Robert Lightbody

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Robert Lightbody
Lightbody Robert.jpg
Lightbody Family
Personal Information
Date of Birth not known 1887
Place of Birth Hamilton Burgh, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Death 23 Mar 1960, aged 73
Place of Death Sunset Home, Nedlands
Age at Enlistment 28 years old
Occupation Gardener
Religion United Free Church
Address 'Brisbane Farm', Mundijong, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Agnes Lightbody
Military Information
Reg Number 5427
Date of Enlistment 17 Jan 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 11th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement allocated to B Company / 3rd Brigade, 1st Division
Date of Embarkation 17 Apr 1916 ‒ 14 May 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A60 Aeneas
Date of Return 21 Jun 1919 ‒ 3 Aug 1919
Ship Returned On SS Königin Luise
Fate Wounded in Action 6 May 1917 2nd Bullecourt
Wounded in Action (gassed) 15 Mar 1918
Returned to Australia
Monument Mundijong Honour Roll
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Electoral Roll entries - 1913 farmer at Brisbane Farm, Serpentine; 1916 -1917 gardener at the Kalgoorlie Bowling Green.

War Service

Two months after entering Blackboy Hill camp, Robert was allocated to the 17th reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion, travelling with them to England aboard HMAT A60 Aeneas. departing Fremantle on 17 Apr 1916 and disembarking in England on 14 May 1916. On arrival in England Robert was sent to the 3rd Training Battalion at Perham Downs, where on 15 Jul 1916 he was charged with 'While on Active Service, overstaying leave from 2400 hours on 6 Jul 1916 until time of reporting at reveille on 8 Jul 1916. Guilty, he forfeited 2 days pay and was awarded 7 days Confined to Barracks.

Robert proceeded overseas on 5 Sep 1916, and joined the 11th Battalion on 7 Sep 1916 at Dominion Camp near Albert, France where he was assigned to 'B' Company. Four days later the battalion moved north to the Ypres Salient. However, by 6 May 1917 the battalion was back on the Somme and holding the line near Bullecourt, where for a time on 6 May 1917 it had been forced to give up a portion of their lines during a German attack, until they were able to reform, and fight to recover it. In doing so they sustained heavy casualties, including Robert who received a gunshot wound to his abdomen.

Robert was treated by the 5th Field Ambulance and the 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Station on 6 Aug 1917 before being evacuated to England from Calais on HMHS Newhaven on 14 May 1917. Admitted to Colchester Military Hospital, and then released to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital on 22 Jun 1917, he was granted furlough from 5 Jul 1917 until 19 Jul 1917. In July he was sent to Weymouth to rebuild his strength before returning to Hurdcott on 8 Aug 1917. While in the UK Robert had married Jeanie Barr of Flat Farm, Largs, Ayrshire, Scotland on 15 Aug 1917. While in England Robert was charged with being AWOL from 2400 hours 26 Sep 1917 until 9:00am 27 Sep 1917. For this he was Admonished and forfeited a day's pay.

Robert returned to France on 20 Oct 1917, and to the 11th Battalion on 11 Nov 1917 when they are on the move to Campagne, well back behind the lines where they remained retraining and rebuilding until they re-entered the front lines on Christmas Eve 1917 in the Ypres salient. The 11th Battalion's War Diary for 15 Mar 1918 records that they were in the front lines near Neuve Eglise and that they had only one casualty, with the enemy only firing occasional HE and gas shells. Robert must have been that casualty. Passing through the 1st Field Ambulance and the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, he was placed on Ambulance Train No 28 on 16 Mar 1918 to reach the 7th Canadian General Hospital in Étaples the next day. He was discharged to a base unit on 27 Apr 1918, and returned to the 11th Battalion on 6 Aug 1918.

Granted leave to the UK on 12 Oct 1918, he then rejoined the battalion on 2 Nov 1918, remaining with them until he was sent back to England through Le Havre on 24 Apr 1919 to prepare for his return to Australia. On the voyage home, on 11 Jul 1919 he was charged with Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline in that he made use of a port alleyway contrary to orders. For this he was awarded 4 hours detention, and the forfeiture of a day's pay. Back in Australia, he was discharged by the 5th Military District on 17 Sep 1919.

Post War

Had married Jeanie Barr of Flat Farm, Largs, Ayreshire, Scotland on 15 Aug 1917. Jeannie died 11 Apr 1955, aged 67.

Electoral Roll entries - 1922 'Brisbane' Farm, Serpentine; 1925 'Brisbane' farm, Mundijong; 1931- 49, Jeanie also listed; 1954 both have moved to Maxwell street, Serpentine. Children were Robert Thomas (16 Mar 1920 - 16 Apr 1944) Ramsay (b.1924), and Raymond (b. 1927)


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