Robert Wilmshurst Cotterill
Serial No. 19873
7th Field Company Engineers
Robert Wilmshurst Cotterill - Information
Robert was born in Sydney c1898 to George Townsend and Dora Cotterill. George worked as an Inspector of Schools moving about from town to town. While he was completing his studies, Robert decided to enlist on the 23rd of June 1917 in Sydney, aged 19. At the time, his family was living at Merton on Condamine St in Campbelltown. Robert was well aware of what would be waiting for him overseas. In 1914 his older brother, Eric, had joined up and was killed at Gallipoli in 1915.
Robert trained at Moore Park Camp, later becoming a Sapper with the engineers. Then in August, he attended Roseville School. Robert was then shipped overseas for war service, departing Melbourne on the 21st of November 1917 onboard the HMAT Nestor. He landed at Suez in December, and was hospitalised at Port Said with influenza. After he recuperated, he was shipped to Southampton in March 1918 and stationed to Parkhouse Camp. On the 13th of August, he was sent to France, joining the 7th Field Company Engineers at Havre. Robert remained with the Engineers after the war ended, and was appointed Driver on the 24th of January 1919. In March, Robert reverted to Sapper, and left England for Australia on the 15th of November 1919.