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  • Writer's pictureStephen Callaghan

The sad tale of Trooper Vincent Hogan, South Irish Horse

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Vincent John Hogan was born in Crinkill, Birr on 23 February 1892. He was the son of Colour Sergeant Patrick Hogan and Sarah Hogan (née Hendy).

Patrick was born in Roscrea, Tipperary around 1863. He joined the Leinster Regiment at Birr on 6 December 1882. He rose to the rank of Colour Sergeant. He married Sarah Hendy in St Brendan’s Catholic Church on 11 April 1891. Sarah was born in Bangalore, India. She was the daughter of a Colour Sergeant James Hendy and Rose Hendy (née Ryan) and had resided in Birr Barracks. Along with Vincent, they had a daughter, Catherine Rose who was born in Crinkill on 3 March 1893.

The 1901 census records Vincent and his sister Catherine living with their grandparents James and Rose Hendy, just outside Birr in Coolnagrower. Also listed on the census is one Sarah Hendy, recorded as married, it is unclear if this is Vincent and Rose’s mother. If so, it suggests that Patrick was dead or had left his family.

Vincent was enrolled in St Brendan’s National School in Birr in 1905. He attended the school for two years, with 79 days attendance in his first year and 176 days in his final year. He was struck off the school's register on 11 August 1909. Its likely Vincent’s earlier schooling would have taken place in the garrison school within the barracks.

Vincent enlisted in the South Irish Horse and served in ‘B’ squadron. Growing up in a military family would have likely influenced his decision to join the army. It was a steady job with regular wages. In June 1910 Trooper Hogan sustained fatal injuries. The regiment’s annual sports day was taking place at Curragh Camp, County Kildare. During one of the scurry races, Trooper Brereton (also from Birr) was winning his race and near the finishing post. In the height of the excitement with seeing his friend winning, Trooper Hogan ran onto the race course to follow his friend. Forgetting about the other horse close by he was knocked to the ground. While attempting to get back up he was kicked in the head by a horse several times and was rendered unconscious.

A motor ambulance was immediately summoned for and Trooper Hogan was brought to the station hospital where he was operated on. He never regained consciousness and died from shock and heart failure as a result of having his skull fractured, at 12:15pm on 24 June. His body was brought home and his military funeral took place on the 26 June, he was buried in Clonoghill Cemetery, Birr. His remains were brought to the grave by a bearer party of ‘B’ squadron, South Irish Horse. The firing party was provided by the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, Leinster Regiment.

An inquest followed, where witnesses recalled seeing Trooper Hogan rush out of the crowd to the cry of ‘come back’ and a civilian try and pull him back. The coroner called the death a ‘great mistake’. A verdict was given in accordance with the medical evidence, with no rider or person to be blamed.

Trooper Hogan's grave in Clonoghill Cemetery, Birr.

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