Turkish Prisoner of War beadwork bookmark : Major O Hogue, 14 Light Horse Regiment, AIF

Place Africa: Egypt
Accession Number REL33540
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Cotton, Glass
Maker Unknown
Place made Ottoman Empire: Palestine
Date made c 1917-1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Loomwork beaded bookmark made by a Turkish prisoner of war. The bookmark is composed of small glass beads threaded vertically on to heavy cotton thread. The beads are also separated horizontally by the same thread. The main body of the book mark is composed of white beads set with blue beaded lettering 'TURKISH PRISONERS'. The two words are separated by a black, pink, turquoise and green beaded diamond. A single row of blue beads has been used as an edge to the entire bookmark. One end bears a fringe of three beaded loops in black, white and blue. The other end has only one remaining loop.

History / Summary

Oliver Hogue, who wrote wartime articles and books under the name 'Trooper Bluegum', was born on 29 April 1880 in Sydney and educated at Forest Lodge Public School. He worked as a commercial traveller before gaining employment with the Sydney Morning Herald in 1907. When the First World War began, Hogue enlisted as a trooper in the 6th Light Horse Regiment, having tried and failed to become Australia's official correspondent to the war. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in November 1914 and served on Gallipoli for five months before being evacuated to England with enteric fever. In May 1915 he was promoted to lieutenant and appointed orderly officer to Colonel Granville Ryrie. Hogue rejoined his unit, then in the Sinai, in early 1916 and fought in the battle of Romani later that year. On 1 November 1916 he transferred to the Imperial Camel Corps and was promoted to captain in July 1917. He fought in some of the desert war's most well-known battles, including Magdhaba, Rafa and Gaza. In 1918, with camels no longer required in the fight against Turkey, the cameliers were given horses and became cavalrymen, with Hogue being transferred to 14 Light Horse Regiment and promoted to major in July 1918. He was involved in the fighting at Damascus and at the Barada Gorge where thousands of retreating Turks were killed in September 1918. Hogue embarked from Egypt for 1914 leave in England on 30 January 1919. A month later he was admitted to hospital with influenza. Having survived the worst of the fighting in Sinai and Palestine, Hogue died of influenza in London on 3 March 1919. He was buried at the Australian Military Burial Ground at Brookwood with a full military funeral. His coffin was made of oak and was draped in the Australian flag. The service was conducted by 14 Light Horse Chaplain, Reverend William Shannon. This bookmark was one of five beadwork bookmarks sent to Australia as part of Hogue's personal effects after he died. This loomwork beaded bookmark was made by an Ottoman prisoner of war in a British POW camp, possibly in Palestine, or Egypt. Except for fatigue duties, prisoners were generally not required to work. Making craft items, along with playing sport, games or music helped them pass the time. The prisoners also made these items as a way of making some money to buy extra rations and supplies, such as coffee or tobacco; to barter with other prisoners; or as gifts for friends or family. While the text says 'TURKISH PRISONERS' on the bookmark, the maker may not have been ethnically Turkish. The Ottoman Empire stretched from the Balkans to the Sinai, and the soldiers in its armies came from throughout the empire