Robert Summers GILES


GILES, Robert Summers

Service Number: 7438
Enlisted: 16 February 1917, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 29 February 1884
Home Town: Glenelg, Holdfast Bay, South Australia
Schooling: Inverurie Public School
Occupation: Coach Builder (S.A.R.)
Died: Killed in Action, Hazebrouck, France, 30 May 1918, aged 34 years
Cemetery: La Kreule Military Cemetery, Hazebrouck
Plot: 1 Row: D Grave: 11, La Kreule Military Cemetery, Hazebrouck, Nord Pas de Calais, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide South Australian Railways WW1 & WW2 Honour Boards, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Glenelg and District WW1 & WW2 Honour Board, Kilburn Islington Railway Workshops Honour Roll, Port Adelaide S.A. Railways Carriage and Wagon Dept. Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

16 Feb 1917: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 7438, Adelaide, South Australia
30 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 7438, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
30 Oct 1917: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 7438, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Melbourne
30 May 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 7438, 10th Infantry Battalion, Merris (France)

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


Robert was my grandfather's cousin. His birth surname was GEILS but he appears to have changed this to GILES following his emigration to Australia. Robert's birth registration on Scotlands People ( shows his name was recorded as Robert SIMMERS Geils (not Summers Geils - although Summers is what he appears to have used - so this is possibly a mistake on the part of the registrar), and show he was born on 29 Feb 1884 at 3 Kintore Terrace, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  

Robert's parents were Robert Geils, a journeyman baker, and Helen Reid. Their gravestone in Inverurie Bass Cemetery includes text relating to the death of their son Robert. There are photographs and a transcription on the Findagrave ( site.
Robert is also commemorated on the Inverurie War Memorial and his biographical details are included on page 35 of a booklet about the Inverurie memorial, which was published in 2014 and available online at THIS LINK (
Documents in Robert's war service records ( give his next-of-kin as his sister Mary Beattie, living at Falconer Place in Inverurie.  Mary Geils, also the child of Robert and Helen Geils, married Albert William Beattie at 8 Falconer Place in Inverurie on 28 Apr 1911. Their marriage record, also available on Scotlands People, confirms the names of Mary's parents and, therefore, her relationship to Robert.

A big thank you for creating and managing such a wonderful resource. I was delighted to find Robert on the memorial - and very moved to read the documents of the SA Red Cross Information Bureau pertaining to his death and to discover that he left behind a fiancee in Adelaide. - Mary Kelman Harrison



A very pleasing send-off took place at the Islington Workshops yesterday, when the employes of the carriage and waggon shops met to bid farewell to three of their shopmates who are leaving for the front, namely, Sergeant, R. S. Giles, Sergeant H. J. Cook, and Corporal P. Wood. Mr. E. Rushton (carriage shop foreman) presented each of the men with a wristlet watch, and said he would like to see many more of the young men in the works enlisting. A band of 25 performers of the works, under the direction of Mr. W. J. Thorne, rendered the "Song of Australia," "It's, a Long Way to Tipperary," "Rule Britannia, and "God Save the King" in a capital manner. The meeting ended with three cheers for the boys at the front and the King." - from the Adelaide Daily Herald 18 Sep 1915 (


Sergeant R. S. Giles, who was killed in action on May 30, arrived, in Australia   in November, 1911, from Scotland. He was employed as a coachbuilder at the Islington workshops, and enlisted in Adelaide in July, 1916. Having had military experience in his native land, and being an expert rifle man, it was not long before   he was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant-major. In the capacity of instructor he was diligent in his duties, and always evinced a keen interest in the men under his charge. He earned the esteem of all who came into contact with him. He became attached to the 25th reinforcements to the 10th Battalion, and left Australia for France in October 27, 1917. Sergeant Giles resided at Glenelg." - from the Adelaide Daily Herald 16 Jul 1918 (