• Robert Holtham Hardy

Army / Flying Corps
  • 24th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 6th Brigade
  • Private

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  • 1914–1915 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Birth

    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Stories and comments
    • HARDY, Robert Holtham
    • Posted by FrevFord, Tuesday, 2 January 2018

    Born in the September Qtr of 1897 at Birkdale, Lancashire, England (baptized Sept 1897) – the son of John Holtham HARDY and Jane MARSHALL, who married in Lancashire in the December Qtr of 1896 The family were living at 41 Kew Rd, Birkdale, Lancashire in 1911; and John was earning a living as a House Painter, while 13 year old Robert was working as a Grocer’s Errand Boy Emigrating to Australia in 1913, having departed England on the Port Macquarie on the 16th of September, John then described himself as a Farm labourer, and Robert, a Draper’s Assistant By the time of Robert’s enlistment in WW1 in 1915, the family were residing at 84 Tinning St, Brunswick – and moved to 286 Sydney Rd, Coburg in 1917 John died in May 1924 at Coburg, aged 54, and Jane died in 1952 at Coburg, aged 76 – they are buried in the Coburg Cemetery Sibling: Gladys Amelia b.1900 Lancashire, England (baptized Apr 1900) – marr A. George JOHNSTONE – d.1957 Kew, aged 56 Religion: Methodist Occupation in 1915: Jeweller Member of B Coy of the Citizen Forces, Coburg WW1: Enlisted in Melbourne on the 19/7/1915, aged 18 years 11 months, and embarked for Egypt on the RMS Osterley 29/9/1915 as Private 2384 with the 5th Reinforcements of the 24th Battalion Following the return of the 24th Battalion from Gallipoli, he was taken on strength at Tel-el-kebir on the 10/1/1916 Went AWL for a few days in January and again in February Embarked with the 24th Battalion at Alexandria on the 20/3/1916 to join the B.E.F., and disembarked at Marseilles, France 26/3/1916 Admitted sick to hospital 25/4/1916 – rejoining his battalion on the 22/6/1916 Evacuated wounded during the fighting at Pozieres on the 6/8/1916, having received shrapnel wounds to the face, eyes, hand and left leg Travelled through the hospital system to Boulogne, where he was admitted to the 13th Stationary Hospital on the 10/8/1916 – before crossing to England on the HS Western Australia on the 19/8/1916 and admitted to the 2nd London General Hospital at Chelsea on the 20/8/1916 Transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital (1AAH) at Harefield on the 3/10/1916 Admitted to St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded Soldiers 11/4/1917 – returned to 1AAH 5/6/1917 for treatment to his leg which had become septic – discharged to furlo from 21/6/1917 to 25/6/1917 Finally discharged from St D’s 16/7/1917 for repatriation Returned to Australia on the HS Kanowna 16/7/1917 to 11/9/1917 – discharged from the AIF 18/10/1917 and resided with his parents in Coburg In 1919 he travelled back to the UK on the Orsova, arriving on the 12th of May, where he returned to St Dunstan’s (at Cornwall Tce, Regents Park) for a course of training in massage Married Ada CLIFT on the 6th of March 1920 at the Register Office in St George Hanover Square, London Ada, born in 1891 at Carlton, Vic, the daughter of Elijah CLIFT and Anne Jane FRIEZER, had also travelled to the UK on the Orsova, arriving 12/5/1919, and was living at St James’ Court, Buckingham Gate at the time of their marriage, where she was employed as a Lady’s Companion. Registered as a Masseuse in 1920 The couple returned to Australia together on the Narkunda, embarking on the 7/1/1921 Arriving back in Australia they lived at 6 Victoria St, Coburg, 1921, 1924, and Robert was working as a Masseur In 1926, 1928 they were at 14 Victoria St with his mother Jane – his father having died in 1924 Daughter, Stella Died on the 9th of October 1931 at his residence, 302 Kooyong Rd, Caulfield Buried Coburg Cemetery Ada died in February 1985 at Cheltenham, aged 93 – she was cremated at Springvale and her ashes collected Brunswick and Coburg Leader (Vic), Fri 9 Nov 1917 (p.3): A WELCOME HOME TO PRIVATE ROBERT HOTHAM [sic] HARDY (NOW TOTALLY BLIND) SEES 823 DAYS’ SERVICE A committee has been formed amongst the friends of Private R.H. Hardy, late of 24th Battalion, who enlisted when only 18 years 11 months, in July, 1915, and saw active service for 823 days. The committee is as follows: – Private Donald Ross (MM, returned), chairman; Mrs A. Flynne, hon. sec.; Miss Kal. Beattie, treasurer; ……………………………………………………………………. The committee have decided to hold a concert and dance in the Town Hall, Bell st., Coburg on the 21st November, 1917; ………………………………………………………… The committee are entertaining 100 returned soldiers to a sit down supper. The total proceeds from sale of tickets are to be handed as a presentation to Pte. Hardy, the committee defraying expenses. The following donations have been received: – ………………………………………….. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/87677253 Table Talk (Melb, Vic), Thur 29 Nov 1917 (p.33): One of our brave blinded soldiers, Private R. Hardy, was given a warm welcome home at the Coburg Town Hall on Wednesday, November 21. During the evening a cheque for £50 was handed to him. Private Hardy, who was greeted with cheers, spoke a few feeling words of thanks. There were 150 returned soldiers present in addition to many citizens, the attendance being so large that many were unable to find accommodation in the hall. An excellent programme was arranged by Miss Ida Shepherd, who herself gave a pleasing item. Others who contributed to the programme were……. After the concert there was a supper and dance. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/146644580 The Argus (Melb, Vic), Sat 10 Oct 1931 (p.15): DEATHS HARDY – On the 9th October, at his residence, 302 Kooyong road, Caulfield, Robert Holtham Hardy, dearly beloved husband of Ada and loved father of Stella, aged 34 years. – Greatly missed. HARDY – On the 9th October, 1931, at his residence, 302 Kooyong road, Caulfield, Robert Holtham, dearly loved son of Jane and the late John Hardy, and loved brother of Gladys (Mrs A.G. Johnstone) and loved brother-in-law of George. – Greatly missed. FUNERAL NOTICES HARDY – Friends of the late Mr ROBERT H. HARDY are respectfully invited to follow his remains to the place of interment, the Coburg Cemetery. The funeral will move from his residence, 302 Kooyong road, Caulfield, THIS DAY (Saturday, 10th October), at 2.30 p.m. Note: Robert was not born in Brunswick, Vic as he states on his Attestation