Frank Spry LODGE MC, MM

LODGE, Frank Spry

Service Number: 512
Enlisted: 29 March 1915, Hamilton, Victoria
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 2nd Pioneer Battalion
Born: Stawell, Victoria, 13 July 1887
Home Town: Hamilton, Southern Grampians, Victoria
Schooling: St Mary’s Convent School
Occupation: Stone cutter
Died: Natural causes (lengthy illness), Heidelberg, Victoria, 8 May 1952, aged 64 years
Cemetery: Burwood General Cemetery, Victoria, Australia
Memorials:
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World War 1 Service

29 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 512, Hamilton, Victoria
10 May 1915: Embarked Private, SN 512, 22nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ulysses, Melbourne
10 May 1915: Involvement Private, SN 512, 22nd Infantry Battalion
4 Sep 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 22nd Infantry Battalion
16 Oct 1915: Promoted Corporal, 22nd Infantry Battalion
16 Mar 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Corporal, 2nd Pioneer Battalion
12 Apr 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 2nd Pioneer Battalion
4 Aug 1916: Honoured Military Medal, Pozières, 'On 4th/5th August, 1916, at POZIERES, walked in the open up and down his length of new communication trench to newly captured position directing and exhorting his men. His fearless example had excellent effect and materially helped completion of a most useful work.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 184 Date: 14 December 1916
26 Aug 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 2nd Pioneer Battalion
26 Nov 1916: Promoted Lieutenant, 2nd Pioneer Battalion
31 Aug 1918: Honoured Military Cross, Mont St Quentin / Peronne, 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations incidental to the advance to east of Mont St. Quentin, notable in clearing and repairing roads. He made several valuable reconnaissances under heavy shell fire, and his splendid work in rapid bridging was of the greatest assistance to the advance.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 67 Date: 3 June 1919
12 Apr 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN 512, 2nd Pioneer Battalion

Frank Lodge biography

Frank Lodge was a son of James Lodge and Ellen (nee Murphy) and was born at Stawell in 1887. James Lodge was a stonemason, working in a partnership called Lodge & Timmins. The Lodges remained at Stawell until around Frank was five in 1892 when they moved to Hamilton, taking up residence in Clarke Street. The Lodge family consisted of the parents, James and Ellen Lodge, six sons; Frank, James (Jim), Harry, Augustine (Gus), Richard, and Frederick and two daughters; Alice and Ellen. James continued as a stonemason, working on many buildings in Hamilton and the surrounding towns. Frank attended St Mary’s Convent School and when old enough, went to work with his father. He also joined the local branch of the Australian Natives Association and played football for North Hamilton Football Club.

WW1 started in August 1914 and it wasn’t long before Frank’s younger brother Augustine Lodge, known as Gus enlisted and left overseas with the 8th Battalion. Five months later, on 29th March 1915, Frank enlisted at Hamilton and on 10th May 1915, left Australia with the 22nd Battalion, serving as a Private. The 22nd Battalion arrived in Egypt and by 2nd September 1915 were at Lemnos preparing to move to Gallipoli. While there, Frank received a promotion to Lance Corporal on 4 September 1915. The 22nd Battalion arrived at Gallipoli on 5th September at 6:30 am. Brother Gus had already done his on Gallipoli and being wounded on July 23rd 1915.

On 10 October 1915, Frank received a promotion to Corporal and it was not long before the 22nd Battalion evacuated to Lemnos and then Alexandria, Egypt on 27 December 1915. The 22nd were one of the last units to evacuate Gallipoli. On 16th March 1916, while at Moascar, Egypt, Frank transferred to the 2nd Pioneer Battalion, an engineering unit, perfect for Frank with his construction background. The move also brought a promotion to Sergeant and left for France arriving on 26th March 1916.

On 29th July 1916, the 2nd Pioneers were in Pozieres and had commenced working on a communications trench known as “Centre Way” running to Pozieres Wood. Their work was not helped by the enemy as the Germans bombarded the area heavily. Overnight on 4th August, with their section almost complete, Frank stood in the open above the trench not only giving directions to his men but urging them on.

The following day the company received congratulations from General Birdwood and Major General Legge for their work the previous night. Frank’s efforts were noted and he received a Military Medal, his recommendation stating, “His fearless example had excellent effect and materially helped completion of a most useful work.”

Only a week earlier, the gallantry of Frank’s brother Gus at Pozieres earned him a Distinguished Service Order but on 18th August, Gus was severely wounded and for two weeks dangerously wounded. Six days later, Frank received a gunshot wound on 24th August and transferred by train to hospital in Boulogne. While there, he received a promotion to 2nd Lieutenant. On 10th September, Frank moved to base duties then returned to the 2nd Pioneers near Ypres, Belgium by the end of September, receiving a promotion to Lieutenant on 26th November 1916.

On 4th February 1917, while at Contalmaison, just south of Pozieres, Frank received a shrapnel wound to the scalp but only remained in hospital until 19 February. Meanwhile back in Australia, on 28th June 1917 Frank’s brother James enlisted and then brother Richard on 4th August, both joining the 2nd Pioneer Battalion based on Kings Regulations. In France, Frank Lodge received news he was seconded for duty with the Pioneer Training Battalion in England and arrived on 1st August 1917. He remained in England for five months before returning to the 2nd Pioneers on 12th January 1918 then at Nieppe, France.

During mid-June 1918, Frank came down with influenza and hospitalised. On 4 July, orders came through for Frank to take three weeks sick leave in England. At home, Frank’s youngest brother Frederick died on 20 June and on 31 July, father James Lodge also died. The youngest daughter, Nell believes that her father died as a result of “fretting” for his sons. Ironically, James Snr and Frederick were the only two Lodge men to die during WWI and they did not go to the war. At a ceremony on 24th August 1918, relatives and friends planted trees for Frank, his three brothers and father James as part of the Clark Street Avenue of Honour.

Frank rejoined his battalion on 6th August 1918, possibly having heard the sad news from home via cable while still in England. The 2nd Pioneers were located Villers Bretonneux. On 31st August 1918, with an attack planned for nearby Peronne and Mont St Quentin on the other side of the Somme River, Frank went forward to assess sites for bridges to aid with the advance. His actions saw him awarded a Military Cross. The bridge building continued in earnest. Plans of bridges built by the 2nd Pioneers over the River Somme are available to view in the battalion unit diary.

By the end of September 1918, Frank left France arriving back in England on 29th September 1918 and only a month later was sailing for Australia as the result of a family request for assistance. During the voyage, Frank was admitted to the ship’s hospital with a wound to the head on 7 December and not discharged until the ship arrived at Adelaide on 15th December 1918. Lieutenant Frank Spry Lodge MC, MM was discharged from the AIF on 12th April 1919.

After the war, Frank and his brother Richard established a stone masonary firm, Lodge Bros. The two brothers pooled their deferred army pay they had each received on discharge to start the building and contracting business in Melbourne – the company still exists today. Frank was the master mason. They employed returned serviceman as labourers for the job. He then went into partnership with his brothers James and Richard and later Gus, calling themselves Lodge Bros. In 1923, Frank joined another partnership when he married Eileen May Coleman (see photo) with Gus as his best man. They settled in Canterbury went on to have seven children. In 1928, Lodge Bros. won the contract to build Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance (with Daniel Vaughan) which they did using the labour of returned servicemen. The shrine was one of many war memorials constructed by Lodge Bros. during that time.

Tragically, Frank’s health broke down in 1934 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This was accepted as a war disability that was brought on by the numerous head wounds he had suffered. Frank was in and out of hospital for the next five years and the ravages of the disease rendered him completely disabled. In 1937, he was admitted on a full-time basis to Heidelburg repatriation hospital. He remained in hospital until his death in 1952.

Extracted from Western District Families page (see link) and I am also heavily indebted to Frank Lodge (grandson of Frank Spry Lodge MM, MC) who undertook most of the research for his unpublished book chapter “Lodges at war”.

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

Frank Lodge was a son of James Lodge and Ellen (nee Murphy) and was born at Stawell in 1887. James Lodge was a stonemason, working in a partnership called Lodge & Timmins.  The Lodges remained at Stawell until around Frank was five in 1892 when they moved to Hamilton, taking up residence in Clarke Street.   The Lodge family consisted of the parents, James and Ellen Lodge, six sons; Frank, James (Jim), Harry, Augustine (Gus), Richard, and Frederick and two daughters; Alice and Ellen.  James continued as a stonemason, working on many buildings in Hamilton and the surrounding towns.  Frank attended St Mary’s Convent School and when old enough, went to work with his father.  He also joined the local branch of the Australian Natives Association and played football for North Hamilton Football Club.

WW1 started in August 1914 and it wasn’t long before Frank’s younger brother Augustine Lodge, known as Gus enlisted and left overseas with the 8th Battalion.  Five months later, on 29th March 1915, Frank enlisted at Hamilton and on 10th May 1915, left Australia with the 22nd Battalion, serving as a Private.  The 22nd Battalion arrived in Egypt and by 2nd September 1915 were at Lemnos preparing to move to Gallipoli. While there, Frank received a promotion to Lance Corporal on 4 September 1915.  The 22nd Battalion arrived at Gallipoli on 5th September at 6:30 am.  Brother Gus had already done his on Gallipoli and being wounded on July 23rd 1915.

On 10 October 1915, Frank received a promotion to Corporal and it was not long before the 22nd Battalion evacuated to Lemnos and then Alexandria, Egypt on 27 December 1915.  The 22nd were one of the last units to evacuate Gallipoli.  On 16th March 1916, while at Moascar, Egypt, Frank transferred to the 2nd Pioneer Battalion, an engineering unit, perfect for Frank with his construction background.  The move also brought a promotion to Sergeant and left for France arriving on 26th March 1916.

On 29th July 1916, the 2nd Pioneers were in Pozieres and had commenced working on a communications trench known as “Centre Way” running to Pozieres Wood.  Their work was not helped by the enemy as the Germans bombarded the area heavily.  Overnight on 4th August, with their section almost complete, Frank stood in the open above the trench not only giving directions to his men but urging them on. 

The following day the company received congratulations from General Birdwood and Major General Legge for their work the previous night. Frank’s efforts were noted and he received a Military Medal, his recommendation stating, “His fearless example had excellent effect and materially helped completion of a most useful work.”

Only a week earlier, the gallantry of Frank’s brother Gus at Pozieres earned him a Distinguished Service Order but on 18th August, Gus was severely wounded and for two weeks dangerously wounded. Six days later, Frank received a gunshot wound on 24th August and transferred by train to hospital in Boulogne.  While there, he received a promotion to 2nd Lieutenant.  On 10th September, Frank moved to base duties then returned to the 2nd Pioneers near Ypres, Belgium by the end of September, receiving a promotion to Lieutenant on 26th November 1916.

 

On 4th February 1917, while at Contalmaison, just south of Pozieres, Frank received a shrapnel wound to the scalp but only remained in hospital until 19 February.  Meanwhile back in Australia, on 28th June 1917 Frank’s brother James enlisted and then brother Richard on 4th August, both joining the 2nd  Pioneer Battalion based on Kings Regulations. In France, Frank Lodge received news he was seconded for duty with the Pioneer Training Battalion in England and arrived on 1st August 1917.  He remained in England for five months before returning to the 2nd Pioneers on 12th January 1918 then at Nieppe, France.   

During mid-June 1918, Frank came down with influenza and hospitalised.  On 4 July, orders came through for Frank to take three weeks sick leave in England.  At home, Frank’s youngest brother Frederick died on 20 June and on 31 July, father James Lodge also died.  The youngest daughter, Nell believes that her father died as a result of “fretting” for his sons.  Ironically, James Snr and Frederick were the only two Lodge men to die during WWI and they did not go to the war. At a ceremony on 24th August 1918, relatives and friends planted trees for Frank, his three brothers and father James as part of the Clark Street Avenue of Honour.

Frank rejoined his battalion on 6th August 1918, possibly having heard the sad news from home via cable while still in England. The 2nd Pioneers were located Villers Bretonneux.  On 31st August 1918, with an attack planned for nearby Peronne and Mont St Quentin on the other side of the Somme River, Frank went forward to assess sites for bridges to aid with the advance. His actions saw him awarded a Military Cross. The bridge building continued in earnest. Plans of bridges built by the 2nd Pioneers over the River Somme are available to view in the battalion unit diary.

By the end of September 1918, Frank left France arriving back in England on 29th September 1918 and only a month later was sailing for Australia as the result of a family request for assistance.  During the voyage, Frank was admitted to the ship’s hospital with a wound to the head on 7 December and not discharged until the ship arrived at Adelaide on 15th December 1918.  Lieutenant Frank Spry Lodge MC, MM was discharged from the AIF on 12th April 1919.

After the war, Frank and his brother Richard established a stone masonary firm, Lodge Bros. The two brothers pooled their deferred army pay they had each received on discharge to start the building and contracting business in Melbourne – the company still exists today. Frank was the master mason.   They employed returned serviceman as labourers for the job. He then went into partnership with his brothers James and Richard and later Gus, calling themselves Lodge Bros.  In 1923, Frank joined another partnership when he married Eileen May Coleman (see photo) with Gus as his best man. They settled in Canterbury went on to have seven children.  In 1928, Lodge Bros. won the contract to build Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance (with Daniel Vaughan) which they did using the labour of returned servicemen.  The shrine was one of many war memorials constructed by Lodge Bros. during that time.

Tragically, Frank’s health broke down in 1934 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  His illness was accepted as a war disability that was probably brought on by the numerous head wounds he had suffered during the war.  Frank was in and out of hospital for the next five years and the ravages of the disease rendered him completely disabled.  In Caulfield Repatriation Hospital in 1942 on a full-time basis and transferred to Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital in 1948.  He remained in hospital until his death in 1952.

Extracted from Western District Families page (see link) and I am also heavily indebted to Frank Lodge (grandson of Frank Spry Lodge MM, MC) who undertook most of the research for his unpublished book chapter “Lodges at war”.

Read more...