Robert John WYNNE
Birth registration: Victorian Births, Deaths & Marriages Registration No. 31415
Birthplace: Toolern Vale
Parents: Father: John McDonald Wynne (B 1856 Indented Head Reg. # 12557 D 1946 Bacchus Marsh Reg. # 22128);
Mother: 1893 Margaret Barr
Died: 9 December, 1917
Cause: Killed In Action
Place of death: Belgium
Burial place: Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No. 3 (Plot I, row G, Grave No. 23), Vlamertinghe, Belgium
Awards and Honours
- British War Medal 1914-20
- Victory Medal
- 1914-1918 Memorial Plaque
Light Horse; 4th Field Artillery Brigade, Reinforcement 5
Regimental Service Number: 14617
Enlistment date: 18 September, 1915 Melbourne
Age at enlistment: 20 years 11 months
Address at enlistment: Toolern Vale
Religion: Church of England
Marital Status: Single
Next of kin: Father: Mr John McDonald Wynne, Toolern Vale
Physical Description: Height: 5 feet 9 inches
Weight: 10 stones 10 pounds
Distinctive marks: Mole R and L forearm
Embarkation ship: H.M.A.T. A17 Port Lincoln.
War Service Summary
01/08/1916 - Embarked from Alexandria
10/09/1916 - At Cosham, England
21/11/1916 - Offence: Hesitating to obey an order given by a N.C.O. forfeits 2 days pay
20/03/1917 - Proceeding to France from Reserve Brigade Australian Artillery, Larkhill
21/03/1917 - At Etaples
02/06/1917 - Marched out to 2nd Division Artillery; Rouelles
04/06/1917 - In the field
11/06/1917 - Transferred to 4th Field Artillery Brigade
12/09/1917 - Killed in Action Belgium
War Service Commemerated
Killed in action.
Date: 12 September, 1917
12/09/1917 - Killed in Action - Belgium
23/11/1917 Corner of Military Cemetery, 1 mile SW of Ypres, France
It was later determined that this grave belonged to another soldier, O. Wind, so after a special exhumation, the correct burial place was determined as Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No. 3 (Plot I, row G, Grave No. 23), Vlamertinghe, Belgium
Robert John Wynne's name is located at panel 13 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial
From Red Cross Record:
“Shell hit his dug-out badly injured him.
Spoke to friend Robert Deverall Reg no 6731 from Sunbury asking him to send his personal
item back to mother in Australia. Dying shortly after. Deverall also erected cross over his grave site.
(Note: Driver William Deverall 113th Howitzer Btty. Does not know RJ Wynne; the appropriate man is G.R. Deverall 6731)
“He was in bed along side me in a dugout on the Menin Road about a mile beyond Ypres at about 1 a.m. on Sept: 12th when he was fatally wounded by a shell which also wounded me. He was hit in the lower part of the body and I saw him taken away by Bombdr, Debril (of the 12th Baty) and three other men but he died before he got to the dressing station. …. Came from Victoria from the same place as his mate Debril …
Informant:- Pte Cummings 15028”
“In front of Noel Farm, right of Zillebeke Lake. He was killed in his dug out. Killed at once….
Pte. F.Z.Ross 11891”
“… at Menin Road Gun position ….
“… Map Ref. I 11A 8000 …”
“I saw him killed at Ypres. He was caught by a shell, which landed in his dug-out about 1 o’clock in the morning, whilst he was asleep. It was a shrapnel shell, and the pellets riddled his body …
Witness:- Phillips, Gnr. H. 6754”
“Wynn was in the 12th Btty. We had just taken that position over from the Tommy Bttys. To do the Passchendaele stunt. Wynne built a little dug-out for himself and a few days afterwards was sleeping in the dug-out when a 5.9 shell badly injured him. He was conscious for about 10 minutes afterwards and spoke to some of the chaps. They brought him down next day in the cooks wagon and buried him in a Cemetery near Dickebusch. Gnr. Bob Deverell, 12th Btty. Was his pal and made a Cross for him with his particulars on it. This was erected. Deverell can give full information. Allan, Gnr., F.H. 32419”
“I am enclosing a sketch of the grave of the late Gnr. R.J.Whynne, killed in aaction 12-9-17, and I wish you could oblige me by sending it to his people, whose address is:- Mrs. R Whynne, Toobrn Vale, Post Office, Victoria.
Letter from:= Deveral, Gnr. R. 6739, France 15/06/1918”
“… Wynn had a leg and arm shot off …”
25/04/1918 - Package received by mother containing: Metal watch, 2 pipes, letters, photos, post cards, cigarette case metal, metal match box cover, 9 coins, wallet, pocket book, silver locket medallion, metal chain and pendant, money belt (with spring hook attached)
05/10/1917 - Letter from Rose Minns on behalf of Mrs Wynne requesting a copy of Robert John’s will
(Note: Several typed copies of his will are in Service Record dated 08/06/1917 and witnessed by D.A. Henderson, Sydney – clerk and A.C. Rose, Walpurp, farmer.)
Copy from a letter by Gunner Robert J. Wynne of Toolern Vale
Somewhere in France
July 18, 1917
…. Will you send me a couple of pair of woolen socks & a shirt next parcel Mum please as I am short of clothes now and we cannot carry as much with us except our blanket and just what we stand up in. …”
I remain your loving son Bob
Copy from letter by Gunner Robert J. Wynne of Toolern Vale
Somewhere in France
July 18, 1917
Just a line or two to let you know I have received a good few letters from you this week, and also the parcel of socks, tobacco, cigarettes etc. … The socks came in very handy Mum, I must thank you very much for them. …
Your loving son Bob
22 April 1916, P 3
Gunner R. J. Wynne is home on final leave. He had a varied experience during his training. First as a Lighthorseman, then a Quarter-master-Sergeant, and finally as Gunner. He has an offer as "Orderly," which would necessitate his staying here, but he declined, saying "he joined to go to the front, and was going." As showing his popularity, he is getting three presentations this week - two from Toolern, and one (air cushion) from Melton Light Horse. The Melton District Committee already presented him with a wristlet watch.
29 April 1916 p 2
Gunner R. J. Wynne was home on final leave on Wednesday, and advantage was taken to make him a presentation. Cr. W. Browne, on behalf of the residents, presented him with a double gold albert, and inscribed locket, also an autograph letter, on art paper with the Union Jack on the front, also his name and rank. Gunner Wynn: thanked all for their gifts and good wishes.
The Bacchus Marsh Express
6 October 1917 p 2
On Active Service.
WYNNE.-No. 14,617, Gnr. R. J. Wynne, killed in Action, somewhere in France, on 12th September, 1917, aged 23 years, beloved eldest son of John and Maggie
Wynne, Toolern Vale, and beloved brother of the late Mary, also Ellie, Aggie, and George.
One of the best—so brave and true (our dear Bob).
Your cheery, sunny countenance
Will not from memory fade,
Nor yet will we ever forget the noble
sacrifice you made.
Among the brave and loyal,
How many dear ones fall,
Whose friends bereft have only left
The picture on the wall.
(Inserted by his sorrowing parents, sisters, and brother.)
6 October 1917 p 3
On Saturday evening came the sad news that Gunner R. J. Wynne had been killed in Action in France, on Sept. 12th. This is the first death of any of the Toolern boys, who are doing their bit in the firing line. Gunner Wynne had been in France six months, and had given up a "safe" position to fight the enemy. He was only 23 years of age, and the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Wynne, who have the sympathy of the whole district in their sad bereavement.