Robert John Irvine
Service No: 3721
Units Served: 12th Battalion and 52nd Battalion Infantry
Personal Details: Robert John Irvine was born at Bordertown SA and worked as a laborer before enlisting. His father was Robert John Irvine and mother was Margaret Okeefe and he had two sisters Euphemia and Gertrude who were twins. He had a wife Mabel Evelyn Shiers who died at age of 30 in October 1920 and three sons Robert William Thomas, Arthur Ronald and Clifton and one daughter Edna May.
Enlistment Details: He enlisted in Adelaide SA on the 25th August 1915. He was initially allotted to the 12th Battalion before being transferred to the 52nd
Details about his role in the war: He enlisted on the 25th August 1915. On the 3rd of March 1916 he was allotted to join the 52nd Battalion from the 3rd training Battalion at Zeitoun, taken on strength at Tel/el/Kebir and on the 14th April was appointed Lance Corporal. On the 4th of May he was admitted to hospital with influenza, on the 9th May he was admitted to a casualty clearing station at Serapeum before being admitted to the 54th casualty clearing station with pleurisy, he was hospitalized until the 18th May when he was admitted to convalescent depot. On the 9th of June he marched in from the hospital to the 13th training Battalion. He embarked on the 8th August 1916 for England. On the 7th January 1917 he was promoted to Corporal. On the 9th April 1917 he was admitted to hospital sick, he was in and out of hospital until he rejoined his unit on the 3rd of August 1917. On the 22nd of September he was promoted to Sergeant. On the 18th October he was gassed and admitted with gas shell poisoning to the 17th CCS. On the 29th October he was transferred to England and admitted to military hospital Colchester on the 30th October.
On the 24th March 1918 he was detached to Australian Corps Gas School and on the 15th April 1918 he rejoined his unit from the school. On the 24th April 1918 he was killed during the action to re capture Villers-Bretonneux which the Germans had taken that day.
Death: Killed in action 24 April 1918
Memorial Details: Adelaide Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux, France
Interesting Details: Robert John had a court martial trial on the 19th August 1917 but found not guilty. After his death all his personal effects were sent home to his wife but they were lost when the ship they were on HMAT Barunga was sunk.