No.1018 Driver/Gunner Charles Richard Hodgson
Charles Richard Hodgson was born in 1896 to Cecil Hodgson and Dora Margaret Gladstone at Camberwell. His parents had married in Victoria, in 1892. His older brother, Keith Cecil Hodgson was also born in Camberwell, in 1893.
The Military Record for Charles Richard Hodgson contains several different Attestation Papers. The first Attestation Sheet records his enlistment date as 25 March 1915, at Melbourne. He was a Labourer, born at Camberwell in Victoria, aged 18 years and 5 months, and his next of kin was his uncle.
The second and third Attestation Sheets enlistment dates are also signed on 25 March 1915. On them he was listed as a Farm Hand, born at Camberwell, aged 18 years and 6 months, and his N.O.K. was his brother, Keith Hodgson, from Mount Morgan in Queensland. His guardian’s consent was attached.
Charles Richard Hodgson enlisted in the A.I.F. at Melbourne on 25 March 1915, and was sent to the Light Horse Reinforcement Depot. He remained with the Reinforcements for one year, until 5 March 1916.
Private Charles Richard Hodgson embarked from Sydney per H.M.A.T. Marere on 16 August 1915, with the 7th Reinforcements for the 9th Light Horse Regiment. His embarkation record stated that his next of kin was his uncle, Mr L.G. Callaway of 10 Mayston-street, Hawthorn, Victoria, and that Hawthorn was his address at the time of enlistment.
After further training in Egypt, he was taken on strength with the 9th Light Horse on 18 January 1916.
Charles was admitted to the No.1 Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis (Egypt), suffering with cellulitis of the leg. He was treated for 29 days, between 15 October and 12 November 1915, when he was discharged to the No.3. Auxiliary Hospital. After further treatment he was discharged for duty on 18 January 1916, and taken on strength at Heliopolis.
After two months he was again admitted to the 1st A.G.H. on 1 March 1916, suffering with laryngitis, and was discharged back to duty on 6 March 1916. He was then taken on strength with 3rd Reserve Regiment at Heliopolis.
On 1 April 1916, Charles was transferred to the 5th Division Artillery at Heliopolis. It had been formed just two months earlier as part of the expansion of the A.I.F. Infantry Brigades. After being taken on strength he was re-mustered as a Gunner, and was posted to the Brigade Ammunition Column (B.A.C.) at Ismailia, on the Suez Canal. Forces had been positioned there to defend the Canal from attack by the Turkish Army.
Gunner Hodgson’s unit was at the base of Ferry Post, and on 18 April 1916 he was re-mustered as a Driver.
[Ferry Post was about one mile to the east of Ismailia on the Suez Canal. On the opposite bank of the canal was the fort or work known as Ferry Post. Just outside of the fort was the large military camp known as Ferry Post Staging Camp, which accommodated 15,000 men. There were many defensive posts along the eastern bank of the Canal, and from these, sentries conducted patrols at least once every hour.]
On 24 May 1916, Driver Hodgson was transferred to the 60th Battery at Ferry Post. [An entry in the War Diary of the 5th Division, dated 6 March 1916, records that as a result of a restructure, all personnel of the Brigade Ammunition Column of the 15th Brigade were transferred to the 60th Battery.]
Charles was there for only a few weeks, until 17 June 1916, when he proceeded to join the B.E.F. in France. He, and the 5th Australia Division embarked at Alexandrina per H.T. Kalyan on 17 June 1916, and disembark at Marseilles on 25 June 1916. The 15th F.A. Brigade were then marched to No. 1 and No. 2 Standing Camps at San Vick. The 15th F.A. Brigade arrived at their billets at La Ciceaux on 3 July 1916, and began mortar training and operating under gas conditions.
On 8 July 1916, Charles Hodgson was re-mustered to a Gunner, and on 9 July 1916, he was transferred from the 15th F.A.B. to the 25th F.A.B. "in the field". On the same day, the 25th marched to their new base at Croix du Bac.
The 5th Division Artillery took over control of the front line at Sailly, from the 4th Division Artillery, on 13 July 1916.
On 22 January 1917, the 5th Australian Division Artillery was re-organised. The 25th Brigade became the 13th and 14th Brigades, each having 6-gun batteries. This saw Gunner Charles Hodgson being transferred the 14th F.A.B. "in the field", and posted to the 54th Battery. No exact location is given in the Brigade's war diary.
The Brigade’s War Diary for 26 February 1917, states that this was an "...active day. Battalion of enemy infantry discovered on the move by centre group and successfully engaged in co-operation with the Heavies. Left Group completed occupation of forward positions by about 8.45. p.m". The 54th Battery were in the Behencourt area at this time. This was also the starting date for Gunner Hodgson’s Mention in Despatch citation, by Sir Douglas Haig. (Last date was 20 September 1917, when he was recuperating in Hospital in London.)
On 3 April 1917, while in action in the Doignies and Louverval area, with the 14th F.A.B., Charles Hodgson was wounded. He was treated by the 15th Australian Field Ambulance for gunshot wounds to his left leg and mouth, and moved back to the Casualty Clearing Station.
On the following day, 4 April 1917, he was admitted to the 4th General Hospital at Wimereux for treatment to his wounds. He was treated there for nine days, until he embarked for England per H.S. St Andrew, on 13 April 1917. On arrival in England the following day, he was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital for treatment of his wounds.
After a stay of six months, Charles was transferred from 3rd London General Hospital to the 1st Ausely, (No 1 Australian Auxiliary Hospital) Harefield House Hospital, Harefield. He was discharged from hospital on 16 October 1917, and marched in to the No 2 Command Depot at Weymouth. This camp was for men not expected to be fit for 6 months.
On 7 November 1917, he was officially Mentioned in Despatches by Sir Douglas Haig for his services. Being unfit for further duty Gunner Charles Hodgson returned to Australia per A32 from England on the 12th November 1917.
According to a report in The Werribee Shire Banner, 10 January 1918, p. 2, he was the first boy to enlist from the Metro Farm. His welcome home was also reported in the same edition.
On 19 June 1918, he was officially transferred from the 15th F.A. Brigade to the 3rd M.D. in Melbourne for discharge.
Charles Hodgson was presented with his Werribee Gold Medal at a ceremony held in the Mechanic’s Hall on the 31 August 1918. Details were published in The Werribee Shire Banner, 5 September 1918, p. 3.
The Victorian Electoral Roll for 1919 lists Charles Richard Hodgson as a Soldier, residing at 434 Auburn Road, Auburn.
On 24 March 1921, Charles Richard Hodgson entered the United States at San Francisco for permanent residence. He arrived per Marama, and took up residence at 1604 Francis Avenue, Belmont, California with his wife Kathrin. A Resident Alien’s Border Crossing Identification card dated 1951 lists his date of birth as 16 October 1896 in Melbourne Australia. It also recorded a scar on his mouth, from his war time injury.
On 11 November 1923, the Defence Department could not locate him at his previous address – c/o Mrs K Dixon, "Ardlin", Riddell Parade, Elsternwick, Victoria. His address then given as 180 Selmar St, San Francisco, U.S.A.
Charles worked in America as a building contractor, and in 1928, he and Kathrin had a daughter Margaret, who was born in California. The 1930 Federal Census records him as living with his wife and daughter at Bilburn Village, Belmont City, San Mateo.
He remained in America at Francis Avenue in Belmont, California, and in 1942 completed a WW2 Draft Registration Card.
Charles Hodgson of 94002 Belmont, San Mateo, California died in October 1971. His Social Security record states that he was born on 16 October 1896, in another country.
Medals & Entitlements:
- 1914/15 Star
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
- 2 Oak Leaves – Mentioned in Despatches emblem. (1 small and 1 large)
- 1 Certificate for Mention in Despatches, London Gazette N.30448 – Certificate No 1562
1. Mr C Hodgson was a member of the Metro Farm Tennis Club – Werribee Shire Banner, 29 October 1914, p.2.
2. "Hodgson, C., Metro Farm" first appeared in Werribee Shire Banner, Roll of Honor, 9 March 1916, p.1.
3. Private Charlie Hodgson was welcomed home at the Metropolitan Farm during the week – Melton Express, 12 January 1918, p.2.
4. "Hodgson, C.L., Metro Farm" in the final Werribee Shire Banner, Roll of Honor – Werribee Shire Banner, 6 March 1919, p.1.
1st Ausely, Harefield – (No 1 Australian Auxiliary Hospital) Harefield House Hospital, Harefield.
B.A.C. - Brigade Ammunition Column
B.E.F. – British Expeditionary Force
F.A.B. – Field Artillery Brigade
H.S. – Hospital Ship
A Mr W. Hodgson operated a Ham and Beef shop in Station Street Werribee in the 1920s. It is not known if he was related.
Federation Index Victoria 1889-1901 CD
Ferry Post background http://www.forgottenbooks.com/readbook_text/The_Story_of_the_Fifth_Australian_Division_Being_an_Authoritative_1000393226/73
5th Division Diary