Robert Michael HICKEY

Robert Michael HICKEY

Per his military service record (regimental no. 5099), Robert Michael Hickey was born at Carcoar, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 43 years and 2 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as engine driver.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 10 inches tall, weight 156 lbs., with a medium complexion, brown eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

He was attested by Lieutenant Frank Middenway at Ashfield on 11th November 1915. The Coo-ees held a recruitment meeting and stayed in Ashfield at the Drill Hall on the night of 11th November 1915 – the last night of the march.  The Certificate of Medical Examination in his service record shows that he first completed his medical on 11th November 1915 at Ashfield, however this date is crossed out, and replaced with the later date of 28th January 1916, at Liverpool Camp.

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On 4th February 1916 Private Hickey was charged with being Absent Without Leave from 16th  January to 24th January 1916.  He was recommended to be discharged, however he was fined and reinstated.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was 29 Rocket Street, Bathurst, N.S.W, and his next of kin is listed as his mother, Mrs E. Hickey, at the same address.

Private Hickey departed Sydney on the HMAT A16 Star of Victoria on 31st March 1916, as 16th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.[2]  He arrived in Egypt on the 8th May 1916.

On the 7th June 1916 Private Hickey left Alexandria aboard a transport ship bound for France, arriving at Marseilles on the 14th June 1916.

On 21st July he was taken on strength of the 13th Battalion in France from the 4th Division Base Depot at Etaples.

On 2nd August 1916 the 13th Battalion was training at Warloy, France, when Private Hickey was charged with being absent from Tattoo roll call on 31st July 1916. He was awarded 7 days Field Punishment No. 2.

On 11th August 1916, Private Hickey was wounded in action in the vicinity of Pozieres, when the 13th Battalion was in the front line during the Battle of Pozieres.  (His wound is not described in his service record).  He was evacuated to the 1st Canadian General Hospital at Etaples, France, where he was admitted sick on 23rd August 1916.

On 30th August 1916 he was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Stad Antwerpen at Calais for evacuation to England. Later that day he was admitted to the 4th Northern General Hospital at Lincoln, England.

On 25th September 1916 Private Hickey was transferred to the 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Southall, England. He was discharged on 31st October 1916 and marched into the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 9th November 1916 Private Hickey was transferred to the 4th Training Battalion at Codford, England for “home service”.

On13th April 1917 Private Hickey was transferred back to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 4th May 1917 Private Hickey departed England from Devonport aboard the H.M.A.T. Runic bound for Australia.

He arrived in Sydney on 6th July 1917.  He was discharged Medically Unfit (Mitral Incompetence) on 11th August 1917.

Note: A page in his service record lists that he embarked from Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England with regimental no. 4798.  However, his name (and this regimental number) are not included on the nominal roll for the HMAT A15 Star of England. This initial regimental no. 4798 is crossed out on his Attestation Paper, and replaced with 5099.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, HICKEY R M 5099

[2] Australian War Memorial First World War Embarkation Rolls, ‘Robert Michael Hickey’, HMAT Star of Victoria A16, https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1830731/

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