Robert Merricks CATTERMOLE

CATTERMOLE, Robert Merricks

Service Number: SX10361
Enlisted: 27 November 1940, Adelaide, SA
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Born: St. Peters, Adelaide, South Australia, 29 May 1915
Home Town: Meningie, The Coorong, South Australia
Schooling: Not known
Occupation: Carrier
Died: Illness, At sea (Middle East), 18 December 1942, aged 27 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Buried at sea, Alamein Memorial, El Alamein War Cemetery, El Alamein, Marsa Matruh, Egypt
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Alamein Memorial (El Alamein), Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Meningie War Memorial
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World War 2 Service

27 Nov 1940: Involvement Private, SX10361, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
27 Nov 1940: Enlisted Adelaide, SA
27 Nov 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX10361, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement

Robert Merricks CATTERMOLE SX10361

Merricks Leslie Cattermole, a cycle mechanic married Pauline Anne Hille of North Adelaide. However, with the outbreak of WWI, Les enlisting as a 23-year-old in February of 1915 with the 27th Battalion. At the time, their first-born child, Helen Jean was just two years old and Annie was pregnant with Robert who was born at St Peters on the 29th May that year. Les was discharged Discharged on the 16th April 1915 with the caustic comment on his discharge papers as ‘unlikely to become an efficient soldier’. Later, as a civilian, Les also ran foul of the law in 1927 being charged with conducting a second dealer business without being licenced.
Post school, Robert was a carrier, living at Meningie on the shores of Lake Albert on the Coorong. This was not without challenges. When Bob was 19 the ‘Border Chronicle’ reported ‘Mr. Bob. Cattermole met with an accident yesterday about midday, when unloading fruit from a truck in Bordertown station yard while shunting operations were in progress. He was carrying a case of fruit when a section of moving trucks came into contact with the truck which he was unloading. The force of the impact threw him against a bundle of galvanised iron, inflicting a nasty gash in his left arm. Porter E. Dowle rendered first-aid, and Mr. Cattermole was later attended by Dr. Cock, who found it necessary to insert four stitches.’
Bob also was typecast at a mock wedding held at the Bordertown Institute in May 41. The ‘Bordertown Chronicle’ described in detail that ‘Egleberry, son and heir of Mr and Mrs Portly. Peabody, of Peabody Pickle factories’ married ‘Marmalade, seventeenth and most charming little daughter of that aristocratic couple, Sir Timothy and Lady Two-up’. During the reception an announcement was given that ‘the late arrival of the wedding presents being explained by the fact that Bob Cattermole‘s horses had bolted’.
When Robert was 23 his mother Annie died in February ’38 and was interred in the West Terrace cemetery. Two years later, with the outbreak of WWII, Robert enlisted on the 27th November, 1940 in Adelaide, just prior to his 25th birthday. He became SX10361 and was allocated to the newly formed 2/48th Battalion. He trained at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills before the large contingent embarked on the Stratheden for the Middle East, on the 7th November 1940, arriving on the 19th December 1940.
With the fierce fighting that ensued, Robert was wounded, spending time in hospital for a month June ‘41. He returned to his unit but was again injured. His father was informed in August ’42 that ‘his son, Pte. R. N. (Bob) Cattermole, has been wounded in action in Egypt, and placed on the dangerously ill list.’ Robert was being shipped home from the Middle East when he died on board and was buried at sea on the 18th December, 1942. He was just 27 years old.
Family and friends continued to remember him on the anniversary of his death.
Advertiser Friday 1 January 1943, CATTERMOLE (Bob). —Beloved only son of L. Cattermole, North Adelaide, died at sea, Dec 18, 1942. His duty nobly done.
Advertiser Saturday 2 January 1943, CATTERMOLE, Pte. Bob. —A tribute of honor and remembrance of our friend Bob. who died on Dec 18 1942—Nel and Maud.
Advertiser Saturday 18 December 1943, CATTERMOLE. —In loving and fond remembrance of Bob. who died at sea Dec. 18, 1942. —Fondly remembered by Uncle Roy. Aunty Mary, and family. CATTERMOLE. R. M. (A.I.F.) —A tribute to memory of Bob. died at sea. Dec. 18. 1942. returning home. Not Just today, but every day. In silence we remember. —Sadly missed, dad and stepmother. L. and V. Cattermole. North Adelaide. CATTERMOLE. —Tribute of honor and remembrance of our pal, Bob. died of wounds. Dec 18. 1942. Thoughts drift back to bygone days, time drifts on but memories stay. —Ever remembered by Roy. 2/48th. Perc, 10/48th. CATTERMOLE. —Sincere tribute to memory of Bob, Dec. 18, 1942. One we will always remember. —Inserted by E. Robinson. Meningie.
Advertiser Monday 18 December 1944, CATTERMOLE. —In loving memory of our dear '"Bob." -SX10361, 2/48th Btn.. who died at sea returning home. "Deep in our hearts a memory is kept, of one we. loved and will never forget."—Ever remembered by dad and stepmother. L and V. Cattermole. North Adelaide.
Bob’s sister, Helen died 14 years later in November 1956 so both children pre-deceased their father.
Locally Robert continues to be remembered at the Meningie War Memorial and also at El Alamein, Column 94 with five of his fellow 2/48th Battalion including George Brown SX6935, Clyde Arblaster SX7945, J.W.T. Christerson SX6935, William Gates SX6867 and Herbert Neumann SX8014.
Researched and written by Kaye Lee, daughter of Bryan Holmes SX8133, 2/48th Battalion.

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Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Robert Merricks CATTERMOLE was born at St Peters, Adelaide, South Australia on 29th May, 1915

His parents were  Merricks Leslie CATTERMOLE & Pauline Annie HILLE

His father Merricks Leslie CATTERMOLE served in WW1 (DEPOT)