Indigenous Australian, Albert Robinson, 9th & 49th Infantry Battalions.
Born in Tenterfield NSW to Michael (Bucky) Robinson and Kate Gaton in 1883, Robinson was a talented horseman and was working as a station hand when he volunteered to serve with the first AIF in June 1916.
Although he enlisted in Lismore, like many recruits from the Northern Rivers region he trained in Brisbane and was assigned to the 21st Reinforcements for the 9th Infantry Battalion.
He embarked from Brisbane on board the troopship Boonah in October 1916 arriving in England in January 1917. In March he was admitted to hospital at Parkhouse, having contracted mumps and returned to the training Battalion two weeks later.
The reinforcements sailed for France in May 1917 and at this time Robinson was transferred to the 49th Infantry Battalion, joining them while they were in reserve at Neuve Eglise. Robinson was evacuated to hospital from the field suffering from Trench Fever in August 1917.
This infectious disease characterised by fever; headache; sore muscles, bones, and joints; and skin lesions is transmitted by a body louse haboured in the soldiers clothing. Recovery usually takes about two months; but there are often relapses, and can become chronic in some cases.
After several months recuperation and two weeks leave, Robinson rejoined the battalion in April 1918 but was readmitted to hospital twice more before the end of the war. When he did rejoin his unit he was appointed Driver before returning to Australia in August 1919.
Albert Robinson married Eugene Jackson in 1919 and return to his work as the head stockman at Yulgilbar Station in the Clarence River valley. Eugene died in 1937, Albert died in 1970 age 87. Albert’s brother Thomas (Tom) also served overseas with the 18th Infantry Battalion.
- SERVICE RECORD: ROBINSON, Albert
- EMBARKATION ROLL: 21st Reinf. 9th Infantry Battalion
- AWM Unit Diaries: 49th Infantry Battalion
- Image: The Queenslander Pictorial, 7 October 1916
- Soldiers’ welcomes. Daily Examiner, 17 September 1919 p.2.
- ‘Deserved recognition evaded Robinsons who served our country’, Daily Examiner 31st Dec 2014
- One of the soldiers featured in SLQ’s HistoryPin Collection
- View the whole Collection: Indigenous enlistment
- Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen Digital Story and Oral History
Marg Powell & Des Crump | QANZAC100, State Library of Queensland