Robert Frank Bickford

From Our Contribution

Robert Frank Bickford
Bickford Robert Frank.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 25 Apr 1896
Place of Birth Glenelg, South Australia
Death 28 Feb 1975, aged 78
Place of Death Hamilton Hill
Age at Enlistment 20 years, 3 months
Description 5' 7" tall (1.70m) tall ; 154 lbs
69.853 kg
; fresh complexion ; brown eyes ; black hair
Occupation Horse driver
Religion Church of England
Address River road, Kelmscott
Next of Kin Father , Mr Frank W. Bickford
Military Information
Reg Number 2535
Date of Enlistment 7 Jul 1916
Rank Driver
Unit/Formation 44th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement / 11th Brigade, 3rd Division
Date of Embarkation 9 Nov 1916 ‒ 10 Jan 1917
Ship Embarked On HMAT A8 Argyllshire Fremantle to Devonport
Date of Return 6 Oct 1919 ‒ 16 Nov 1919
Ship Returned On HMNZT Pakeha
Fate Wounded in Action 6 Oct 1917 at Broodseinde
Returned to Australia
Monument Kelmscott War Memorial (West panel)
Kelmscott Congregational Church Honour Board
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Entering camp, Robert was placed in the 78th Depot Company for a week before being allocated to the 6th reinforcement draft for the 44th Battalion on 1 Aug 1916. On 4 Sep 1916 this changed when he was transferred to the 5th draft. After three months training at Blackboy Hill camp, Robert's reinforcement draft was shipped to England, where he continued his training with the 11th Training Battalion at Durrington, remaining there until 3 Jun 1917.

On 4 Jun 1917 Robert proceeded to France via Folkestone, and joined his battalion (the 44th) on 22 Jun 1917 at a time when it was in the front lines east of Messines. On the night of the 5th/6th October the 44th Battalion was relieved by the 2/6th Manchester Regiment, so given Robert was wounded in action on 6 Oct 1917 at Broodseinde Ridge with a wound to his left leg, it would appear to have happened during the changeover. The 11th Australian Field Ambulance treated him before passing him back to the 44th Casualty Clearing Station on the same day. On 7 Oct 1917 he was admitted to the 2nd Australian General Hospital at Wimereux, and on 11 Oct 1917 he embarked on HMHS St Andrew for England where he was admitted to the Northampton War Hospital. Recovering he was released to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield on 31 Oct 1917. On 12 Nov 1917 he was posted to the No. 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott where he was assessed over the next two months.

On 16 Mar 1918 he was posted to the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge Deverill and on 17 Apr 1918 he again entered France from Folkestone. Rejoining the 44th Battalion, on 22 Jun 1918, he suffered a severely septic injury to his left hand on 22 Jun 1918. Treated in turn by the 10th Australian Field Ambulance and the 47th Casualty Clearing Station he was placed on Ambulance Train No. 61 for Rouen on 27 Jun 1918. Robert was evacuated to England aboard HMHS Grantully Castle on 6 Jul 1918. In England he entered 1st Southern General Hospital at Edgbaston before being released to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield on 12 Jul 1918. Three days later he was transferred to the No 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott, then on 7 Sep 1918 to the No 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny, and on 1 Oct 1918 to the Overseas Training Brigade at Sutton Mandeville.

On 24 Oct 1918 he proceeded to France for a third time and rejoined his battalion on the 29th October 1918 in a rest area. On 21 Dec 1918 he was transferred to the 3rd Division Reinforcement Wing. On 27 May 1919 Robert was charged with having been AWOL from midnight on 27 May until 12:00 on 29 May 1919. Found Guilty, he was admonished and required to forfeit 2 days pay.

On his return to Australia he was discharged by the 5th Military District on 31 Dec 1919.

355th Casualty List included "Bickford, Robert Frank, Kelmscott, severely".[1]

422nd Casualty List included "ILL...Bickford, Robert Frank, Kelmscott, seriously, previously reported wounded, severely.[2]

Robert was amongst the returning soldiers aboard the transport HMNZT Pakeha.[3]

Post War

On 5 Oct 1920 Robert married Florence Margaret Prior. They had one son and six daughters. In 1931 he was living in Forrest road Jandakot, working as a labourer, but by 1936 he was with his wife at 72 Davelak road in Hamilton Hill where he remained until 1972 or later.

Served from 21 Jun 1940 until 31 Oct 1945 as a Corporal in the 29th Garrison Battalion (Citizens Military Forces) during WW2 with Regimental No W243622.


  1. "W.A. Casualties". The Daily News. XXXVI, (13,342). Western Australia. 22 November 1917. p. 6. Retrieved 23 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. "W.A. Casualties". The Daily News. XXXVII, (13,562). Western Australia. 13 August 1918. p. 1 (THIRD EDITION). Retrieved 23 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. "RETURNING SOLDIERS.". The West Australian. XXXV, (5,486). Western Australia. 7 November 1919. p. 6. Retrieved 23 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

External Links