• Stephen Callaghan

A Career Soldier's Bed Plate - Warrant Officer M. J. Hogan


Bed plate to M. J. Hogan.

Today with are looking at a simple brass item, a bed plate. Bed or duty plates were hung at the end of a soldier’s bed when they were on duty. So the NCO or officer would know where a soldier was if not at his bed. They are interesting pieces of history in their own right and are often stamped the details of the soldier they belonged to.


This particular bed plate is stamped with the regimental badge of The King’s Own Royal Regiment (Lancashire), it is also impressed with a regimental number and the name M. J. Hogan. Below is the story of the bed plates owner.


Michael Joseph Hogan was born in 1910 in Accrington, Lancashire. He was the son of Matthew Hogan and Mary Hogan (née Foley). Matthew was born in Nenagh, County Tipperary and Mary in County Dublin. They married in Accrington in 1908.


The 1911 census records Matthew, Mary and their children Michael and Mary living at 42 Chapel Street, Accrington. Matthew is recorded as an iron moulder and Mary as a house wife. They later had another two children, William and Evelyn. As a school boy Michael attended St Anne’s School in Accrington.


During the Great War, Matthew enlisted in the Leinster Regiment. He arrived in France on 18 December 1915 with the 7th (Service) Battalion. He was ultimately killed in action during the September phase of the Battle of the Somme on 3 September 1916 during the attack on Guillemont. His name commemorated on the Thiepvaal Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.


Michael joined the army in 1928. Enlisting in the King’s Own Royal Regiment. He served in Palestine, Egypt and India. He worked his way up the ranks aching the rank of Warrant Officer Class III, he also was transferred to the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire). He died on 9 January 1944 whilst on active service in India attached to the Royal West African Field Force and was buried in Chittagong War Cemetery, Chattogram, Bangladesh. His memorial bears the inscription ‘Eternal rest give unto him, o Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him’.

Chittagong War Cemetery, Bangladesh. Courtesy of Hossain Toufique Iftekher via wikipedia.


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