Tag Archives: Robert C. Campbell

Robert Clyde CAMPBELL

Robert Clyde CAMPBELL

Per his military service record (regimental no. 5996), Robert Clyde Campbell was born in Sydney, N.S.W. He gave his age as 25 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as farmer. His date of joining on the attestation paper at the front of his service record is listed as 9th October 1915, however further pages record that he completed his medical on the 13th July 1916 at Kiama N.S.W., and also signed his service oath at Kiama on the 13th July 1916. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 7 inches tall, weight 11 stone 6 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and fair hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed to have had no previous military service.

“R. C. Campbell” was named in several newspaper articles published at the time as one of the original 25 recruits who signed up for the march in Gilgandra on Saturday 9th October 1915.

Further investigation has found that he did not complete the Coo-ee March. Per a telegram sent to A. H. Miller dated 17th November 1915 in the official correspondence from the march which is held at the State Library of New South Wales, R. C. Campbell was admitted to Lithgow Hospital with Typhoid Fever when the Coo-ees were in Lithgow, where he remained until after the march was completed. He then went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was 286 Harris Street, Sydney, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as mother, Mrs C. Campbell, 286 Harris Street, Sydney, N.S.W.

Private Campbell departed Sydney on the HMAT Wiltshire A18 on the 22nd August 1916, arriving at Plymouth on the 13th October 1916. He marched into the 13th Battalion on the 6th March 1917 when it was out of the line at Ribemont, France.

On the 11th April 1917 Private Campbell was with the Battalion when it launched an attack on the Hindenberg Line in the vicinity of Reincourt. During this attack he was wounded receiving a gun shot wound to his left arm. He was one of 118 members of the Battalion wounded. Another 25 were killed and 367 were missing.

Private Campbell was hospitalised and evacuated to England on the 18th July 1917. He developed oedema to his left leg, and on the 31st October 1917 he commenced his return to Australia on the HMAT Berrima, arriving in Australia on the 3oth December 1917. He was discharged as medically unfit on the 30th January 1918.

Day 1, Sunday, 10th October, 1915, Gilgandra to Balladoran

The start at Gilgandra (Daily Telegraph 12/10/1915)

The start at Gilgandra (Daily Telegraph 12/10/1915)

Transcribed from The Farmer and Settler, 12 October, 1915, p. 3.


Gilgandra’s greatest of all events, the start of the route march, became a fact of history on Sunday last, when the contingent after a simple religious ceremony stepped out on its long march to the coast.

On Saturday, when the ‘Farmer and Settler’ special reporter, who will march to Sydney, arrived at Gilgandra, he found Captain Nicholas and Drs. Burkitt and Cooper, of Dubbo, on the ground. Captain Nicholas has been appointed to take charge of the contingent, and be will be their leader and instructor all the way through to Sydney.

On Saturday afternoon twenty-five recruits were sworn in. Two failed to pass the doctor, but they will march through to the coast nevertheless. The number of recruits would have been double if the recruiting association had not been compelled to wait so long for the permission of the military authorities, the result being that many men grew tired of waiting, and went into camp. The doctor said that the Gilgandra men were as fine a body of recruits as he had seen, with good feet and sound constitutions. On Saturday night a torchlight procession paraded the town, headed by the band. The recruits were followed by the rifle club and the boy scouts. In the interval of a picture show, Major Winn, of Sydney, and Private Lee, the ex-clergyman recruit, made special appeals to the young men to volunteer.

There were fully three thousand persons, almost the whole population of the district, at the open-air consecration service on Sunday morning, when the Rev. W. Jenkins commended the men to their Creator.

The shire president, Mr. Barden, said he was sure that the twenty-five starting out would be five hundred at the end of the long march. Almost the whole of the people, the largest gathering ever seen at Gilgandra, accompanied the march to Boberah, where a general programme of hand-shaking took place. A guard of honor of young horsewomen   rode at the head of the procession, and the local recruiting association and shire councillors took part. Captain Nicholas formed up his little force — grown already to thirty-one men; and Mr. W. T. Hitchens had the honor of giving the first words of command–‘Quick march.’ Amid resounding cheers the route march had begun, and it was followed for several miles of its long journey, by a great cavalcade of horses and vehicles. Then there was a halt, with more good-byes, more cheers, and the rifle club fired a parting volley.

The heat was intense, and the dust hung over the troops like a pillar of cloud — a fiery cloud, so that when the first stop, Marthaguy, was reached, all were grateful for the lunch spread by the residents, and not less for the facilities provided for a wash and a freshen up. At Marthaguy one new recruit fell in. Many of the Gilgandra folk still followed the column. The young daughter of a prominent citizen left her car and marched alongside the men for some distance; she announced her intention of being present in Martin Place at the finish, and declared that if she had been a boy she would have marched all the way, and gone to the front with the contingent. It is a pity that some of the boys have not the spirit of the girls.

Patriotic sons of the West. A 320 mile march (Sydney Mail 20/10/1915)

‘Patriotic sons of the West. A 320 mile march’ – Coo-ees on the road to Balladoran (Sydney Mail 20/10/1915)

At Balladoran the townspeople met the column a mile out of town and escorted them to their camp with banners, and gave them a hearty welcome. The camp was reached at five o’clock, and here another recruit joined the column.

Following are the names of the first twenty-five to enlist:–

John Quinn, John Macnamara, Stanley E. Stephens, Jack Hunt, William L. Hunt, Albert W. Pearce, Leslie W. Greenleaf, Arthur C. Finn, Francis N. White, Alfred Wardroffe, Victor Quinton, William Alston, Sidney Bennett, John R. Lee, Harold Baxter, Charles R. Wheeler, E. T. Hitchen, James McKeown, James Crowford, Charles E. Marchant, Andrew J. MacGregor, Lawrence L. McGuire, Robert C. Campbell, Peter Wilson, and Frank Humphrey.’

Click here to view the article on Trove: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116668904