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Donald Frederick Robertson

Saddler Sergeant

Serial No:
Serial No. 156

1st Field Ambulance


Donald Frederick Robertson - Information

When Donald enlisted in the AIF, he was living in Surrey Hills with his wife, Ruth. Donald was born in Glenfield, and later supported his family as a plumber. He had previously served with the NSW Field Artillery and the 6th Light Horse. When he was 36, he joined up in Sydney on the 25th of September 1914, shortly after the war began. Upon signing up, Donald was made a Driver with the 1st Field Ambulance. He was then sent abroad for war service on the 20th of October 1914 upon the HMAT Maccorquodale. While he was gone, Ruth went to live with her family in Gosford.

Donald set down in Egypt, and soon joined his new unit. On the 12th of March 1915, he was promoted to Lance Corporal. He then joined the troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula, where he was awakened to the horrors of modern warfare. Bullets and artillery fire caused much mutilation, and the conditions in the trenches were something to behold. Many soldiers relied on the medical staff for salvation from these horrors. After the Gallipoli campaign was called off, and the men were transported back to Egypt, Donald was promoted to Corporal at Tel-el-Kebir Camp in early January 1916. Two weeks later, he was appointed Sergeant. In March, he followed the Infantry as they were transported to the Western Front. Donald and his unit continued to save many soldiers' lives during the bitter fighting that unfolded. In late April 1917, he was attached to the 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital for transport duty. On the 4th of May, he was assigned nursing duties leaving Devonport for Australia as part of the ship's medical staff. He was then discharged from military service on the 5th of November 1917. He had never taken a life, but saved countless from the horrific battlefields. Donald reunited with his darling wife, Ruth. In 1919, they moved to Newcastle, where they raised their children, Donald, Florrie and Daisy.