Robert Hillman (Bert) BOTTEN

Poppy

BOTTEN, Robert Hillman

Service Number: Officer - no service number
Enlisted: 27 September 1915, Adelaide South Australia Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Prospect South Australia Australia, 25 September 1888
Home Town: Prospect, Prospect, South Australia
Schooling: North Adelaide Public School and University College North Adelaide
Occupation: Bank Offical
Died: Killed in Action, Warlencourt-Eaucourt Nord-Pas-de-Calais France, 2 March 1917, aged 28 years
Cemetery: Warlencourt British Cemetery
(VI. H. 34.) Warlencourt British Cemetery.
Memorials: Adelaide HR4 Grand Masonic Lodge*, Adelaide Rowing Club Pictorial Honour Board Great War, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, National War Memorial (South Australia), Prospect HB06 RSL Hall - Prospect District WW1 A-G*, Tanunda HB1 - Tanunda District WW I Honour Board*
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

27 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide South Australia Australia
28 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer - no service number, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
28 Aug 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer - no service number, 27th Infantry Battalion
2 Mar 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer - no service number, 27th Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages
Date unknown: Involvement 27th Infantry Battalion, Pozières

THE LATE LIEUTENANT R. H. BOTTEN

Mrs. Botten has received official notification of the death of her husband, Lieutenant Robert Hillman Botten, who was killed in action in France on March 2. He was in his 28th year. He enlisted in September, 1915, and was selected to go to the officers' school at Duntroon. He was recommended for a commission, and on May 1 became second lieutenant. He left South Australia on August 28. When in England he passed through an adjutants' school. He proceeded to France early in December, and joined his battalion. Lieutenant Botten was the third son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Botten, of Prospect. He was married to Miss Ethel Rose Jacka third daughter of W. J. and S. Jacka, of Melrose, in March, 1916. He was educated at the North Adelaide public school and University College, North Adelaide, where he acquitted himself with honour. He was a prominent cricketer, footballer, and tennis player in the northern towns, particularly Tanunda, Snowtown, and Melrose, where he was well known. In business he was connected with the E.S. and A. Bank for several years, and for sometime was manager of the Branch at Melrose. He resigned from the bank and joined the staff of the Commonwealth Bank in Adelaide. In business, social, and sports circles he was popular. He was a member of the Congregational Church at Medindie. He was also a member of the Masonic craft. One brother Lance Corporal Frank Dyas Botten, served 12 months in Egypt in the A.M.C. and was transferred to France as a member of the Field Ambulance. The two brothers met recently in a dugout near the front lines.


Source: Chronicle (Adelaide, SA), Saturday 24 March 1917, page 45.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/87440606?searchTerm=Frank%20Dyas%20Botten&searchLimits=

Read more...
Showing 1 of 1 story

Biography

Lieutenant Robert Botten was killed in action on the 2nd of March 1917, whilst attacking the German position at Malt Trench, Warlencourt.

 

Just before the attack was about to proceed, however, Lieutenant Botten was re-united with his younger brother one last time in the front line trench. Private Frank Dyas Botten (4th Field Ambulance) was serving in the area and after having a powerful sense of Robert's impending death rushed to say a final goodbye. Just after they finished the attack was called and Lieutenant Botten 'hopped the bags' one last time.

Moving along with the rest of D Company of the 27th Battalion they advanced across the first 130 yards very quickly. During that, however, "Lieut. Botten, whilst most courageously leading his men, was killed.[1]" Indeed the initial attack on behalf of the 27th Battalion was a disaster and some the Germans were organising an attack on their own part and it was only after reinforcements were called up to counter-attack that the situation brought under control. In this counter-attack, however, another two officers in the 27th Battalion were killed.

All three officers were originally buried in the same grave, however, after the war they were separated and re-buried at Warlencourt British Cemetery.   

  

[1] The Blue and Brown Diamond, pg 75. 

Special thanks also to the Tanunda Regional Art Gallery (Tanunda Soldiers Memorial Hall) for the main photograph and the AWM/Adelaide Rowing Club for the other portrait photograph. 

 

Nathan Rohrlach, March 2015.

Read more...