atNickHodge 23rd April, “The Lost Uncles”

All Hail the New Show Name: atNickHodge.

Comments in the chat stream from Thursday 18th’s #understil 7 (Conked Out and Stoked) ended with a suggestion from @LafinBoy to change the name of the show. Not because Stilgherrian Live! nor being his understudy is a bad thing: just it is just time to graduate. Up the ante. Grow up, maybe.

After 4.2 minutes of thinking, the only name that fell into my head is “atNickHodge” (@nickhodge). That will do for the moment. At least it is consistent with my strict personal branding guidelines. And I will probably change my mind and call it something else one day.

Thanks to all my previous guests, and the future super sekrit guests. And a big thanks to @dekrazee1 for her help and support. Oh, and @mrsnickhodge and @yin_0x7f for their guidance. Doing a weekly show seems to add structure into my life; and is becoming a new hobby.

Onto way more important topics.

Nick on Gold Beach, Normandy, France
Nick at Arromanches (D-Day Gold Beach) May 2004.

The next show is scheduled for 8.30pm, Thursday 23rd April 2009.


Topic this week: “The Lost Uncles”. It is Anzac Day this Saturday. In Remembrance, I am going to reveal the histories of four individual soldiers from World War 1 and 2; each of which I have a personal connection. This show is not to glorify war; nor create false heroes. It is an episode just to remember four men.

Three from WW1, one from WW2; Two I am related to, two have other connections; Two survived the war, Two did not. Three were enlisted men, one an officer. One was married and had a child prior to enlistment; two had no children and I am directly descended from one. One I met in person; all are in my being and thoughts.

This show is for Lock, Roberts, Mason and Hodge.

Lest We Forget.

Please pop this into your diaries. See you on Thursday night.

My Relative from 18th Century: George Hodge


This is page 2 of a contract between Charles and Robert Fall of Dunbar, Scotland and the fishermen of Crail, Fife, Scotland.

Charles and Robert Fall held many interests in Dunbar in the 18th Century. They also had family connections in Fife. In an agreement signed by them on the 9th November 1745, the fishermen of Crail agreed to deliver their catch of white fish to them for a period of 6 years. This shows the final part of the contract made between the Falls and the fishermen of Crail. Here, agreement is made for the carriage of fish, notably saithe, to the Fall’s cellars, to be paid by them. At the end are the signatures or ‘marks’ of the fishermen of Crail. The most easterly of Fife’s fishing ports, Crail Harbour dates back to the 16th century. At one time the village was an important herring station. The few fishermen left today fish inshore, mainly for shellfish.

On the left hand side, just below the fold, there is the follow text: “George GH Hodge mark.” In this instance, George Hodge could not sign his name, and therefore marked with a “GH”. I am related to this George Hodge.

George Hodge was born in 1717 to George Hodge (himself born in 1686) and mother Katherin Moncrief in Crail/Fife, Scotland. He was 32 when he marked this document. His younger brother was a James Hodge, where my paternal line descends.

crail harbour 1850s

Crail Harbour: The harbour was ‘new foundit’ in 1610, destroyed in 1707, and what is shown here dates from the rebuild of 1728.

The fish stocks in this area started to drop in the later part of the 18th Century, and therefore there was not enough room in the family business. As the younger brother, James Hodge left the family business and slowly drifted north to St Andrews in the latter half of the 18th Century. From 1764 in Crail, 1766 in Kingsbarns (3.5km north of Crail) and 1771 in Brown Hills (just south of St Andrews). This George Hodge is also the witness to the birth of James Hodge’s first and second children: Andrew and Mary. The third child of James Hodge is a John Hodge; again from where my paternal line descends. This John’s son, Melville, emigrated to South Australia in 1853.

In the 1841 census, Mary Hodge (daughter of James Hodge, born in Kingsbarns in 1766) is listed as living in Thorgate, Crail. Based on the position in the census, it is likey she was living with the Scotts of Crail at this time.

I suspect that James travelled north either as a farm labourer, or as a hand loom linen weaver; as was his son. Kingsbarns has a noted history of both. And golfing, but I doubt my family was of the correct glass for golfing.

Note: This information was found using the system. Scran is:

Scran – part of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland – aims to provide educational access to digital materials representing our material culture and history. This is provided through the wholly owned trading arm Scran Ltd. We are one of the largest educational online services in the UK supporting over 4,000 schools, libraries, colleges and universities.

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.

Meet Mary Milne, my Great- Great- Great- Grandmother

Mary Milne

Why blog your family history? Because it helps others out, and you find out more. Others doing searches for common ancestors will stumble on your site, and send emails.

The above photo is of one Mary Milne. She married a Melville Hodge in 1853 whilst on her way to South Australia. Her first son was my great- great- grandfather.

In other words, she is my great- great- great- grandmother. A small part of her is in my genes. This photo was taken in March 1904, 103 years ago.

And speaking of genes, if you look at her eyes and mouth: they are not aligned. It’s not "an error" in posing. It’s probably Bell’s Palsy.

Thanks to Darryl, also a decendent of Mary Milne for sending the photo and a detailed history.

In a week of surreality

In a week of surreality, I learnt I am a MINI-me to a Nick Hodge in the UK and attended Ying Tong.

An email from my mother-in-law, who emigrated to Australia in the mid 1950s, connected more dots. And some family skeletons in the closet fell out.

Before jumping aboard the ship to Australia, she worked at the BBC – with The Goons! She typed their scripts and attended recordings. I am related to famous, and only a few steps removed from The Goons. I am connected to British Comedy royalty, even if only by marriage.