Marking the anniversary of the landing of troops at Gallipoli in 1915 during the First World War, Anzac Day is the day on which we remember all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in war. 416,809 Australian men enlisted in World War One, of whom more than 60,000 were killed. Two of my first cousins three-times removed, died in the service of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
Arthur Moore Hogan enlisted on March 1st 1916 aged thirty-six. A private in the 21st Battalion AIF (Australian Infantry Force), when he sailed from Melbourne on the HMAT Ayrshire he left behind his wife and four year old son. While fighting in France he was killed on the morning of July 4th 1918 during the Battle of Hamel. The Red Cross letter to his wife Grace, described that he was killed instantly by a machine gun bullet to the heart. Only four months later on November 11th, Armistice was signed. He was buried in the Australian Military Cemetery ‘Villers Bretonneux’ France.
“An affectionate husband and father. He lived like he died – for others.”
On the night of August 6th 1914, the day after Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, the New Zealand Government received a telegram from London requesting that they seize the wireless station on the island of Upolu, part of Imperial Germany’s protectorate of German Samoa. On the 15th 1,413 men, primarily volunteers drawn from the Auckland and Wellington Military Districts, departed New Zealand; among them was the twenty-one year old George Reginald Hogan. Although Germany refused to officially surrender, after landing on August 29th the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces were able to occupy the islands without facing any resistance.
George returned to New Zealand in 1915, but on January 8th 1916 he embarked for France. The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, part of the Somme offensive, was launched on September 15th. Lasting one week, it was the first use of tank warfare. It also marked the debut of New Zealand Forces at the Somme Battlefield. George Reginald Hogan was killed on the first day of fighting and was buried in the Danzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, France.
Lest We Forget.