Robert Jefferson (Jeff) HANCOCK

HANCOCK, Robert Jefferson

Service Number: 1042
Enlisted: 30 November 1915, Brisbane, Qld
Last Rank: Lance Sergeant
Last Unit: 41st Infantry Battalion
Born: Braidwood, New South Wales, Australia, 25 June 1885
Home Town: Helidon, Lockyer Valley, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Bank Manager
Died: Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia, 11 March 1943, aged 57 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Macquarie Park Cemetery & Crematorium
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World War 1 Service

30 Nov 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1042, 41st Infantry Battalion, Brisbane, Qld
18 May 1916: Involvement Private, SN 1042, 41st Infantry Battalion
18 May 1916: Embarked Private, SN 1042, 41st Infantry Battalion, HMAT Demosthenes, Sydney
31 Jul 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, SN 1042, 41st Infantry Battalion, Messines, Gun shot wound to right leg - casualty evacuation
2 Mar 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Sergeant, 41st Infantry Battalion
23 May 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Lance Sergeant, SN 1042, 41st Infantry Battalion, Villers-Bretonneux, Shell-fire injury to right thigh - casualty evacuation.
19 Apr 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Lance Sergeant, SN 1042, 41st Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Brian Hancock

Civilian Life

Robert Jefferson Hancock was employed as a junior clerk at Kempsey by the Australian Joint Stock Bank Ltd 2 January 1904. He held various positions with branches of the bank at Grafton, Dubbo and Deniliquin until 1910 when the bank was reconstructed as the Australian Bank of Commerce. On 3 February 1913, Robert Jefferson Hancock was appointed manager of the branch at Helidon, Queensland. He left this position to enlist with the AIF in Brisbane on 30 November 1915. He told his family his decision to volunteer for active duty arose from his feelings on learning his younger brother Charles Evan (Tam) Hancock had been killed in action while serving with the AIF in August 1915 at Lone Pine, Gallipoli, Turkey.

War Service Overseas

Private Robert Jefferson Hancock embarked at Sydney on 18 May 1916 and disembarked at Devonport, England on 20 July 1916. AIF units spent time in England training. He embarked at Southhampton, England on 24 November 1916 for service with 41st Battalion Infantry in France. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 1 January 1917 and to Corporal on 14 July 1917. He was appointed Lance Sergeant on 2 March 1918. He departed England on 18 January 1919 and arrived in Austalia on 13 March 1919.

Twice wounded in action 

On 31 July 1917, he was wounded in action by gun shot wound to the right leg and evacuated to England for recovery until returning to France and rejoining his unit 41st Battalion on 16 November 1917. 

On 23 May 1918 at Villers-Bretonneoux, France he suffered shell wound to the right thigh and was evacuated to England a second time for recovery. He remained at the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford, Kent, England from 31 July 1918 to until 17 December 1918.