown origin (ie: fever)

Then there is a note from 18th August 1918 “admitted old wounded leg, slight” back in the UK ; fracture from tibia, based on the fall from a horse some 6 years earlier. Repatriated back to the UK, Private Hodge spent time getting better at the end of the first world war.

On the 23rd November 1918, exactly 90 years ago today, the Medical Board in the UK awarded Private Angus Hodge a 20% permanent disability due to service; fit for home service.  He would have limped for the rest of his life.

Discharged from the AIF on 19th March 1919 in Adelaide. Merely a year after returning to Australia, Angus was dead.

Nearly 3 years away from home, Private Hodge served his country. The records fail to detail the mental and other injuries suffered whilst in France.

Angus Hodge died ages 22 and is buried 23rd March 1920. The gravestone states “Son of DM and FJ.” Last residence is recorded as Gulnare South Australia. Where David Melville Hodge was farming at the time.

Lest We Forget.

8 thoughts on “Private Angus Hodge”

  1. Angus Hodge’s grandmother (Naomi Frost) was my Great great aunt her sister (Jane Frost) married my great great grandfather Charles Cracknell.

  2. Naomi’s father was Joseph Frost born 1788 in Shelford Essex and her mother Charlotte Hitchin brn 1798 Lt. Bardfield they married on 25 Dec 1846. Naomi was born 1831 Finchingfield Essex and married John Pilgrim 18 March 1855 in Finchingfield then they sailed from London & Southampton 27 March 1855 on the ‘Taymouth Castle’ which had small pox on board before arriving in Adelaide. Very brave people.


  3. Hello Nick,

    Although I now live south of Melbourne, here in Australia, I was born in Kirkcaldy, attended first school at Auchterderran in Fife, lived ouside Star of Markinch before moving to Easter Lathrisk Farm outside Freuchie, nr Falkland with my parents and elder brothers at the end of World War II. Celebrated my 73rd birthday just a few days ago. Quite a few of the family still live in Fife as well as up in Queensland and across the Tasman Sea at Dunedin in New Zealand.

    Noted your Hodge/Melville connections and that took me back quite a bit to dear old Markinch, a place where so many Melville’s were laid to rest. I remember so many of the spouses of the Melville’s such as the Marshall’s as well as Elizabeth Melville, the wife of William Birrell, who was interred 2nd March, 1840 at Dysart, close to my birthplace – Kirkcaldy.

    It’s a great pity that now that I’m elderly and disabled, I can never travel back to Scotland again. However, my relatives over there are very kind and keep in touch with me. The last of his generation my Uncle, William Livingstone, passed away at Auchterderran at the beginning of January at the grand old age of 96. He died leaving so many, many mysteries unsolved about my Livingstone ancestors, but, I still treasure some of the photographs that he gve me of my Great-Grandfather, Samuel Livingstone, the youngest son of James Livingstone and Janet Cooper who married at North Church, Dunfermline in May, 1854.

    So many stories to tell, eh? My hobby of Family History gives me a great deal of pleasure and stops me from simply vegetating in an armchair!

    My very best wishes to you and yours,

    Tom Fearns.

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