The AIF Project

Robert Elliot BATTON

Regimental number2493
Place of birthNelson, Victoria
AddressGrand Street, Ararat, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Next of kinMother, Mrs Annie Millman, Grand Street, Ararat, Victoria
Enlistment date10 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name22nd Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/39/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board RMS Osterley on 29 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

Recommendation date: 9 August 1916

Bar to Military Medal

Recommendation date: 25 May 1918

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Recommendation date: 13 September 1918

FateReturned to Australia 11 April 1919

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'At Mont St. Quentin, on the night of the 2-3 September, 1918, he was in charge of ammunition and rations for forward companies. At dark the enemy opened an intense bombardment, causing heavy casualties. He attended the wounded and organized the survivors, and it was largely due to his gallant exertions that the supplies were delivered.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 184
Date: 14 December 1916

Military Medal

'During heavy bomb fighting on the morning of 5th August [1916] at Pozieres, these men [BATTON and 1779 Lance Corporal Perceval King SCHAFER] did excellent service as bomb carriers to the captured trenches. Their work involved long exposure to the very heavy shell fire which they faced repeatedly with great coolness.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 184
Date: 1 April 1917

Bar to Military Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the attack on VILLE-SUR-ANCRE near ALBERT on the morning of 19th May, 1918. When his Platoon Commander was wounded, BATTON immediately took charge and reorganised the Platoon. As the whole of the Lewis Gun crew had become casualties he took over the gun himself, and firing from the hip, greatly assisted in silencing opposition at the Sunken Road. He displayed great initiative in getting his Platoon dug in. later when posts on the left were being pushed out, an enemy Machine Gun was giving the working parties a lot of trouble, when BATTON took his Lewis Gun into NO MAN'S LAND engaged and silenced the enemy gun. This N.C.O. displayed the greatest coolness and daring throughout the whole of the operation.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23
Date: 12 February 1919

Discharge date31 July 1919
Other details

War service: embarked for overseas service, 29 September 1915. Taken on strength, Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt, 8 January 1916.

Proceeeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 26 March 1916.

Wounded in action, 25 June 1916; rejoined unit, 30 June 1916. Appointed Lance Corporal, 21 August 1916.

Awarded Military Medal, 2 September 1916.

Wounded in action (second occasion), 10 February 1917 (gun shot wound, right shoulder/arm); transferred to England, 25 February 1917, and admitted to 3rd London General Hospital. Discharged from hospital, 5 April 1917, and granted furlough to report to Training Depot, Perham Downs, 20 April 1917. Transferred to 67th Bn, 28 April 1917. On Lewis Gun School, Tidworth, 13 May 1917; returned to 67th Bn, 20 May 1917.

Promoted Corporal, 25 July 1917; Lance Sergeant, 25 July 1917. Transferred to 22nd Bn, 19 September 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France via Southampton, 28 November 1917. Promoted sergeant, 21 April 1918. Awarded Bar to Military Medal, 18 June 1918.

Commenced return to Australia on board 'Sardinia', 11 April 1919; disembarked, 8 June 1919; discharged, 31 July 1919.

Medals: Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal & Bar, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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