The AIF Project

Robert Gladstone FENWICK

Regimental number882
Place of birthBulli, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationMiner
AddressHelensburgh, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 3"
Weight126 lbs
Next of kinFather, James Fenwick, Helensburgh, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in 37th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces; still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date17 July 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name30th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/47/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A72 Beltana on 9 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll30th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot I, Row C, Grave No 11), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
117
Family/military connectionsBrother: 1191 Pte James FENWICK MM, 17th Bn, died of wounds, 16 April 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 9 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 11 December 1915.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Reported missing, 20 July 1916.

Note on file, 13 March 1917: 'Identification Disc received from Germany. No particulars were afforded, except that Soldier was deceased.' May now be reported "KILLED IN ACTION" 20/7/16.'

German note on file: 'austr. Sold. Fenwick, R.G. Nr. 882. austr. Batl. 30. am 19.7.16 in Gegend Fromelles gefallen.'

Red Cross File No 1050308 has statement from 855 Pte Robert CARMAC, D Company, 30th Bn (patient, 3rd Southern General Hospital, Oxford, England), 7 September 1916: 'Informant states that on 19th July at Fromelles, near Fleurbaix an attack was made on the German front line during the night. During the attack parties of men were sent back to our own trench to fetch ammunition. Fenwick was among these. He and a friend of his, a man called [ 904 Pte P.J.] Holder (D. Coy XV Platoon) had just got back to our trench when a shell burst right in the trench, killing Fenwick and wounding Holder.'

Second statement, Captain W. CHEESEMAN, 30th Bn, 16 January 1917 (not eye witness): 'I know Fenwick was sapping in the German Lines on 19/20 July 1916 to connect with a sap in No Mans (sic) Land. He was working with Sgt. Butterworth, Pts McLear (sic, McLean?) and Jones. The Germans bombing down their lines forced the party to leave the work and return to our lines for bombs. Fenwick was not seen after the party left the German Lines.'

Third statement, 1273 Sergeant E.H. SHIPP, B Company, 30th Bn, 31 January 1917: 'I was wounded in the attack [at Fromelles on 19 July 1916] but when I came back to the battn. I made enquiries about Fenwick ... I was told he was last seen in a dazed condition bewteen first and second line of German trenches. We had to fall back.'

Fourth statement, 911 Pte B. JONES, D Company, 30th Bn (patient, 5th General Hospital, Rouen), 9 June 1917: 'The last I saw of Fenwick myself was in the 1st German trench at Fromelles. He was all right then. I was sent back to fetch a Lewis Gun and on my return to the trench he was no longer there.'

Fifth statement, Sergeant GRAHAM, 12 May 1919 (returning to Australia, HS 'Karoa'):'He was wounded at Fromelles near Fleurbaix on 20th July 16. He was hit in the head. He was taken back to D.S. [Dressing Station], and I did not hear anything further of him until I saw that he was reported "killed".'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 2), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France.
Miscellaneous detailsName recorded incorrectly on Embarkation Roll as Robert Sullivan FENWICK. Mother's address (father deceased) subsequently Murton Cottage, Rulga Road, Helensburg, New South Wales
SourcesNAA: B2455, FENWICK Robert Gladstone
Red Cross file 1050308

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