Robert Courtney GREEN

Poppy

GREEN, Robert Courtney

Service Number: 1274
Enlisted: 21 July 1915
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Wandsworth, South London, England, United Kingdom, 1886
Home Town: Toodyay, Toodyay, Western Australia
Schooling: Edwinstowe School, Nottinghamshire, England
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed In Action, Fromelles, Departement du Nord - Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, 20 July 1916
Cemetery: Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery
Grave III. C. 9. Personal Inscription HUSHED BY A BROAD-WINGED BREEZE, Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery, Fromelles, Lille, Nord Pas de Calais, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

21 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 1274, 32nd Infantry Battalion
18 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 1274, 32nd Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '17' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Geelong embarkation_ship_number: A2 public_note: ''
20 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 1274, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)

Red Cross investigations into the Missing

Lt S.E. MILLS, D Company, 32nd Bn, 22 January 1917: 'He was in my platoon and was wounded pretty severely on night of 19/20 July. With the help of two other men we carried him to a place of comparative safety and dressed his wound. This was 200 yards behind the German first line and it was found impossible to get stretcher bearers through the barrage. When the order to retire was given it was a matter of charging through the two lines of Germans and so impossible to carry two badly wounded men. Green was left with some twenty or thirty others some of whom have since been reported as prisoners. It is my opinion that Green died of his wound although he was alive when I saw him last.'

Read more...
Showing 1 of 1 story

Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

Robert Courtney GREEN 32nd Battalion

 

Son of Augustus Phillip and Jane Green, of 168, Ashley Rd., Upper Parkestone, Dorset, England, Robert Courtney Green was one of a very large proportion of AIF soldiers born in the United Kingdom who emigrated to Australia. He enlisted, aged 29 years old, in late 1915, having listed his occupation as 'Farmer' from Toodyay.  He was a big man, over 6 feet (180cm) tall and would have stood out among his peers whose average height was aboaut 170cm tall. Robert enlisted in Perth into the 32nd Battalion, a composite SA  / WA Battalion,  and appointed Lance Corporal on enlistment. He embarked in November 1915, too late to see service at Gallipoli.  The 32nd Battalion was never designated to go to Gallipoli.  Not long after disembarking in Egypt the AIF was reforming and 'doubling' in size prior to embarkation for Marseilles in France and then a long train journey north to the Armentieres sector near the Belgian border.  

The 32nd Battalion was part of the newly raised 5th Division.  Its baptism of fire on the Western Front was to be the AIF's first major action on a large scale and it occurred at Fromelles on 19/20th July 1916.

795 or nearly 90% of the fighting strength of the 32nd Battalion became casualties during the ill-fated attack at Fromelles, the single worst day in the history of the Australian Army.

Previously listed as Missing in Action, Corporal Robert Courtney Green was one of many soldiers killed at Fromelles whose fate was only revealed in 2008-10 when the Pheasant Wood mass grave was discovered and opened. The remains of Australian and British soldiers, killed behind the German lines during the battle of Fromelles, were buried there by the Germans following the battle on 19/20th July  1916.  The discovery of the grave led to a forensic study and many of the soldiers have subsequently been identified by DNA analysis.

Pheasant Wood Cemetery is the newest CWGC site on the Western Front having been constructed to accommodate the remains of Australian and British soldiers recovered from a Mass Grave nearby.  The soldiers interred there were buried behind the German lines immediately following the battle of Fromelles. 

 

The inscription on his headstone reasds "Hushed by a broad-winged breeze"

He was 30 years old.

Read more...

Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

Births Jun 1886 Green Robert Courtney Wandsworth 1d 639.


Robert's father was a footman at Thoresby Hall. Robert went to school in Edwinstowe; Edwinstowe is a large English village in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, associated with the legends of Robin Hood and Maid Marian. He then began working at Thoresby himself. The Earl of Manvers paid for Robert to go to Australia possibly because  Robert had his eye on the Earl's  daughter. He arrived in Australia aged 22.

 

He was 30 and the son of Augustus Phillip and Jane Green of 168, Ashley Rd., Upper Parkestone, Dorset, England. 

He enlisted 21/7/1915 at Perth, Western Australia. Unit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on 18 November 1915 The 32nd Bn (Headquarters, Signallers, A, B, C, and D Companies) embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on two ships, HMAT A2 'Geelong', on 18 November 1915, and HMAT A13 'Katuna', on 24 November 1915. The Embarkation Roll does not distinguish between these ships, and it is therefore not possible from the Embarkation Roll to ascertain on which ship an individual embarked. War service: Egypt, Western Front Embarked Adelaide, 18 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 18 December 1915.

Promoted Corporal, Ferry Post, 26 May 1916. Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916. Missing, 20 July 1916. Identification disc received from Germany (German Death List, 4 November 1916). No particulars were afforded except that soldier is deceased. To be reported as KILLED IN ACTION 20/7/16.

Red Cross File No 1210606 has statement from 1261 Sergeant W.R.FLINDELL, 32nd Bn (patient, 35th General Hospital, Calais), 7 November 1916: 'He was lying wounded next to Bennett in the German 2nd line which we attacked from Fromelles. He was "pretty bad". I spoke to him and gave him a drink. I think he was hit in the shoulder.'

Second statement, Lt A.C. SINCLAIR, 32nd Bn (patient, 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, England), 5 January 1917 [file states 1916: clearly in error]: 'Informant states that on 19th July at Fleurbaix Cpl. Green was wounded by shrapnel in the chest when in German 3rd line trench. He was alive on the 20th when our men had to fall back, without being able to evacuate their wounded.'

Third statement, Lt S.E. MILLS, D Company, 32nd Bn, 22 January 1917: 'He was in my platoon and was wounded pretty severely on night of 19/20 July. With the help of two other men we carried him to a place of comparative safety and dressed his wound. This was 200 yards behind the German first line and it was found impossible to get stretcher bearers through the barrage. When the order to retire was given it was a matter of charging through the two lines of Germans and so impossible to carry two badly wounded men. Green was left with some twenty or thirty others some of whom have since been reported as prisoners. It is my opinion that Green died of his wound although he was alive when I saw him last.

' Fourth statement (Red Cross File No 1210708), 1219 L. BRAMBLES, 5th Pioneers Bn (formerly 32nd Bn) (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary hospital, Harefield, England), 27, 30 October 1916: 'During our advance to the 2nd. trench of the German line at Fleurbaix, I saw him lying wounded far out in No Man's Land, it was on the 19th July. After taking the trench the German guns blew us out of it and we retired back to our own line, and I saw no more of the Corporal. He was too far out to get in either by stretcher bearers or by himself and he is certainly either dead or a prisoner - I think the former.'

Read more...