Service Number: 464
Enlisted: 9 May 1915, Liverpool
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 20th Infantry Battalion
Born: Bathurst, New South Wales, 18 August 1891
Home Town: Molong, Cabonne, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Motor Driver
Died: Shell wounds - groin and stomach, Mont Saint-Quentin, France, 31 August 1918, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension
IV. N. 16. Originally buried in a French cemetery north east of Clery-sur-Somme.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

9 May 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 464, 20th Infantry Battalion, Liverpool
25 Jun 1915: Involvement Private, SN 464, 20th Infantry Battalion
25 Jun 1915: Embarked Private, SN 464, 20th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Berrima, Sydney
22 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 464, 20th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
24 Mar 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 20th Infantry Battalion
2 May 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 464, 20th Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages, Norieul, Shrapnel wound to chest
6 May 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 464, 20th Infantry Battalion
31 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 464, 20th Infantry Battalion, Mont St Quentin / Peronne

Help us honour Frank Robards's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Michael Silver

Jack Brown was born in Bathurst, New South Wales in 1891 to Sarah Ellen Brown (father unknown). He was ‘adopted' by a widow, Mrs Phoebe Robards from Molong. His birth was not registered until 1910, after the death of his adopted mother.

When he enlisted in May 1915 he used the name Frank Robards and named his birth mother Mrs Sarah McGaw (nee Brown) of “Gnarwarre”, Tomingley, New South Wales as his next of kin. He was assigned to A Company, 20th Battalion AIF and left Australia on 15 June 1915.

Private Robards landed at Gallipoli with the 20th Battalion on 22 August 1915. He was involved in the occupation of the trenches on Russells Top during his time at Gallipoli, before being admiited to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station with a hernia in early October. Subsequently, his evacuation from the peninsula involved being transferred to and from several Hospital Ships, to Malta and then to Fulham in England. It was there that he met Violet Marie Dorothea Groves.

He listed his name as “Jack Franklin Robards” when he married Violet at St Matthew’s Church, Hammersmith on 25 March 1916.

On 6 March 1917 Frank was promoted to Lance Corporal and after a short time to Temporary Corporal due to the wounding of the incumant Corporal. He reverted to Lance Corporal on being wounded (shrapnel wound to the chest) and evacuated to England in May 1917. During this time (April-June) Frank and Violet’s son Jack William Robards was born.

Apparently promotion did not sit well with Frank and he requested permission to revert to Private in May 1918.

On 31 August 1918 as part of the advance by the 20th Battalion on Mount Saint-Quentin, Private Frank Robards was killed instantly when hit by shell fragments and suffered mortal wounds to his stomach and groin.

His body was recovered and he was buried in an old French cemetery north east of Clery-sur-Somme. Later his remains were reinterred at Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension.

Credit: G Toohey - Manning Wallamba Family History Society