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Robert Henry Eccleston


Serial No:
Serial No. 3007

59th Battalion

The Oaks

Robert Henry Eccleston - Information

Robert was born in The Oaks c1896. When the war began, he was living in Bargo, working as a farm hand. He joined up in Picton on the 22nd of May 1916, aged 20. He then boarded the HMAT Afric on the 3rd of November 1916, as a Private with the 7th Reinforcements, 59th Battalion.

Robert landed in Plymouth, England in early January 1917. He was marched out to the 15th Training Battalion in Hurdcott. In March, he was shipped to the Western Front. He left Etaples Base to join the 59th Battalion in the lines. At the time, they were advancing in on the Germans after they withdrew to the Hindenburg Line a new defence system. Later in the year, they participated in the Third Battle of Ypres in Belgium. As they launched an attack at Polygon Wood on the 26th of September, Robert was wounded. Shell shrapnel passed through his knee, exiting the back of the thigh. He was rushed to the 22nd General Hospital in Camiers. On the 1st of October, he was taken to England to the War Hospital in Reading. Robert recuperated from his painful wound, and was sent back to the trenches in May 1918, rejoining his unit the following month. A war of movement had returned to the front. The Germans had gained much ground following their March Offensive, and the Allies were desperate to turn the tide. Robert was then wounded again on the 4th of July, hit in the left arm. The 15th Field Ambulance rushed him to the 20th Casualty Clearing Station, and then the 6th General Hospital in Rouen. He was immediately evacuated to England. Before long the war ended, Robert luckily headed home on the 8th of January 1919.