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.

Edna Dutschke

Edna Dutschke

Edna Dutschke (nee Elix) passed away peacefully in her sleep, and under medical care during the early hours of 14th November 2008. She was 95, and had seen much in her life. Including giving life to two sons and a daughter. Her daughter is my Mum. Edna was by Nana.

Her grandparents immigrated from what is now Germany and religious intolerance to South Australia’s Barossa Valley.

A jolly person with a cheeky sense of humour. A hard worked who never suffered fools gladly. Along with her late husband, Arnold (passed on December 1984) she taught at many Lutheran Primary Schools in South Australia.

She had a sweet tooth (a trait passed on to her grandson, but don’t tell my Mum), a love of gardening, Inspector Rex, the Port Power, her family and keeping empties under her bed (last one is a family joke)

In her final years she was quietly frustrated by her body failing her active mind. Walkers and wheelchairs aided her mobility and did little to slow her down. A keen eye was watching everyone when the hearing aid’s battery failed.

My memories of her are all pleasant. As her first grandson, I am sure I had a special place in her heart. She put up with me and passed on some lessons in life. I lived with Nana from 1985 through to 1988 at a time I completed my Matriculation (HSC) through to finding Avril. Nana was the first in my family to meet Avril and provide approval.

Her physical presence will be missed. Memories, stories and thoughts remain.

Many memories.

Noel Volk

The Headmaster for my last years at Immanuel College recently passed on from a short illness. (previous references here and here)

Contrary to popular memes, I have nothing but fond memories of Mr Volk, or Noel as he preferred I called him in 2005.

Mr Volk was one of those highly influential people in my life. He was one of a small handful of people made an impact on my persona, from an intellectual perspective. A learned man, he daily demonstrated that geeky people mattered in the world. A great man.

Ave, Mr Volk. Noel.

Thoughts are with the Volk family.

Update: November 2008: I have a scanned copy of the obit from The Advertiser

(thanks Mum for the sad info)