Robert John (Bob) FENTON

FENTON, Robert John

Service Number: VX35924
Enlisted: 15 July 1940, Royal Park, Victoria
Last Rank: Sapper
Last Unit: 2nd/1st Boring Platoon
Born: Yarraville, Victoria, 3 October 1916
Home Town: Melton South, Melton, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Station hand/Stockman
Died: Natural causes (renal failure), Frankston, Victoria, 19 August 2001, aged 84 years
Cemetery: Bunurong Memorial Park, Victoria
Cremated - Ashes scattered in Western Port Bay
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World War 2 Service

15 Jul 1940: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN VX35924, Royal Park, Victoria
13 Mar 1942: Promoted 2nd AIF WW 2, Lance Bombardier, 2nd/4th Anti Tank Regiment
7 Jan 1946: Discharged 2nd AIF WW 2, Sapper, SN VX35924, 2nd/1st Boring Platoon

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Biography contributed by Diane Fenton

During the depression Bob would go out on his bike to trap rabbit to sell and help feed the family. A few years later, before WW2, he worked as a stockman and station hand for the Staughton family at Eynesbury Station near Melton in western Victoria. After joining the army in July1940 and completing training at Puckapunyal Bob was attached to the 4th Anti Tank Unit (8th Div). The 4th A/Tk unit was disbanded early in the war due to capture of most of the Unit by the Japanese in Singapore. Only Bob’s battery (14th? Batt), remained safe as they were still awaiting embarkation from Darwin. Bob was still in Darwin when it was bombed by the Japanese in February 1942. He remained loyal to the 4th A/Tk unit even though he served with an engineering unit for the remainder of the war, spending time in action in the islands north of Australia.  

After the war Bob worked for either the Colonial Sugar Refinery or Commonwealth Fertilisers in the Footscray-Yarraville area and also bought a property on the other side of Melbourne at Lyndhurst. They would travel out to the property on weekends to look after any crops etc.  

In 1951 he and his wife Avis bought 7.5 acres in Tootals Rd, Dingley. Bob went to work at Southern Golf Club as a Greenkeeper.  On the property in Dingley Bob and Avis kept 2 cows, one of which was milked by Avis daily. Bob planted potatoes and corn. He also fattened calves for sale and kept a large number of chickens. He later sold most of the chooks, only keeping a few to supply the house.  He then started breeding ducks to sell at the markets.  

In 1973 Avis and Bob soldthe property and bought a house in Springvale South.  Bob worked for Southern Golf Club for over 25 years and finally retired about 1979/82. Not long before retirement he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Early in January 2000, after a fall, Bob went into hospital and was moved into a nursing home. 

He died in Frankston Hospital on 19th August 2001.