On Anzac Day we remember our ancestors who have not only worked hard to pave the way for modern Australia, but also served in the military and defended our country. Amandus and Mary’s sons and grandsons started a tradition of serving our country that continues today. We are thankful that our family did not lose any sons or grandsons in WW1 or WW2, and pay our respects to the families of soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice.
Three of Amandus and Mary’s sons: Albert John, Edward Thomas and Ernest Carl served in the military. A total of ten grandsons served as well: Norman, Henry, Arthur, William, Geoffrey and Clive Hoschke, Robert & Edward Tait and Ralph and Herbert Ide.
As you may imagine having a German surname and being first and second generation Australians would have made things difficult at times given the political landscape of World War 1 and 2.
- Albert John enlisted in 1915 at the age of 35. His occupation was listed as a labourer, indeed he had a pre-existing injury to his ankle that happened 8 months earlier when some timber fell on his leg and this meant he was declared unfit due to stiffness in his ankle, and he was discharged less than a month later.
- Edward Thomas, Amandus & Mary’s 7th child enlisted in the Australian Army at 33 years of age on 7th October 1915. His occupation was listed as a butcher / grazier. He was 5’5 ½” with blue eyes and brown hair. As shown above, Edward served in active duty in Egypt, France and England and was injured several times before being medically discharged on Jan 1st 1917.
- Amandus and Mary’s 10th child Ennisil (known as Ernest) Carl enlisted in the Australian Army on July 16th 1942 at Homebush, NSW. He was 57 when he enlisted and son Clive was also serving in the Army at the same time (see below). His wife Ellen was listed as his next of kin and Ernest served for just over two years as a driver in the 11 Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps.
The Volunteer Defence Corps were a part time volunteer military force established by the RSL during WW2. Along with Ernest, six of his nephews served in the volunteer corps. To begin with the VDC was made up of returned soldiers from WW1. In 1941 the government of the time took over control of the volunteer defence corps and they were trained to provide static defence for their home areas, which is where all of Amandus and Mary’s grandsons would have completed their service.
After the war broke out in the Pacific in February 1942, the government of the time expanded membership to any man aged between 18 and 60. During this time there were almost 100,000 men in units across Australia. As you can see below, many of Amandus and Mary’s grandsons had small children of their own by this time and the thought of being invaded by sea must have been quite frightening. Indeed Coffs Harbour still has several bunkers intact that were built during World War Two when it was feared the Japanese would invade the local coastline. There is more information on our local area at that time and the bunkers here.
By May 1944 the threat to Australia had declined and by August 1945 the volunteer corps was officially disbanded, which as you can see below is when most of our family served until.
Of their grandsons who served the following is known from their records:
- George Hoschke’s middle son Norman enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on the 23rd September 1941 at the age of 23. This was two years before he married his wife, but she was listed as his next of kin and he enlisted in Sydney, NSW. Norman reached the rank of Corporal before being discharged on January 4th 1944.
- Henry Carl, August Hoschke’s youngest surviving son enlisted in the Australian Army in August 1942 at the age of 28. He served for 6 years, holding the rank of Lieutenant in the 23 MED COY on his discharge in May 1948. With his wife Lillian whom he had married in 1938, Henry had three sons by the end of the war Graham, Barry & Brian, with a daughter Lynette being born in 1946 while her father was still serving in the Army.
- Arthur Charles, Frederick Hoschke’s oldest son, served three years as a private in the 16 Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps from Jan 1942 to Sep 1945. He was 34 when he enlisted and was living with his wife Jean and sons Fred, Eric & Doug who were small children at the time.
- William Frederick was Frederick Hoschke’s youngest son and he also served as a private in the 16 Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps from Jan 1942 to Sep 1945 alongside his brother Arthur. William was living in Upper Orara with his wife Dulcie and their three small sons Keith, Max and Noel.
- Geoffrey Edward, Edward Hoschke’s only child enlisted in the Australian Army in July 1942 at Tomago, NSW. His father had seen active service in World War 1 and Geoffrey also served in the army for 4 years with the 2/12 Australian Commando Squadron before being discharged from service in June 1946. Geoffrey attained the rank of Corporal and married his wife June the year after he left the Army.
- Clive Ernest, Ernest Hoschke’s oldest son, enlisted in the Australian Army in October 1939 at the age of 22. He served for seven years with the 2/2 Australian Infantry Battalion before being discharged in January 1946. His wife Valerie, whom he married four years earlier, was listed as his next of kin.
- Robert William, Mary & William Tait‘s son served with the Royal Australian Air Force for four years from July 1941 to November 1945. He saw active service in Canada, Egypt, UK, India and the Middle East and was a Warrant Officer in the 21 PTC on his discharge. Earlier this year (2013) we were able to locate Robert’s only known descendant, his nephew and Robert’s war medals and military records will be returned to him.
- Edward Arthur Tait, Mary & William Tait‘s youngest son served with the Army in the 104 GENERAL TRANSPORT COMPANY AUSTRALIAN ARMY SERVICES CORPS. He enlisted aged 20, and served as a private for 3 1/2 years. His father was listed as his next of kin.
- Ralph Robert, son of Hilda Minnie & Robert Ide, served three years as a Lance Corporal in the 16 Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps from Jan 1942 to Sep 1945. He was 27 when he enlisted and his wife Joyce was listed as his next of kin. Ralph was living at Upper Orara with his wife Joyce and their three small children Margaret, Nancy and Ralph.
- Herbert Bruce, Hilda and Robert Ide’s next youngest son served two years as a Sergeant in the 16 Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps from May 1943 to Sep 1945. Herbert was aged 26 when he enlisted and listed his father as his next of kin.
We are very proud of our ancestors and remember their service always, but especially on Anzac Day. Lest We Forget.
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