Robert Thomas (Reginald Thomas) BAMBLETT

Badge Number: S4177, Sub Branch: St Morris
S4177

BAMBLETT, Robert Thomas (Reginald Thomas)

Service Number: 27548
Enlisted: 1 May 1916, Ross, Tasmania 6th Reinforcements
Last Rank: Gunner
Last Unit: 36th Heavy Artillery Group
Born: Tonbridge, Kent, England, 25 July 1894
Home Town: Port Victoria, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Roof tiler/Mechanic
Died: TB and cancer, Daw Park Repat Hospital, South Australia, 4 September 1951, aged 57 years
Cemetery: AIF Cemetery, West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia
Kendrew Oval
Memorials:
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World War 1 Service

1 May 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 27548, 12th Field Artillery Brigade , Ross, Tasmania 6th Reinforcements
20 Oct 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 27548, 12th Field Artillery Brigade , --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '4' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Borda embarkation_ship_number: A30 public_note: ''
30 May 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Gunner, 36th Heavy Artillery Group
30 Jul 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 27548, 36th Heavy Artillery Group, Third Ypres
4 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 27548, 36th Heavy Artillery Group, Broodseinde Ridge
12 Oct 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 27548, 36th Heavy Artillery Group, 1st Passchendaele, Sustained burns to face and hands
9 Nov 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 27548, 36th Heavy Artillery Group, 2nd Passchendaele , Evacuated to the UK via Etaples
5 Jul 1918: Discharged AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 27548, 36th Heavy Artillery Group, Medically Unfit

From Roma Lemar (nee Smith)

I was very fond on uncle "Regie" as we nieces and nephews called him. We never called him by his real name of Robert. He was a gentle man as I recall, but you felt there was always a sadness behind his quiet nature.
Regie was my mothers (Ruth) brother, and along with her oldest brother Albert and younger sister (Grace), came to Australia a few years before the war began 1913 to start a new life away from Kent UK. Their father Thomas had passed away in 1907 and the family was split up. Their mother Minnie Maria nee Huggert got the girls together and came to Australia to join the brothers Albert and Regie. The oldest brother Edward had joined the Royal West Kent Regiment and was already overseas in India and Mesopotamia.
Living at Pt Victoria SA - Uncle Albert joined the AIF in Sept 1915. He later was severely wounded at Fromelles and died back in Aust. at Keswick Army hospital in April 1917.
Uncle Regie joined the AIF in November 1915 in Tasmania and was posted to the Artillery. He was wounded twice in battle and suffered terribly after the war - never fully recovering and passing away at the Repat in 1951.
The war was never spoken about by either Uncle Regie or my mother as the family had suffered terribly. My mothers step brother was also lost on the Western Front.
My own father - Alfred Smith also served in WW1 and WW2 (passing away in 1945). My husband Ossie Lemar saw active service in WW2 and also died prematurely due to War Service.
Roma Lemar (nee Smith) - niece of Uncle Regie

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Biography contributed by Paul Lemar

REGINALD THOMAS (Robert) BAMBLETT (1895-1951)

REGINALD THOMAS (Robert) BAMBLETT born August 1895 Tonbridge, Kent, England. In 1901 he lived at Norman Row, West Malling, Kent. In 1911 he lived at 4 Myrtle Cottages, St Johns Hill, Sevenoaks, Kent with his mother and siblings. Gunman Robert Thomas Bamblett enlisted into the Australian Imperial Force on the 24th day of November 1915 at Claremont TAS where he was working at the time. His brother Albert (32 INF BTN), mother Minnie, sisters Ruth and Grave where living in Pt Victoria South Australia. The family had been sponsored by their uncle Stephen Bamblett to emigrate to Australia following the death of their father (Thomas) in 1907. The girls left England in 1913 on SS Narung.

Minnie (Reginald's mother) had remarried John Edson on 16/8/14.

Reginald had another brother who remained in England - Edward Arthur Bamblett who served with Royal West Kent Regiment in WW1 in Mesopotamia and with 16th Punjab Regiment in WW2.

Reginald gave his address as Launceston Tasmania when he enlisted was taken on strength with the 12th Field Artillery Brigade 8th Reinforcements, 1st May 1916 and embarked to Australia. He trained at the Field Artillery Reinforcements Maribyrnong VIC and embarked on the “Borda” for Plymouth, England on the 20th October 1916, disembarking on the 9th January 1917.

After further training he transferred from the 12th Field Artillery Brigade to the 36th Heavy Artillery  Group,  Stowlangtoft, England on the 30th May 1917. He embarked on the “Folkestone” for France on the 12th July and disembarked in the UK on the 19th July 1917

The 36th Heavy Artillery Group was involved in the third battle of Ypres on the 30th July and the battle of Broodseinde on the 4th October 1917.

On the 12th October 1917 Gunner Bamblett was wounded in action suffering burns to his face and hands and shell concussion in the first battle of Passchendaele. He was transported on the 19th October to the Etaples base hospital.

He rejoined his unit at Rouelles on the 27th October ready for the second attack on Passchendaele where he was again wounded on the 9th day of November and readmitted to Etaples base hospital. 21st December he was transferred to the Rouelles Hospital and then rejoined his unit on the 29th.

On the 9th January 1918 he was admitted to the hospital in France and then embarked on the 16th January to England. He was admitted to the Royal Victorian Military Hospital, Netley England one day later.

On the 16th March he returned to Australia from Royal Victorian Military Hospital with shell shock.

Gunman Robert Bamblett was discharged from the AIF on the 5th July 1918 Medically Unfit.        

 He saw 295 days Active service in Australia and 673 days Active service overseas. In total 968 days.

He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

He married Florence DADDS. They lived at 230 Churchill Rd, Prospect SA married in 9th April 1924. They had two children - Roy and Audrey Ruth.

Reginald died 4th September 1951 at Daws Rd Repatriation Hospital Daw Park SA and is buried in the West Terrace Cemetery, AIF near his future brother in law Alfred J Smith (3rd LHR) and his brother Albert Bamblett (DOW) 1917.

After the war Reginald was remembered by his niece Roma Lemar (nee Smith - daughter of Ruth) to be kind and quiet. She remembers he drove taxis for a while, but he was always in and out of hospital with illness. 

 

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