William Vincent HODGENS MM


HODGENS, William Vincent

Service Number: 1693
Enlisted: 16 March 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 50th Infantry Battalion
Born: Marrabel, South Australia, 19 April 1892
Home Town: Tothill Creek, Clare and Gilbert Valleys, South Australia
Schooling: Tothill Creek Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Died of wounds, Birmingham War Hospital, England, 9 December 1916, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Birmingham (Lodge Hill) Cemetery, Warwickshire, England
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Eudunda War Memorial, Eudunda and District WW1 Roll of Honour, Marrabel District Honour Roll, Marrabel War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

16 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1693, 50th Infantry Battalion, Adelaide, South Australia
11 Apr 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1693, 50th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
11 Apr 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1693, 50th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Adelaide
5 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1693, 50th Infantry Battalion, Flers/Gueudecourt
17 Nov 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 1693, 50th Infantry Battalion, Flers/Gueudecourt

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"...1693 Private (Pte) William Vincent Hodgens, 50th Battalion from Tothill's Creek, South Australia. A 24 year old farmer prior to enlisting on 6 March 1916, he embarked for overseas with the 2nd Reinforcements from Adelaide on 11 April 1916 aboard HMAT Aeneas. Shortly after arriving in Egypt, he joined the 50th Battalion and went with them to France in June 1916. He was wounded in action near Flers, France on 17 November 1916. After being evacuated for medical treatment to England, he died on 9 December 1916 while undergoing surgery for his wounds at the 2nd Birmingham War Hospital. Pte Hodgens is buried in the Lodge Hill Cemetery, Sellyoak, Birmingham, UK and was posthumously awarded a Military Medal for his extremely gallant behaviour on 17 November 1916 near Flers, France." - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)


Mr. and Mrs. J. Hodgens of Tothill's Creek, have received news of the death from wounds of their son, Private William Vincent Hodgens, in the Birmingham Hospital, on December 9. Private Hodgens enlisted on March 10 last, and sailed from South Australia on April 11. He was 24 years of age, of a bright and genial disposition, and was highly respected by his many friends. He was prominent in local sporting circles, and a staunch supporter of the Roman Catholic Church at Marrabel." - from the Adelaide Chronicle 30 Dec 1916 (nla.gov.au)


Biography contributed by Evan Evans

The summary below was completed by Cathy Sedgwick – Facebook “WW1 Australian War Graves in England/UK/Scotland/Ireland 

Died on this date – 9th December…… William Vincent Hodgens was born on 19th April, 1892 at Tothill’s Creek, near Marrabel, South Australia.

He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) on 6th March, 1916 as a 24 year old, single, Farmer from Tothill’s Creek, South Australia.

Private William Vincent Hodgens, Service number 1693, embarked from Adelaide, South Australia on HMAT Aeneas (A60) on 11th April, 1916 with the 50th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Reinforcements.
He was allotted to & proceeded from Tel-el-Kebir on 27th May, 1916 to join 50th Battalion from 13th Training Battalion. He was taken on strength of 50th Battalion at Railhead on 30th May, 1916.

On 5th June, 1916 Private Hodgens proceeded from Alexandria on Arcadian to join B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Force). He disembarked at Marseilles, France on 12th June, 1916.

Private William Vincent Hodgens was wounded in action on 17th November, 1916. He was admitted to 10th General Hospital at Rouen, France on 19th November, 1916 with G.S.W. (gunshot wound/s) to Face & Legs. Private Hodgens was marked for transfer to England on 4th December, 1916 & embarked for England on 5th December, 1916 on Hospital Ship Aberdonian.

On 5th December, 1915 Private Hodgens was admitted to 2nd Birmingham War Hospital, England with G.S.W Face with fractured lower jaw; G.S.W. left Arm with opened fracture of ulna & G.S.W. left Leg – flesh wound – severe.

Private William Vincent Hodgens died at 3.30 pm on 9th December, 1916 at 2nd Birmingham War Hospital, England. An Inquest was held with “the verdict being that No. 1693 Pte William Victor Hodgens died under Anaesthetic properly administered for the purpose of stopping Secondary Haemorrhage caused by shrapnel wound received in war.” Private William Vincent Hodgens’ official cause of death was listed as – died from wounds received in action in France (Shrapnel wounds, haemorrhage, died under Anaesthetic).
He was buried on 15th December, 1916 in Lodge Hill Cemetery, Birmingham, West Midlands, England – Soldiers Section B.10 Grave No. 408.

Base Records wrote to Mrs M. Hodgens, Tothill’s Creek, Marrabel, South Australia, on 19th April, 1920 with the following “With reference to my communication of 25th September, 1917, regarding the regrettable loss of your son, the late No.1693 Private W. V. Hodgens, M.M., 50th Battalion, I am now in receipt of further advice which shows that his remains have been exhumed from former site, and re-interred in Grave No. 422, Section “B” 10, Lodge Hill Cemetery, Birmingham. This work is carried out with every measure of care and reverence in the presence of a Chaplain...”

His name is now remembered on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Screen Wall B10. 422 as he does not have a headstone.

Private William Vincent Hodgens was recommended for the Military Medal on 12th December, 1916 by Major L.W. Jeffries, D.S.O., Lieutenant M. Gore & Captain F. M. Loutit. “Extremely gallant behaviour on the 17th November, 1916, near FLERS. Although severely wounded (one leg broken and portion of jaw shot away) he crawled about 200 yards, which took him over an hour, to get assistance for one of his comrades, who was also severely wounded. On arrival of stretcher bearers he refused to be dressed or taken away, allowing his comrade to receive first attention, although in great pain himself at the time.”

Private William Vincent Hodgens was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery in the Field (1st Anzac Routine Order 9587).

(The above is a summary of my research. The full research can be found by following the link below)