Robert Henry Blake
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||9 Jun 1880|
|Place of Birth||Wentworth, New South Wales|
|Death||1 Sep 1960, aged 80|
|Place of Death||Ravensthorpe, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||35 years, 6 months|
5'5½" (1.66m) tall ; 123 lbs|
55.792 kg; medium complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||NOK Mundijong, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Father , Mr Andrew James Blake|
|Date of Enlistment||4 Feb 1916|
|Unit/Formation||28th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement / 7th Brigade, 2nd Division|
|Date of Embarkation||9 Nov 1916 ‒ 10 Jan 1917|
|Ship Embarked On||HMAT A8 Argyllshire|
|Date of Return||16 Jun 1919 ‒ 24 Jul 1919|
|Ship Returned On||RMS Ormonde|
|Fate||Returned to Australia|
|Monument||Mundijong Honour Roll|
British War Medal |
Electoral Roll entries - 1910 coach driver in Norseman; 1916 a labourer in Norseman. Enlisted in Esperence.
On joining the Blackboy Hill camp, Robert spends several months in depot Companies before being allocated on 11 Aug 1916 to the 23rd reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion, later on 4 September changed to the 22nd draft, and later again to the 17th reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion.
On arrival in England Robert was sent to the 7th Training battalion at Rollestone. While training with them, on 14 Mar 1917 he was admitted to Park House hospital with mumps. Recovered on 1 Apr 1917, he was sent overseas to France on 25 Apr 1917.
On 3 May 1917 he was one of 132 men taken on strength by the 28th Battalion which participated in an attack on German Hindenberg Line on 3/4 May near Noreuil known as 2nd Bullecourt. Over the next 48 hour the battalion suffered 169 casualties.
Apart from leave in England during February 1918, to Paris in October 1918 and a short spell in hospital with Myalgia from 16 - 22 Aug 1917, Robert remained with the battalion until he returned to Australia.
At the time of the Armistice the battalion was resting and rebuilding in the small village of Berteaucourt, north-west of Amiens. Soon after the Armistice the 28th Battalion and the rest of the Australian 7th Brigade is initially earmarked as part of the British 4th Army to relocate to Coblenz as part of the Army of Occupation. They began their move on 23 Nov 1918, travelling through Amiens and Peronne by train, and then marched via stops at Busigny, Ribeauville, Grand Fayt, Beaufort, and Cousolre into Belgium. At this point it was decided that the Australian troops would not proceed into Germany, but wait in Belgium for their return to Australia, with the 28th Battalion basing itself in Marcinelle, some 2 miles from the large industrial city of Charleroi.
Discharged at 5th Military District 31 Aug 1919.
In early 1920 at Esperance Robert married Jane H Gibson. Electoral Roll entries - 1925 a grazier at Munglinup; 1937 - 1958 a pastoralist at Ravensthorpe.
- The 28th Battalion AIF - A Record of War Service. Henry K. Kahn. Hesperian Press.