George ROBEY #530

George Horace Townsend Robey

Sergeant George ROBEY, 9th Infantry Battalion.

George Robey was working as a station hand in Queensland when he decided to volunteer with the first AIF in August 1914. He spent just a few weeks training at the Enoggera army camp, before embarking with his mates of the 9th Infantry Battalion, E Company on board the troopship the Omrah, bound for Egypt.

The 9th Battalion were part of the landing in the early hours of 25th April 1915 at Anzac Cove. Robey’s selfless actions during this operation were rewarded with the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He was put forward after a report by [then] Major Alfred George Salisbury …

“Private Robey, on 25th April, swam back to one of the boats under a heavy fire, and carried into safety a wounded comrade who was left in the boat, otherwise empty.”

Several weeks later he wrote to his parents about the landing but he made no mention of his gallantry.

“The Turks opened a murderous fire on us. We were 200 yards from the beach, when the boats began to fill up because of holes made by the bullets … It is 10 days since we landed and it seems [like] 10 years … I was put to work building a sandbag shelter for the wounded. They were actually being shot again and again while lying in the stretchers.”

Word of his strength of service resulted in him also being Mentioned in Despatches in August 1915.

George Horace Townsend Robey

Towards the end of the campaign, Robey, now Corporal was evacuated to the hospital on the Island of Lemnos with dysentery. While he regained his strength in Egypt he was transferred to the Army Records Section in Alexandria then joined his Battalion once again in France in April 1917. He remained on duty until granted ‘Special 1914 Leave’ for those who served and survived the early years of the war.

Sergeant George Robey returned to Australia where he was discharged in March 1919.

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Marg Powell  |  QANZAC100 Content Technician  State Library of Queensland