Private Martin Timothy (“Ginty”) HOYE – VX28632
2/22nd Battalion (Infantry)
Born: 28 January 1908, St Arnaud, Victoria
Died: 1 July 1942, on the Montevideo Maru, South China Sea
Information provided by: John Breen & Margaret O’Shannessy (nephew & niece of Ginty Hoye)
Martin Timothy (Ginty) Hoye was the son of Martin and Nell Hoye of Coonooer West, just beyond Gooroc, twenty kilometres north of St Arnaud in Victoria. He was the fourth born in a family of what was to become twelve children.
Ginty started his formal education at the Coonooer West State School, which was situated in a front corner of the family farm. The farm was primarily used as a base for the growing of wheat, but of course the Hoyes had to be self-sufficient; and so sheep, chooks, goats, milk cows and a vegetable garden also became part of the growing family’s responsibilities. The five girls did the milking and the housework, when they were not away at school, and the boys helped with the crops and the animals.
Soon after the war in Europe began in earnest, Ginty, and a month later his brother, Tom, joined up. In an interview conducted in the 1980s, their eldest sister, Rita, recalled the anxiety which this had caused the family. “Ginty was taken when he enlisted to go into the army. He wasn’t called up. They went on their own accord, Tom and Gint. There was no work on the farm, with the Depression and everything, so they enlisted. We always said Gint wouldn’t be taken, but he was. They asked Mr Duggan, Bernie Duggan. He was in the First War, Lieutenant Colonel, D.S.O. and Bar. He advised them to go different ways; one go to the Japanese and the other to the Germans. So I don’t know where we’d have been.”
Ginty joined in the Army on June 6, 1940 at the age of 32 years and became part of the 2/22 Battalion. It was Ginty’s involvement in the defence of Australia that prompted his mate and third cousin, Leo Breen, to pen the following poem which appeared in Smith’s Weekly in December 1941.
Of course, Ginty wasn’t sent to Malaya (as the poem assumes), but to Rabaul from where he later embarked as a prisoner of war on the ‘Montevideo Maru’ bound for Japan.
70th Anniversary Commemoration
On 1 July, 2012, Barry and Angela Hoye, Lawrence and Margaret O’Shannessy, Michael and Jane Hoye, and John Breen attended the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Memorial Dedication in Canberra. On this, the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the Montevideo Maru, the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, gave the commemorative address. We travelled to Canberra for the dedication as members of Ginty’s family which includes two surviving sisters and thirty four nieces and nephews.
On the previous day, we attended a 70th anniversary luncheon where the Chief of Army, Lt Gen David Morrison AO, spoke movingly of the strategic mistakes made by Allied forces which contributed to Australia’s greatest maritime disaster. At the luncheon, we toasted Ginty with his favourite drink, a heavy beer.
Our final act was to lay a wreath made from wheat sheaves and buloke twig at the new Memorial.
Poem penned by Ginty Hoye’s mate and third cousin, Leo Breen, which appeared in the Melbourne Sun newspaper in December 1941.