The AIF Project

Robert Clifford DOWNING

Regimental number706
Place of birthSt Kilda, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCommercial traveller
Address49 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Next of kinMother, Mrs M E Downing, 128 Albert Street, East Melbourne, Victoria
Enlistment date3 April 1917
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit nameMachine Gun Company 10, Reinforcement 12
AWM Embarkation Roll number24/15/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 30 October 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll21st Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

Recommendation date: 25 May 1918

FateReturned to Australia 8 October 1918

Military Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on the 19th May during the attack at VILLE-SUR-ANCRE . This soldier, athough alone, followed some of the enemy into a cellar, and by means of his great personal daring, succeeded in driving them, at the point of the bayonet, to another entrance, where they were met by his Platoon Sergeant. This Sergeant was thus able to send 1 Officer and 30 other ranks to the rear as Prisoners. Pte. Downing then used his Lewis Gun very successfully on the enemy between the Sunken Road, known as the CATERPILLAR, and VILLE-SUR-ANCRE, thus accounting for many enemy casualties. His bravery and soldierly devotion to duty, to the utter disregard of self, was exceptional.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23
Date: 12 February 1919

Family/military connectionsBrother: 12393 Sergeant William Hooper DOWNING, 10th Depot Unit of Supply, returned to Australia, 1 July 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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