Service Numbers: 3602, 3602A
Enlisted: 17 January 1916, Perth, WA
Last Rank: Sapper
Last Unit: Mining Corps
Born: Hobart, Tas., 18 May 1889
Home Town: Victoria Park, Victoria Park, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Electrician
Died: Broome, WA, 30 May 1959, aged 70 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: East Victoria Park Bickford Young Mens Club HR, Victoria Park War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

17 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Sapper, 3602, Reinforcements WW1, Perth, WA
16 Aug 1916: Involvement Sapper, 3602A, Mining Corps, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '6' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: RMS Orontes embarkation_ship_number: '' public_note: ''
16 Aug 1916: Involvement Sapper, 3602, Mining Corps, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '6' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: RMS Orontes embarkation_ship_number: '' public_note: ''
16 Aug 1916: Embarked Sapper, 3602A, Mining Corps, RMS Orontes, Melbourne
16 Aug 1916: Embarked Sapper, 3602, Mining Corps, RMS Orontes, Melbourne

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

Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of Robert and Margaret Ann MONKHOUSE nee BARNES.

Robert and Margaret Ann Monkhouse (nee Barnes) apparently married in Tasmania in the late 1880s.  A son, Robert was born in Hobart on 18 May 1889, and a second son, Joseph was also born in Hobart on 22 Jan 1891.

After moving to Western Australia, in 1903 the family were living at 1042 Lake Street, Kalgoorlie where Robert snr was a carpenter.  In 1910 they were living at Eagle Street, Kalgoorlie and Robert snr was trying his hand at mining.  By 1916 Robert snr had returned to being a carpenter and the family were now living at Western Street, Victoria Park East, Perth.  Robert jnr was living with his parents and working as an Electrician, having completed an apprenticeship with Ritchie & Jackson in Kalgoorlie.

Young Robert completed the ‘Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad’ and the Oath to ‘well and truly serve’ on 3 January 1916 at Perth, Western Australia.  He named as his Next-of-Kin his father, Mr. Robert Monkhouse of the corner of Archer and Weston Streets, Victoria Park East, Perth, Western Australia.

A medical examination the same day recorded that he was 26 years of age and 5ft 5½ins tall.  He weighed 123 lbs, had a dark complexion, grey eyes and brown hair.  He was of the Church of England faith.

After initial training at the 44th Depot Battalion, he was transferred to Engineers on 1 February 1916.  He was appointed to the Engineer Reinforcements at Blackboy Hill on 25 March 1916.  On 1 July he was transferred to the Miners Reinforcements Training Camp at Seymour, Victoria, and on 22 July Robert was promoted to Lance Corporal. 

Robert embarked as a Sapper with the 4th Reinforcements to the Australian Mining Corps.  82 Reinforcements embarked on the transport RMS Orontes on 16 August, 1916 from Melbourne, Victoria.  The mail ship docked at Adelaide, South Australia and Fremantle, Western Australia, departing on August 23, 1916.  After leaving the stormy Australian coast, Orontes docked at the African ports of Durban, Capetown and St Vincent and after fifty-two days at sea of generally fine and mild weather arrived at Plymouth, England on October 2, 1916.  The troops were entrained to Tidworth and marched in to No.3 Details Camp.

He proceeded overseas to France on 15 October 1916 and marched in to the Australian General Base Depot (AGBD) on 19 October. 

Robert was taken on strength (supernumerary) of the Australian Electrical and Mechanical Mining and Boring Company (AEMMBC) on 2 December 1916.

On 14 June 1917 he reported sick and was admitted to the 15th Casualty Clearing Station with anaemia.   On 20 June he was admitted to the 2nd Canadian Stationary Hospital at Outreau.  He was transferred to the 7th Convalescent Camp at Boulogne on 12 July, and then to the 10th Convalescent Depot at Ecault on 17 July.  He was transferred to No.3 Rest Camp at Ecault on 31 July and then marched in to the AGBD at Rouelles on3 August 1917.  Robert rejoined his unit on 19 August and was due his Blue Chevrons. 

Robert was again admitted to a Field Ambulance suffering petrol gas poisoning (accidental) on 20 July 1918, rejoining his unit 10 days later.  On 1 August he was taken off the supernumerary list on placed on strength of the AEMMBC.

Robert enjoyed some leave from 22 November until 6 December 1918.  He did not rejoin his unit until 17 January 1919.

On 24 February 1919 he was charged with ‘whilst on active service - absent without leave’ (W.O.A.S A.W.L.) from 6.30 am on 6 December 1918 until he reported at 6.30 am on 17 January 1919.  For being absent for 42 days he was awarded 28 days Field Punishment No.2 and forfeiture of 70 days pay.

Robert marched out of the AEMMBC to England on 28 April 1919 and marched in to No.1 Group the next day.  On 10 May 1919 at St Cuthbert’s Church, Plumbland, Cumberland, Robert, now 28, married Mary Jackson Hodgson, a 21-year-old spinster.  The couple were living at Solway View, Parsonby.  Mary was the daughter of James Hodgson, a miner.  Robert listed his fathers’ occupation as wheelwright.

He was transferred to No.2 Group at Sutton Veny on 23 June and on 6 September 1919 Robert and his wife left London on board HMAT A35 Berrima, disembarking at Fremantle on 8 November.

Discharged from the A.I.F. on 2 December 1919, Robert was entitled to wear the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Between 1925 and 1936, Robert, an electrician, and Mary where living with Roberts’ parents at 36 Weston Street (also described as ‘corner Archer & Weston Streets’), Carlisle.

In 1926 his father died.  In 1937 Robert, now a PMG Lineman, moved to LaGrange Bay, via Broome, Western Australia.

In April 1942 Roberts’ military service and medical documents were forwarded to the Repatriation Commission, Perth.  Around this time, Robert and Mary were back living with his mother Margaret at 36 Weston Street, Carlisle.  After her death in 1946, and until his death, Robert, an invalid, and Mary lived in Broome.

Robert Monkhouse died in 1959 at Broome at age 70.

Mary continued living in Broome for some years after Roberts’ death.  By 1968 she was living at 36 Lindsay Street Perth, moving to 33 Wardlow Avenue , Balga before 1972 and was last known to be still living there in 1980. 

Mary Jackson Monkhouse, nee Hodgson, died in Perth in 1981 aged 83 years and is buried in the Family Grave, Anglican area, Section LD, grave 0411, Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth.