The AIF Project

Joshua Edward HODGE

Regimental number3635
Place of birthHobart, Tasmania
SchoolHobart State School, Hobart, Tasmania
ReligionChurch of England
Addressc/o Miss C Mace, Tullah, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation35
Height5' 6"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinSister, L Hodge, 60 Caple Street, North Melbourne, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date12 August 1915
Place of enlistmentClaremont, Tasmania
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name15th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/32/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 27 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll15th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularWorked as a farmer before the start of the war.
FateKilled in Action 8 August 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death36
Age at death from cemetery records36
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Edward and Anna Maria HODGE
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 15th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 6 March 1916.

Admitted to No 4 Auxiliary Hospital, Abbassia, 28 February 1916 (not yet diagnosed); rejoined Bn, 2 May 1916 (no further details recorded).

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 1 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 8 June 1916.

Reported wounded and missing, in the field, 8 August 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held at Ribemont, 1 May 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 8 August 1916'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1350301, 1820 Pte R.G. REYNOLDS, 15th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 19 November 1916; 'At Pozieres, killed by a shell behind the lines close to Support trenches.'

Second statement, 3426 Company Sergeant Major A. ROBINSON, 15th Bn, 2 December 1916: 'I cannot give you any definite information as to what ultimately became of him. I will just give a brief description of what happened. On the night of the 6th August when we were moving into the trenches a shell burst on the top of outr platoon. A number of men were wounded and I picked up one chap who was unconscious and found him to be young Hodge. I took off his equioment and with the assistance of one of the boys moved him to the side of the trench so the others could pass along. I spoke to him but he was unconscious. He was breathing but seemd (sic) in a bad way as his mouth was full of blood.'

Third statement, 543 Pte J.McN. MONTGOMERY, 15th Bn (patient, No 6 General Hospital, Rouen), 12 February 1917: 'I saw him killed by shrapnel at Pozieres on the 4th or 5th August. His body was left till next day when the stretcher bearers took him away. He would be buried but I cannot say where.'

Fourth statement, J.McN. MONTGOMERY (patient, Eastleigh Hospital, Hants, England), 17 February 1917: 'Hodge was hit in the chest and face with shrapnel half a mile back from the front line. It was found impossible to move him[,] he was dying when I last saw him. This was at night early in August near Pozieres.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, HODGE Joshua Edward
Red Cross file 1350301

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