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 â€œstockyâ€ 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.