• Robert Sydney Young

Army / Flying Corps
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  • Birth

    Kew, VIC, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia

Stories and comments
    • Letter from Robert Young re his part in the Southland saga
    • Posted by FrevFord, Thursday, 25 September 2014

    The Argus, Tue Nov 23, 1915: THREE HOURS ON A RAFT. Corporal Robert Young, of the 23rd Battalion, who was a member of the staff of the Bank of Australasia at Port Fairy before enlisting, has written to his mother in Colac as follows:- “You will have heard that our troopship was torpedoed. All my friends and self are quite safe and sound, and jolly thankful to be alive. I was down below at the time, just getting my kit ready to bring on deck, and when the torpedo exploded all of us in our compartment were covered in water. I seized my lifebelt, and rushed to where we had to fall in. Everyone was ordered to the boats, as we did not know how long the vessel would float. There was very little confusion. Some of us got ready to take to the water, removing our boots, putties, and cutting our pants very short. We then collected all the loose timber so that it would float when the boat sank. We eventually left on a raft at 11.30. By this time, in answer to our wireless, a hospital ship and several warships were steaming up at full speed and were picking up the boats. We were about three hours on the raft before we were picked up by the hospital ship. Then all our troubles were over. I was very seasick on the raft. It has been a great experience.