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  • Writer's pictureStephen Callaghan

Drummer Martin Hogan from Birr

Martin Hogan was born on 22 July 1890 in Birr. He was the son of John Hogan and Margaret Hogan (née Neaton) of High Street. John was a tailor and had married Margaret on 22 November 1870 in St Brendan’s Catholic Church.

Martin attended St Brendan’s National School, he started infant school on 2 March 1896 at the age of four. He is recorded as attending school for 133 days in his second year. He transferred from infant school on 15 December 1897 and would spend another four years in school, only passing the first two years. He was struck off the schools register on 28 September 1901.

The 1901 census records John, Margaret along with three sons (including Martin, with the incorrect age of 14!), living at 13, High Street. John Hogan died on 17 June 1907, aged 57 from acute bronchitis.

Martin enlisted in the Leinster Regiment as a drummer at Birr on 5 March 1908. When war broke out in August 1914, Drummer Hogan went to France with the 2nd Battalion, Leinster Regiment. On 17 June 1916, the Leinster Reporter recorded that Drummer Hogan had returned home on leave, it stated:

“Drummer Martin Hogan, of the Leinsters, is at present home on leave. He has been at the front since the memorable August, 1914, and escaped without a scratch. His father was the later Mr. John Hogan, tailor, High street, Birr. This young soldier looks remarkably well after his trying experiences.”

Drummer Hogan would later be wounded in September 1916, despite being wounded he served until 30 August 1918, when he was discharged due to sickness. His service entitled him to a 1914 Star, British War medal, Victory medal and Silver War Badge. His length of service also entitled him to a war pension.

Post war he married Mary Ann Clarke, a housekeeper, on 1 July 1919, in St Brendan’s Catholic church. They would have several children together. On 22 November 1919 Martin received a grant of 30 pounds from the Military Service Department for the purpose of purchasing a donkey, cart and harness to sell turf.

Martin died in the County Home, Tullamore on 3 October 1947 from shock and heart failure as a result of chronic gangrene. He was buried in Clonoghill Cemetery, Birr.

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