Kelvin ROACH

ROACH, Kelvin

Service Number: 181
Enlisted: 16 September 1914
Last Rank: Trooper
Last Unit: 9th Light Horse Regiment
Born: North Kensington, South Australia, 17 August 1892
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Walkerville Public School and St Peter’s College, Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Stockman
Died: Died of wounds, Palestine, 20 April 1917, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Deir El Belah War Cemetery, Israel
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, North Adelaide St Peter's Cathedral WW1 Honour Roll, Norwood St Bartholomew's Anglican Church Honour Roll, Orroroo Public School Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

16 Sep 1914: Enlisted
12 Feb 1915: Involvement Private, 181, 9th Light Horse Regiment, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '2' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Armadale embarkation_ship_number: A26 public_note: ''
12 Feb 1915: Embarked Private, 181, 9th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Armadale, Melbourne
20 Apr 1917: Involvement Trooper, 181, 9th Light Horse Regiment, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 181 awm_unit: 9 Light Horse Regiment awm_rank: Trooper awm_died_date: 1917-04-20

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From the book Fallen Saints 

Kelvin Roach of Kent Town was born at Norwood, South Australia. His father being the Inspector of the South Australian Education Department knew the value of a good education and ensured both Kelvin and his sister Leonore attended the best schools in Adelaide.

Kelvin received his early education at the Walkerville Public School and later during his time at St Peter’s College was an enthusiastic member of the cadet unit for two years.  

After leaving the School he worked as a stockman for Sydney Kidman the Australian cattle king, and had already crossed the length of Australia on horseback before he was twenty years of age; he rode from Adelaide to the coastline in the Gulf of Carpentaria. [i]

He enlisted at Morphettville on 16 September 1914 and obviously, his experience and love of horses played a big part in him choosing, or being chosen to become a trooper in the 9th Light Horse Regiment.

On 12 February, Trooper Roach, A Squadron, 9th Light Horse Regiment, sailed from Melbourne aboard HMAT Armadale. Upon reaching Egypt, he was held in transit at Base Details in Alexandria until on 5 August he embarked to join the 9th Light Horse Regiment at Anzac. Within a few weeks of joining the unit, he came down with Influenza and he was evacuated to Malta where he was admitted to St Andrews Hospital on 4 September. He rejoined his unit at Anzac towards the end of the October and remained on the Peninsula until the evacuation in December.

In January 1916, he fell from his horse during training and was admitted to 2nd Auxiliary Hospital, Cairo but returned to full duties within two weeks.

He was admitted to 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance suffering with a severe bout of Diarrhoea in May, but after a week returned to duty and took part in the all fighting in the Sinai involving the 9th Light Horse Regiment.

On 19 April during the second battle of Gaza, 181 Trooper Roach suffered shrapnel wounds to his left side and arm and was admitted to 53rd Casualty Clearing Station where he died the following day; he was 24 years of age.

His cousin, Lieutenant Ralph Claridge of the 50th Battalion was killed in action at Villers Bretonneux, France on 25 April 1918.

[i] Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour Cards 145, 1914-1918 War, Army - Roach, Kelvin, viewed 1 November 2005