Where Light Horsemen Lie… (continued)
Major Oliver Hogue, who wrote under the endearing name of Trooper Blue Gum, is the better known among the few Light Horsemen buried in Commonwealth War Graves Cemeteries in England. Denied a homecoming and writing career that would undoubtedly have been enriched by his wartime experiences, Hogue died of influenza on 3rd March 1919 at the 3rd London General Hospital. He is one of the many AIF, but just one of three First World War Light Horsemen buried in the Military Section of Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey near London. Less well known than C E W Bean, Hogue gave of his talent to his fellow Light Horsemen in soldiers’ publications The Anzac Book and Cooee.
In Brookwood’s Military Cemetery there are two other Light Horsemen, both of whom are Victorians. Lance Corporal Joseph Tresize died of influenza less than a month before Oliver Hogue on 9th February 1919 in the Australian Military Hospital at Dartford, Kent. Gassing on the Western Front may well have weakened his lungs thus contributing to his final illness.
Denied the knowledge that the First World War was very soon to end, Private Valentine Francis Green died of pneumonia on 19th October 1917 in the Military Hospital at Mile End in London’s northwest. In many cases, disease was a greater enemy, if not a greater enemy than the Germans. By the time of the Second World War penicillin and other medical advances had greatly reduced death by disease.