The AIF Project


Regimental number3693
Place of birthNewtown, Sydney
ReligionChurch of England
AddressNewtown, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 10"
Weight145 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Ellen Robinson, 7 Don Street, Newtown, New South Wales
Previous military serviceCommonwealth Military Forces
Enlistment date16 July 1917
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll30 June 1917
Place of enlistmentEast Sydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name56th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/73/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 31 October 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll13th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 31 October 1917; disembarked Devonport, England, 26 December 1917; marched into 14th Training Bn, Hurdcott, 27 December 1917.

Evacuated to hospital, 29 January 1918; admitted to Military Hospital, Sutton Veny, 31 January 1918 (not yet diagnosed); discharged to depot, 19 February 1918 (ingrown toenail); marched into 14th Training Bn, Codford, 22 February 1918.

Proceeded overseas to France, 1 April 1918; marched into No 1 Overflow Camp, Calais, 1 April 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 4 April 1918; taken on strength of 13th Bn, 17 April 1918.

Evacuated to hospital, 30 April 1918; admitted to No 12 Australian Field Ambulance, 1 May 1918 (pyrenia); transferred to No 4 Casualty Clearing Station, 1 May 1918; to No 9 Ambulance Train, no date stated; to No 3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 4 May 1918; to No 2 Convalescent Depot, Rouen, 6 May 1918; to No 1 Australian Convalescent Depot, Le Havre, 7 May 1918; marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 17 May 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 24 May 1918; rejoined 13th Bn, 29 May 1918.

Found guilty, 29 May 1918, of being absent without leave from 1430 hours parade, to 1600 hours parade, 26 June 1918: award, forfeits 2 days' pay.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ROBINSON Joseph

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