The AIF Project

Robert John McKENNA

Regimental number414
Place of birthCo Armagh, Ireland
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressDonald, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 6.5"
Weight142 lbs
Next of kinMrs A Watts, Donald, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the British Army in South Africa and India.
Enlistment date26 August 1914
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentLance Corporal
Unit name8th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A24 Benalla on 19 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll60th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 18), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 5 April 1915. Promoted Sergeant, 28 April 1915. Admitted to 2nd Field Ambulance, 27 October 1915 (otitis media); transferred to No 1 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Mudros, 27 October 1915; to No 3 Australian General Hospital, Mudros, 28 October 1915; discharged to Base Details, 24 November 1915; rejoined Bn, Mudros, 24 December 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 24 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Transferred to 60th Bn, 24 February 1916.

Tried by Field General Court Martial, Serapeum, 22 February 1916: Charge 1: When on Active Service absenting himself without leave, in that he at Alexandria on board 'Empress of Britain, when his Battalion was disembarking, absented himself from midnight 6/1/16 till 1500 on 8/1/16, when he gave himself up to the picquet. Charge 2: When on Active Service, drunkenness, in that he at Alexandria, on 8/1/16 when absent without leave was drunk. Pleaded Not Guilty; found Guilty. Sentenced to be reduced to the ranks.

Promoted Sergeant, 25 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 29 June 1916.

Reported missing in action, France, 19 July 1916; fate confirmed as killed in action, 19 July 1916.

Note, Red Cross File No 1930101: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills. 10.10.19.'

Statement, 276 Pte M. TUCKER, 60th Bn, 23 September 1917: 'Casualty was killed at Fleurbaix on the 19th July/ I felt for his body. Casualty's body was riddled with bullets from the machine gun.'

Second statement, 2878 Pte R.E. POULTER, B Company, 60th Bn, 29 January 1917: 'He was hit in the arm going over the line at Fromelles and was told to go back. He said he was going to get a V.C. or a blanket. He was not seen again afterwards.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, McKENNA Robert John
Red Cross File No 1930101

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