Aubrey William ANTROBUS

ANTROBUS, Aubrey William

Service Number: 1968
Enlisted: 7 July 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 29th Infantry Battalion
Born: Milton, Queensland, Australia, 4 July 1897
Home Town: Hawthorn, Boroondara, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Printer
Died: Kew, Victoria, Australia, 1961, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Kew War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

7 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1968, 29th Infantry Battalion
18 Feb 1916: Involvement Private, 1968, 29th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '16' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Ballarat embarkation_ship_number: A70 public_note: ''
18 Feb 1916: Embarked Private, 1968, 29th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ballarat, Melbourne
20 Jul 1916: Imprisoned Fromelles (Fleurbaix)

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Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

Aubrey enlisted July 1915, as a 18-year-old printer, being born 4 July 1897, at Milton Queensland, so had just turned 19 when captured at the Battle of Fromelles. His mother Martha had given consent for him to enlist, stating his father’s whereabouts were unknown. They were living in Hawthorn, Victoria, at the time. Aubrey had only disembarked at Suez in March 1916, along with his brother Harold, with the 3rd reinforcements for the 29th Battalion, and had only been in France for three weeks when captured.

Aubrey was apparently wounded at Fromelles, having suffered a gunshot wound to his foot. He went into captivity along with his brother, and he stated in his file that he had reached the enemy front line, where they stayed until early morning. An order was passed down, “every man for himself”. He retired and got into a dummy trench with only one other man, and they were rushed by the Germans and captured. He was taken to Lille, then to Douai Hospital for a week with blistered and wounded feet. The Germans had forced the men to march to Lille, a distance of 14 kilometres, this after they had been in action for over 24 hours. To underline the fog of war, in his Red Cross File a witness states he saw both Antrobus brothers killed by the same shell.

The brothers survived captivity and both returned to Australia on the same ship, 5 March 1919.