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Oliver Hogue (1880 - 1919)

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    Posted: 24 Jan 2012 at 16:49
The original can be viewed at the Australian National University site -:

Hogue, Oliver (1880–1919)

by Elyne Mitchell

Oliver Hogue (1880-1919), journalist and soldier, was born on 29 April 1880 in Sydney, second son of native-born parents James Alexander Hogue and his wife Jessie, née Robards. The family comprised six boys and four girls.

Oliver was educated at Forest Lodge Public School, Sydney. Tall, active and wiry, an all-round athlete and a skilled horseman and rifle-shot, he considered himself a 'bushman'. After leaving school he cycled thousands of miles, exploring most of Australia's eastern and northern coast, and worked as a commercial traveller before joining the Sydney Morning Herald in 1907.

He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in September 1914 as a trooper with the 6th Light Horse Regiment. Commissioned second lieutenant in November, he sailed for Egypt with the 2nd L.H. Brigade in the Suevic in December.

Hogue served on Gallipoli with the Light Horse (dismounted) for five months, then was invalided to England with enteric fever. In May 1915 he was promoted lieutenant and appointed orderly officer to Colonel (Sir) Granville Ryrie, the brigade commander. Charles Bean observed: 'Day after day the Brigadier … tramped round the front line with his enthusiastic and devoted orderly officer, Oliver Hogue'. In letters to his family and to the Sydney Morning Herald from Gallipoli, he was always cheerful, enjoying 'a scrap'. Insisting on fair reporting, he denied incorrect reports of mutilations by the Turks. His letters and articles present a well-perceived picture of events and good understanding of the soldiers. In a letter to his father he remarked: 'I might be rather angry with Captain Bean first because he beat me to the post for the big job, and second because he seems to have ignored our Brigade all along, but I find him so absolutely straight and sincere and honest that I like him immensely and always have'.

As 'Trooper Bluegum' he wrote articles for the Herald subsequently collected in the books Love Letters of an Anzac (London, 1916) and Trooper Bluegum at the Dardanelles (London, 1916). Sometimes representing war as almost a sport, he took pride in seeing 'the way our young Australians played the game of war'.

Hogue returned from hospital in England to the 6th L.H. in Sinai and fought in the decisive battle of Romani. Transferred to the Imperial Camel Corps on 1 November 1916, he was promoted captain on 3 July 1917. He fought with the Camel Corps at Magdhaba, Rafa, Gaza, Tel el Khuweilfe, Musallabeh, and was with them in the first trans-Jordan raid to Amman. In 1917 Hogue led the 'Pilgrim's Patrol' of fifty Cameliers and two machine-guns into the Sinai desert to Jebel Mousa, to collect Turkish rifles from the thousands of Bedouins in the desert.

After the summer of 1918, spent in the Jordan Valley, camels were no longer required. The Cameliers were given horses and swords and converted into cavalry. Hogue, promoted major on 1 July 1918, was now in Brigadier General George Macarthur-Onslow's 5th L.H. Brigade, commanding a squadron of the 14th L.H. Regiment. At the taking of Damascus by the Desert Mounted Corps in September 1918, the 5th Brigade stopped the Turkish Army escaping through the Barada Gorge. (Sir) Henry Gullett wrote: 'A handful of Australians of the 14th Light Horse Regiment under Major Oliver Hogue occupied a house at the entrance of the gorge, and poured galling fire at a few yards' range into the now distracted Turks'.

Oliver Hogue went through the whole campaign of the Desert Mounted Corps, but died of influenza at the 3rd London General Hospital on 3 March 1919. He was buried in the Australian military section of Brookwood cemetery. He was unmarried. His twin sister Amy had died the previous year.

As well as the articles sent to Australia, and some in English magazines, Hogue wrote a third book, The Cameliers (London, 1919), also some verse. His contributions to Australia in Palestine(Sydney, 1919), edited by H. S. Gullett and C. Barrett, were two poems and an essay on the Camel Brigade.

Hogue's verse was not, according to Bertram Stevens, poetry 'in the serious sense of that word'. His first two books, Stevens wrote, 'contain the impressions of a buoyant and generous soul—a healthy athlete enjoying life thoroughly, and regarding danger as absolutely necessary to give it zest'. His letters 'conveyed a good deal of the happy-go-lucky spirit of the Australians, their indifference to danger, and laughter when in difficulties or in pain'.

Select Bibliography

  • H. S. Gullett, The A.I.F. in Sinai and Palestine (Syd, 1935)
  • C. E. W. Bean, The Story of Anzac, vol 2 (1924)
  • J. R. Hall, The Desert Hath Pearls (Melb, 1975)
  • G. F. and E. M. Langley, Sand, Sweat and Camels (Kilmore, Vic, 1976)
  • Kia Ora Cooee, Apr, May, Dec 1918
  • Aussie, 15 Sept 1920
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 12 Mar 1919
  • Hogue letters (Australian War Memorial).

Alternative biographies -:

Australian War Memorial People Profile available to view at -:

Original Roll of Honour entry at AWM site -:

Roll of Honour - Oliver Hogue

Rank: Major

Unit: 14th Australian Light Horse

Service: Australian Army

Conflict: 1914-1918

Date of death: 3 March 1919

Place of death: 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, United Kingdom

Cause of death: Illness (Influenza)

Cemetery or memorial details: Brookwood Military Cemetery, United Kingdom

War Grave Register notes: HOGUE, Maj. Oliver. 14th Australian Light Horse. Died of influenza 3rd March, 1919. Son of J. A. and Jessie Hogue, of Sydney. IV. J. 9.

Source: AWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, Army

Location on the Roll of Honour

Oliver Hogue's name is located at panel 9 in the Commemorative Areaat the Australian War Memorial (as indicated by the poppy on the plan).

Map of Commemorative area showing which panel Oliver Hogues name is located

Roll of Honour Circular available to view at AWM site -:

Embarkation Roll available to view at AWM site -:

Original at Commonwealth War Graves Commission site -:

Regiment/Service:Australian Light Horse
Unit Text:14th
Date of Death:03/03/1919
Additional information:Son of James A. and Jessie Hogue, of 43 Monaben Road, Mosman, Sydney.
Casualty Type:Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference:IV. J. 9.

Original of Poem entry can be viewed at -: 

Anzac by Oliver Hogue

 Ah, well! We’re gone! We’re out of it now. We’ve got something else to do.
But we all look back from the transport deck to the land-line far and blue:
Shore and valley are faded; fading are cliff and hill;
The land-line we called “Anzac” . . . and we’ll call it “Anzac” still!

This last six months, I reckon, ‘ll be most of my life to me:
Trenches and shells, and snipers, and the morning light on the sea,
Thirst in the broiling mid-day, shouts and gasping cries,
Big guns’ talk from the water, and . . . flies, flies, flies, flies, flies!

And all of our trouble wasted! All of it gone for nix!
Still . . . we kept our end up – and some of the story sticks.
Fifty years from on in Sydney they’ll talk of our first big fight,
And even in little old, blind old England possibly some one might

But, seeing we had to clear, for we couldn’t get on no more,
I wish that, instead of last night, it had been the night before.
Yesterday poor Jim stopped one. Three of us buried Jim –
I know a woman in Sydney that thought the world of him.

She was his mother. I'll tell her – broken with grief and pride –
“Mother” was Jim's last whisper. That was all. And died.
Brightest and bravest and best of us all – none could help but to love him –
And now . . . he lies there under the hill, with a wooden cross above him.

That's where it gets me twisted. The rest of it I don't mind,
But it don't seem right for me to be off, and to leave old Jim behind.
Jim, just quietly sleeping; and hundreds and thousands more;
For graves and crosses are mighty thick from Quinn's Post down to the shore!

Better there than in France, though, with the German's dirty work:
I reckon the Turk respects us, as we respect the Turk;
Abdul's a good, clean fighter – we've fought him, and we know –
And we've left a letter behind us to tell him we found him so.

Not just to say, precisely, “Good-bye,” but “Au revoir”! 
Somewhere or other we’ll meet again, before the end of the war
But I hope it’ll be in a wider place, with a lot more room on the map,
And the airmen over the fight that day’ll see a bit of a scrap!

Meanwhile, here’s health to the Navy, that took us there, and away;
Lord! They’re miracle-workers – and fresh ones every day!
My word! Those Midis in the cutters! Aren’t they properly keen!
Don’t ever say England’s rotten – or not to us, who’ve seen!

Well! We’re gone. We’re out of it all! We’ve somewhere else to fight.
And we strain our eyes from the transport deck, but “Anzac” is out of sight!
Valley and shore are vanished; vanished are cliff and hill;
And we’ll never go back to “Anzac” . . . But I think that some of us will! 

Edited by TROUNSON6280 - 10 Feb 2012 at 21:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 20:28
The following photo of Oliver Hogue was copied from his book the Cameliers (1919).
A copy of  his book "Trooper Bluegum at the Dardanelles" (1915) may be download free in electronic format. (
Note the sentiment on the photograph;
"Yours very sincerely Trooper Bluegum".
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