The AIF Project

Robert TOPEN

Regimental number4734
Date of birth12 May 1870
Place of birthGeelong, Victoria
OccupationLoom turner
AddressWoollen Mills, Liverpool, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation44
Height5' 6"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs C B Topen, Woollen Mills, Liverpool, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date25 January 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll27 January 1916
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name18th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/35/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 13 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll18th Battalion
FateReturned to Australia 21 December 1917
Discharge date21 March 1918
Other details

War service: Western Front

Admitted to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 23 September 1916; discharged, 16 October 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 24 days.

Proceeded overseas to France,2 November 1916; joined 18th Bn, in the field, 18 November 1916.

Admitted to Anzac Corps Rest Station, 13 January 1917 (myalgia); transferred to 6th Australian Field Ambulance, and thence to Casualty Clearing Station, and to 6th General Hospital, Rouen, 20 January 1917; to England, 20 January 1917, and admitted to 1st London General Hospital, Camberwell, 24 January 1917. Discharged on furlough, 12 March 1917; to report to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 27 March 1917.

Transferred to 62nd Bn, Windmill Hill, 25 April 1917. Found guilty, 20 August 1917, of being absent without leave from midnight, 19 August 1917, ti;; apprehended by Military Police at Barford, 2.15 pm, 20 August 1917: admonished, and forfeited 1 day's pay.

Re-transferred to 18th Bn, 21 September 1917.

Marched in to No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, from No 1 Command Depot, Sutton Veny, 5 November 1917.

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'Persic' for discharge (rheumatism and senility), 21 December 1917; discharged (medically unfit), Sydney, 21 March 1918.

Total war service: 2 years 55 days (of which 1 year 316 days was abroad).

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Enlisted in No 2 District Guard, Sydney, 13 June 1918; warrant issued for his arrest, 30 September 1918, for desertion from No 2 District Guard, Sydney, and for being deficient in respect of articles of clothing and equipment. Tried by Court Martial: found guilty; awarded 60 days' imprisonment with hard labour, 15 November 1918

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