The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, June 1916
To the Memory of George McLachlan Hogben
To the Memory of George McLachlan Hogben.
Sergeant George McLachlan Hogben, of the 13 regiment Company (West Coast), Canterbury Infantry Battalion, Main Body New Zealand Expeditionary Forces, was born at Christchurch on the 27th September, 1886 and died at the Base Hospital, Gallipoli, on the 8th or 9th August, 1915.
He fought in Egypt at the Battle of Tuseun and was wounded at the Battle of Krithia, Gallipoli Peninsula, on the 8th May, 1915. After recovering at Malta he returned to Gallipoli to fight with the immortal "Anzace" and took part in the great advance from Anzac Cove on August 6th. "Never in history did soldiers show higher "courage, steadfastness, and the power to suffer all things "and endure all things than these thrice gallant soldiers "from Australia or New Zealand." In the darkness of that night they scaled the scarped heights defying angles of ascent previously considered "impracticable for infantry" and lodged themselves on the plateau above. Next day, within sight of victory, these supermen fought desperately to hold their position, and in his fierce page 76 Battle of Chunuk Bahr Sergeant Hogben was seriously wounded. He was sent to Anzac Field Hospital next day and then transferred to the Base Hospital, where he died on the 8th or 9th August, having nobly served his country.
Educated at a Kindergarten, at Waimataitai Public School, Timaru Boy's High School and Wellington Boy's College, "Mace" —as he was known to his intimate friends —came to Victoria University College in 1905. Although of a quiet demeanour, silent and retiring by nature, and seemingly giving no promise of achievement in the realm of brilliant wit and repartee, it was not long before he had proved himself to be the possessor of a singular sense of humour—of one kindly, generous and yet poignant. Here was a trait which straightway endeared him to those of his fellow who came to know him intimately, and which manifested itself so brightly in his contributions to the "Spike," his Capping songs and the Extravaganzas of his time.
He was joint author with his brother of "South Sea Bubbles"—the Capping play of 1908—an able travesty, smartly written, upon political affairs of the day; and he was also a member of that collaboration which, in 1909, produced the memorable "Shackleton Out-Shacked," probably the most original piece of work of its kind for which Victoria College has as yet been responsible. Much of the subtle humour of this latter play came from his pen, while his delightful impersonation of Krook—one of its best characters—will live in the memory of all who saw it—more especially those "irrepressibles" who were bane of the Custodian's life.
He was responsible also for some clever individual Capping songs—notably the sadly prophetic "Dread Nought," wherein we have the lines:—
"For he knew poor old Asquith was perspiring
With thoughts of firing
And ships retiring,
So he sent him the help he as requiring,
By promptly wiring
New Zealand's aid."
On leaving Victoria College he became an Engineer ("Mining Surveyor") to the Consolidated Gold Fields of New Zealand at Reefton, and those competent to judge predicted a brilliant future for him in his profession. His intention of proceeding to England to undergo higher training in Civil Engineering was cut short by the war in which he laid down his life, so brimful of hope and promise.
For some time he was reported missing, but there comes from a kindly Chaplain at the front final news of "Mac":—"He lies buried in a cemetery overlooking the "Egean Sea with the islands so full of sacred association "in the distance, Samotherce and Mitylene."