Robert Westrup SALMON

SALMON, Robert Westrup

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 1 July 1883
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles
Born: Amherst, Victoria, Australia, 12 July 1862
Home Town: Talbot, Central Goldfields, Victoria
Schooling: Scotch College, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Grazier
Died: Enteric Fever, Naauwpoort, South Africa, 16 March 1900, aged 37 years
Cemetery: Naauwpoort Cemetery, South Africa
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ballarat Boer War Memorial (Queen Victoria Square), Talbot Boer War Memorial, Talbot Captain Robert Salmon Memorial
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Non Warlike Service

1 Jul 1883: Enlisted Australian and Colonial Military Forces - Boer War Contingents, Lieutenant

Boer War Service

1 Oct 1899: Involvement Australian and Colonial Military Forces - Boer War Contingents, Captain
28 Oct 1899: Embarked Australian and Colonial Military Forces - Boer War Contingents, Lieutenant, 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles, Lieutenant & Adjutant
8 Jan 1900: Promoted Australian and Colonial Military Forces - Boer War Contingents, Captain, 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles
16 Mar 1900: Involvement Australian and Colonial Military Forces - Boer War Contingents, Lieutenant, Officer, 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles

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Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Robert Westrup SALMON was born on 12th July, 1862 in Daisy Hill (now known as Amherst, Victoria)

His parents were Frederick Brown SALMON who was born in 1828 in Tollesbury, Essex, UK and died in 1898 in St Kilda, Victoria & Susannah Carty ARNELL who was born in 1832 in Stepney in London and died in 1871 in Victoria aged 40 years

He originally enlisted in 1883 & joined the Talbot Company of Mounted Rifles and worked his way up through the ranks to Lieutenant & Adjutant when he embarked on the ship Medic on 28th October, 1899 from Melbourne with the 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles to fight in the Boer War - later he was promoted to Captain on 8th January, 1900 

He died of enteric fever at Naauwpoort, Colesberg Area, Cape Colony, South Africa on 16th March, 1900

He has a Memorial tablets at St Michaels Church in Talbot, Victoria & his name is honoured on the Talbot Boer War Memorial Pillar


Trove article - Obituary

The Advertiser Adelaide, SA 19th March, 1900


News has been received of the death of Captain Salmon of the 1st Victorian Contingent, of enteric fever , at Naauwpoort,  Captain Robert Westrup Salmon was born on July 12, 1862 at Amherst near Talbot.  He was the son of the late Mr. F B S Salmon, a well known grazier and was a brother of Dr Carty Salmon, the present Minister of Public Instruction & Commissioner of Customs.  His Military career commenced in 1883 when he joined the Talbot Company of Mounted Rifles.  It was as Adjutant to the Mounted Rifles Unit under Captain McLeish, that Captain Salmon proceeded to South Africa.  His promotion to Captain was gazetted only a few weeks ago.  Captain Salmon was unmarried.


Argus Melbourne 19th March, 1900


Great regret will be felt at the announcement of the death of Captain Robert Westrup Salmon of the first Victorian contingent.  On Friday last the Premier received through His Excellency, The Lieutenant Governor, a cable message from Sir Alfred Milner, her Majesty's High Commissioner in South Africa, stating that Captain Salmon was seriously ill.  It was added that he was at Naauwpoort and was suffering from enteric fever.  On Saturday a private cable message from Cape Town was received announcing his death.

At the news of his death the flags were hoisted to half mast and shutters were put up while the Talbot cricketers who were engaged in a match made a mark of respect for the deceased.   There were many telegrams of condolence received by the family from all over the colony. 

His brother Carty Salmon received the following telegram from the Lieutenant Governor

"Very deeply sorry to learn of the death of Captain Salmon, one more excellent soldier and a good fellow lost to us"  John Madden

He had joined the B (now the K) Company of Mounted rifles in July, 1883 holding in succession the positions of Corporal, Lance Corporal and Sergeant and serving as such in the barracks during the maritime strike.  He received his commission in 1892 and was appointed volunteer adjutant in the 2nd Battalion in 1893

On the outbreak of the Boer War he was one of the first Victorian officers to volunteer and after his arrival in South Africa he was appointed to the position of Captain, amply demonstrating the interest he had taken in the corps to which he belonged & earning the warmest regard and esteem of his comrades and the highest respect of his superior officers for the knowledge he displayed in military matters

For many years he managed the estate of the family, sheep farming etc.  On the retirement of his father on account of ill health in 1896 he was elected unopposed to the Talbot Borough Council. He was also one of the cemetery trustees, a member of the committee of management of the race course, secretary to the local fire brigade and a prominent member of the friendly socieites.  He was past Master of the Masonic Lodge, Past Provincial Grand Master of the Manchester Unit Order of Odd Fellows and a member of the board of directors of the Manchester Unity Order and ex president of the local branch of the ANA.  His twin brother, Mr. Philip W Salmon is town clerk of the borough of Talbot - he was well known and highly respected throughout the district, where he will be greatly missed