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Hogg, R., Pte., 1915
Photo: James Hoy Archive

Shields Gazette 23/05/1917

Medal Index Card

In Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery is the Commonwealth War Grave of 2742 Private Robert Hogg, serving with the 1/8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry who died 27/04/1915.

Robert Hogg was the son of Robert Batey Hogg ,a marine engineer and Amy Hogg, of South Shields.

He attended Westoe Secondary School in South Shields, and went to Bede College in 1911, obtaining his certificate in 1913, with Mathematics as an optional subject. Robert also was the Honorary Secretary of the College’s Missionary Society 1912-1913. Upon leaving the College he was employed as a teacher at St Stephen’s Church School in South Shields, served as Secretary to the St Mary’s Tyne Dock Boy Scouts, and lived in Frederick Street.

Robert Hogg had enlisted at Durham as private 2742, in 'A' Company in the 1/8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. He was transferred to the first line transport on the 26th April to replace a casualty, a position that should in theory have been slightly safer than the front line. Unfortunately later that day a shell dropped near the quartermaster’s stores and Hogg was mortally wounded and died shortly after. Robert died of his wounds on the 27th April 1915. He was aged 23. This was part of the 2nd Battle of Ypres also known as the Battle of St Julien.

In the book A Record of the War Service of Bede Men in His Majesty’s Navy & Army During The Years Of The Great War 1914-1918, (1921), on page 47 to 48. Captain [later Major], F. G. Harvey decribed his death : The stores were by this time in a house at the west end of Vlamertinghe, and nearby in a field were 70 of our men who had returned there; among them being Lieut. Baldwin and Sergeant Teasdale, also R. Hogg (11-13), Shepherd, and others. M.D. Smith did not return as he had been wounded in the arm by a shrapnel bullet, so we got R. Hogg (11-13) in his place. But that evening, just when the ration carts were ready, the Germans suddenly opened fire on the town and fields around it, and there were many casualties, the hospital being badly damaged. The Q.M.'s staff were standing watching the havoc caused by shells falling among the Scots Greys, who were in an adjacent field, when a howitzer shell fell about 6 or 8 feet from us, and out of a group of nine, I was the only one unhurt. R. Hogg was killed by this shell, J. Smiles was seriously injured, and the Quartermaster and Q.M.-Sergeant were also wounded.

The War Diary states this happened on the 26th April.

On the 26th [April] the quartermaster's stores were struck by a shell which wounded Lieutenant and Quartermaster's W. Francis Regimental Quartermaster-Sergeant H. Wilkinson, Armourer Sergeant Eves, {died of wounds}, Pioneer Sergeant Mole, Private Smiles and one or two others. Private Hogg, a Bede College Student who had only joined the Quartermaster's Staff that day, was killed. Private Proudlock of 'A' Company, who was unhurt, then carried on the duties for a considerable time.

The first line transport lies were only half a mile away west of the Battalion HQ. And they were shelled every day, as they were located in front of a Canadian Gun Battery. And the Sores being located in Vlamertinghe Ypres was continually shelled.

Robert Hogg is remembered at Harton on H104.03, at South Shields on S86.09 and S86.51, Teachers who served Durham, Teachers who Fell Durham, at Durham in D47.013b page 99, on D47.017, on D47.052, D47.126, on D47.127a on D47.141, in D47.156a page 249.

Roll of Honour Durham Special Collections
South Shields Grammar School
The CWGC entry for Private Hogg

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk