The AIF Project

Robert GEDDES

Regimental number462
Date of birth28 April 1892
Place of birthElgin, Scotland
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationFarmer
AddressLaen, Minyip, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinMother, Mrs Sarah G Geddes, Pitgabeny, Elgin, Scotland
Enlistment date31 March 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name39th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/56/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 27 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCompany Sergeant Major
Unit from Nominal Roll39th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Bar to Military Medal


Recommendation date: 13 May 1918

Military Medal


Recommendation date: 7-9 June 1917

FateReturned to Australia 6 September 1919
Medals

Military Medal

'On the 7th/8th and 9th June, 1917, during operations south of MESSINES for conspicuous ability and gallant conduct. Only two Officers remaining with his Battalion, this N.C.O. was instrumental in leading his men to their objectives under the most trying circumstances. By his determination and personal courage he inspired confidence in his men.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 219
Date: 20 December 1917

Bar to Military Medal

'On the night of 5th/6th May, 1918, in the locality of MERICOURT, this N.C.O. with a fighting patrol moved forward to cover a party establishing a line between this Brigade and the Brigade on our right, remaining in his position forward throughout the night and the following day. During this period his party was subjected to very heavy shelling, under which he rendered most valuable assistance to his Officer in controlling his party, preventing casualties and keeping touch with the Right Brigade. On the night of the 6th/7th May, 1918, he again moved forward with the same patrol and remained out for five hours as a covering party to the right Company of this Brigade which was moving forward; but owing to the adverse weather conditions, our line was not fully established forward. On the night of the 7th/8th May, he again went forward with his fighting patrol to cover the advance of his Company. A heavy enemy barrage was dropped on our forward position, killing the Officer in charge of his patrol - without hesitation and on his own initiative he assumed control of the party, moved forward through the enemy barrage and established a position to meet any emergency for counter attacking the enemy and covering his Company. He remained forward there, until his Company had established itself in the new forward position. On each of these three successive nights he displayed marked judgment, courage and leadership under adverse conditions.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23
Date: 12 February 1919

Discharge date23 December 1919
Other details

War service: Western Front

Total war service: 1363 days (of which 1242 days were abroad)

Returned to Australia on board HMAT 'Euripides'; undertook ship-based course of instruction in motor engineering, 7 September-17 October 1919 (standard: 99%).

Medals: Military Medal & Bar, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death1943
Age at death51
Place of burialLaen North Cemetery, via Donald/Minyip, Victoria

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