Service Numbers: 385, 2893
Enlisted: 22 August 1914, Gympie
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: Australian Provost Corps
Born: Gympie, Queensland, Australia, 1894
Home Town: Gympie, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Enteric fever, Palestine, 25 August 1918
Cemetery: Jerusalem War Cemetery
W. 77., Jerusalem War Cemetery, Israel
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Gympie & Widgee War Memorial Gates, Imbil Mary Valley Enlistments WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

22 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 385, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, Gympie
24 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Saddler Sergeant, 2893, Divisional Ammunition Column
24 Sep 1914: Involvement Private, 385, 2nd Light Horse Regiment
24 Sep 1914: Embarked Private, 385, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Star of England, Brisbane
20 Oct 1914: Involvement 2893, Divisional Ammunition Column
20 Oct 1914: Embarked 2893, Divisional Ammunition Column, HMAT Shropshire, Melbourne
14 May 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 385, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, ANZAC / Gallipoli
7 Jul 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 385, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, HT Kyarra for return to Australia - arriving 20 August 1915
4 May 1916: Embarked Private, 385, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Seang Choon, Brisbane
4 May 1916: Involvement Private, 385, 2nd Light Horse Regiment
21 Jul 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, Anzac Provost Corps
3 Jan 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Saddler Sergeant, 1st Field Artillery Brigade
9 Dec 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, Anzac Provost Corps
25 Aug 1918: Involvement Lance Corporal, 385, Australian Provost Corps

Sgt Robert William Saunders

From How We Served
2893 Saddler Sergeant Robert William Saunders MSM of Albert Park, Victoria had been employed as a saddler when he enlisted for War service on the 24th of August 1914. Allocated to the 1st Australian Divisional Ammunition Column, Robert embarked for Egypt and further training on the 21st of October 1914. Robert would arrive on Gallipoli on the 30th of April 1915, and remained on duty until the end of the campaign. Returned to Egypt, Robert was embarked for further service in France where he arrved on the 2nd of April 1916. Evacuated to England for hospitalisation for influenza on the 14th of June, Robert would not return to France until the 12th of December where he underwent further training at the 'Bull Ring', Etaples before rejoining his Unit on the 19th. Robert was transferred over to the 1st Australian Field Artillery Brigade on the 3rd of Janurary 1917, with whom he remained with until he was selected to return to Australia on submarine duty. Robert embarked for his return to Australia on the 21st of July 1918. For his services with the 1st AIF, Robert was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. Following his return to Australia, Robert contracted pneumonia and was admitted into the 5th Australian General Hospital (Melbourne), where he succumbed to sickness 12 days later on the 9th of October 1918. Saddler Sergeant Saunders MSM received full Military Honors when he was laid to his final rest within Coburg Cemetery, Victoria.

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans


Meritorious Service Medal

'For consistently good work and devotion to duty from 25th February to 16th September, 1918, Sergeant SAUNDERS has always performed his duties most conscientiously and has shown great keenness and ability. He left Australia in 1914 and has since then greatly helped in maintaining the efficiency of his Battery by his good solid untiring work as a saddler.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 67
Date: 3 June 1919