Vernon Herman ROBLEY

ROBLEY, Vernon Herman

Service Numbers: Officer, S3196
Enlisted: 19 August 1914
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: Australian Flying Corps (AFC)
Born: Walkerville, SA, 26 April 1894
Home Town: Gilberton, Walkerville, South Australia
Schooling: St Peter's College
Occupation: Clerk
Memorials: Hackney St Peter's College Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

2 Mar 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 10th Infantry Battalion
19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, 10th Infantry Battalion
19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
21 Sep 1915: Discharged AIF WW1
8 May 1918: Embarked Lieutenant, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), RMS Osterley, Sydney
8 May 1918: Involvement Lieutenant, Australian Flying Corps (AFC)

World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Captain, SN S3196
6 Mar 1944: Discharged
6 Mar 1944: Discharged SN S3196
Date unknown: Involvement SN S3196

World War 1 Service

Date unknown: Involvement 10th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

World War 2 Service

Date unknown: Enlisted SN S3196

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Extract from “The Fighting 10th”, Adelaide, Webb & Son, 1936 by C.B.L. Lock; kindly supplied courtesy of the 10th Bn AIF Association Committee, April 2015. 

Born 26 April 1894 at Walkerville, South Australia.

Son of James Hindhaugh Robley and Mother Louisa Charlotte (nee Klaproth).

He was educated at a small Church of England school, the Walkerville Public School, and St Peter's College.

At the outbreak of the Great War, he was employed as a Clerk by Elder, Smith & Co. Ltd and was residing with his parents at Gilbert Street, Gilberton.

He was a compulsory trainee, and becoming interested in the universal training scheme quickly sought promotion.

He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the 78th (Adelaide Rifles) Infantry on 1 March 1914, and held this commission at the time of joining the AIF.

He was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th Battalion at Morphettville on 19 August 1914 and posted to the Command of the Machine Gun Section, which comprised sixteen men, consisting of two machine-gun teams. Both the guns allotted to his section were practice guns with barrels and mechanism considerably worn, one being obtained from Unley and the other from Adelaide.

He embarked with the original Battalion on HMAT A11 Ascanius on 20 October 1914, and proceeded to Egypt, subsequently re-embarking on the Ionian for the Dardanelles.

On 5 April 1915 (Easter Monday), the actual day when the first intimation of the Gallipoli landing was received on the Ionian, there was much excitement on board; but late that night he was stricken with rheumatic fever, and on 7 April 1915, was transferred to No. 1 Stationary Hospital Ship, and subsequently to another vessel, which sailed for Alexandria on 14 April 1915.

He disembarked into Alexandria on 17 April 1915, and proceeded to Heliopolis, where he was admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital.  Shortly after he boarded the Ceramic at Suez, Egypt, this vessel taking 29 days 11 hours to accomplish the direct run to Melbourne.

After leaving the Battalion on the Ionian, Lieutenant E W T Smith was hurriedly appointed Machine Gun Officer and Lieutenant Robley was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 28 April 1915.

Under these unfortunate conditions he was the first original 10th Officer to return to South Australia, his services with the AIF terminating on 21 September 1915.

Commenting upon several original officers of the Battalion who were killed in action on Gallipoli shortly after the landing he said:

“Lieutenant Talbot Smith, who has since been killed, took charge of my section when I went to hospital;  Captain Hall and Lieutenant Owen Smyth, both fine fellows, were tent mates of mine.”

He subsequently made three trips to Europe, including one to Italy, on AIF transport duty.  Whilst engaged in this work he was appointed an Honorary Captain, and accompanied several quotas of South Australian reinforcements and details abroad.

He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the 78th (Adelaide Rifles) Infantry on 1 July 1915, and on 1 October 1918 was transferred to the 2nd/10th Infantry with same rank.  On 16 December 1919, he was placed on the Reserve of Officers as Lieutenant.

He had a varied business career, being employed at different times as Manager and Clerk.  He commenced duties as a Clerk in the Public Service of South Australia on 2 February 1932, and in 1935 was employed by the Unemployment Relief Council at Kintore Avenue, Adelaide.

On 11 September 1920, at St Paul's, Adelaide, he married Irene Pretoria Emily, daughter of Frederick Henry Newcombe.

In 1935 he was residing at No.27 Coombe Road, Allenby Gardens.