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Herweg-R-H-LCpl-67 (redirected from Herweg R H L-Cpl 67)

Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 5 years ago

Return to Volunteers List

 

Pte Robert Herman Herweg, detail from a larger photo. (See below)

 

 

Herweg R H     67    L Cpl    Robert Herman [Herwig]      14 Inf Bn    22    Blacksmith's striker    S 

Address: Moonee Ponds, Ascot Vale Rd, 369    

Next of kin: Herwig, G, Mrs, 369 Ascot Vale Rd, Moonee Ponds  C of E  

Enlisted:  9 Sep 1914        

Embarked: A38 Ulysses 22 Dec 1914  

 

Relatives on Active Service:

Herweg-J-C-Pte-1032   brother DOW

Herweg-T-G-Driver-2958   brother DOI

 

Lance Corporal Robert Herman Herweg

 

by Lenore Frost

 

Lance Corporal Robert Herman Herweg.   Photo courtesy of the

Gilbert Family collection.

 

Robert Herweg was an imposing six feet tall, blue-eyed and  handsome,  and 22 years old when he enlisted on 9 September 1914, among the very first of the enlistees for the Australian Imperial Force.  He was employed as a blacksmith’s striker, probably in his father’s business.  His father, Frederick Herweg, born in Germany in 1853, was a blacksmith and coachbuilder in Ascot Vale Rd, Moonee Ponds, the business operating from 555 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds.   It is likely that the family bore many taunts about Frederick’s German background, but his size probably prevented Robert being unduly harassed.  Robert had 18 months prior training with the cadets, and with his athletic build and height would have been earmarked for early promotion, and he embarked on the Ulysses with the 14 Infantry Battalion in ‘A’ Company as a Lance Corporal. 

 

Troops line the decks of HMT Ulysses at it pulls out from the wharf at Port Melbourne on 1 March 1916.  Australian War Memorial Collection. The HMAT A38 Ulysses weighed 14,499 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the China Mutual SN Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 15 August 1917.

http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/PB1095

 

The 14 Bn avoided the day of carnage at the landing on the 25 April.  On this day the 14 Bn troops, on board the Seang Choon, were engaged in bringing on board wounded from the landing, and trying to care for them.  The decks were described as being awash with blood.  On the 26  April they landed under shrapnel fire, but few casulaties were suffered.

 

“The battalion (less Platoons 2 and 3) remained all day on the beach as a reserve, near the northern point of Anzac Cove at Ari Burnu… There was shrapnel fire in the vicinity during the day, but it was too high and did little damage. The time was utilised by the men in collecting the arms, equipment and packs, which were strewn all over the beach, and in the water where they had been thrown off on the previous day by the men of the 1st Division on landing as they advanced on their whirlwind assault.  The battalion bivouacked under the cliffs during the night”.  (Wanliss, p20)

 

“The 1st Division, which had been fighting continuously for two days, was now in a state of complete exhaustion, and urgently in need of reinforcements.  About 8.15 a.m. on that date [27 April] the battalion received orders to march up Shrapnel Gully (Nos. 2 and 3 Platoons having been instructed to rejoin the main body), and, taking such cover as was available, the advance was made under an intermittent shrapnel fire…..” (Wanliss, p21)

 

“The whole of A Company, with portions of other companies, under Major Rankine, reinforced the garrison at Quinn's”. (Wanliss, p 21)

 

Quinn’s post was the most dangerous one in the Australian sector, being at the crest of a steep hill, and with very little cover for the troops.  Early in the occupation the 14Bn suffered many casualties from machine gun fire and snipers, and it was difficult to evacuate the wounded.  Robert was “reported wounded” on 30 April.  A form in his B2455 file on his admission to a convalescent hospital in England  described the injury as “Gunshot wound (grenade) rt arm”.

 

This map showing the positions of the Turkish snipers shows why Quinn's Post was so dangerous. Troops were pinned down for days before trenches could be dug for shelter

and were much exposed to sniper fire and enfilade from machine guns. (Wanliss)  

 

On  7 May he was put on a transport for England, having probably spent the intervening days on a hospital ship off the shores of Gallipoli.    After a period of convalescence at a hospital in Woodcote Park, Epsom,  he was invalided to Australia on 8 October 1915, and received his discharge in Melbourne on 12 Apr 1916.

 

The injury to his right arm probably had an impact on Robert’s capacity to return to his pre-war occupation of blacksmith’s striker, and in the 1919 Electoral Roll he was working as a postman.  By 1924 he had returned to work as a blacksmith, and was residing in Brunswick.  By 1934 the Electoral Rolls show that he had moved to 151 Durham Rd, Sunshine and was working as a labourer.  By 1954 he had had a sea-change, and was living at Foster in Gippsland and working as a cleaner at the local high school. 

 

 Sources:

Australian Electoral Rolls

Australian War Memorial  - Embarkation Nominal Roll

Gilbert, John  - family records

National Archives of Australia – B2455

Wanliss, Newton, The History of the 14th Battalion: being the story of the vicissitudes of an Australian unit during the Great War.  The Arrow Printery: 1929.

 

 

Pte R H Herweg, photo courtesy of the Gilbert Family collection.

 

 

Essendon Gazette, 3 June 1915

 

Lance-Corporal R. H. Herweg, who was wounded, is the third son of Mr.
F. W. Herweg, coach builder, Mt. Alexander road, Moonee Ponds. He is
a native of Essendon. Two of his brothers are at the front.

 

Essendon Gazette 10 Jun 1915

 

Lance-Corporal R Herweg, writing from the hospital ship Letitia, at Alexandra, states that after a week's fighting he was shot in the arm. The wound was not serious. He was going to England, and expected to be right again soon.

 

The following is a letter from Corporal R. ("Dollar") Herweg, written from hospital in England:- - "'I am quite well; but still in hospital. I am waiting for furlough. I have been before the board and am marked out, so you can get a bed in, as I expect to be in Melbourne for the Cup. I am not disabled for life; but it will take time, so the doctor said. I am as fat as a whale; but my wind is gone. That will come again all right; I think I will leave here on Monday. I will leave it to you to tell the others the news."   Corporal Herweg desires to be remembered to all his old chums in the district.


D.C.M. WINNER. (1915, September 23). The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 5 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved January 15, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74590184

 

Corporal Robert H. ("Dollar") Herweg, a well-known resident of Moonee Ponds, returned invalided on Friday last with a number of others. He was in the 14th Battalion, and was with the first lot of Australians who landed at Gallipoli. Having been wounded in the right arm he was put out of action and was sent to the hospital at Manchester (England). The residents of Manchester were exceedingly kind to him and the other wounded men, and did all they could for them. He reports that at the convalescent camp at Epsom (Surrey) he was with Corporal Alfred Young (of Moonee Ponds) who gave him several copies of the "Essendon Gazette," which he was glad to see, especially those parts alluding to the Essendon Red Cross work and the Roll of Honour. Mr. Herweg's brother in Moonee Ponds sent him a postcard, mentioning the work done in Victoria, and this postcard was eagerly seized upon by Mr. Cunningham (president of the recruiting committee in Manchester), who used it for recruiting purposes. Mr. Herweg has a brother at Gallipoli, while another died from wounds.

 

WITH THE COLOURS. (1915, November 25). The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 6 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved January 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74590964

 

2958, Bombardier T. G. Herweg, son of Mrs. E. Herweg and the late Mr. F. W. Herweg, who left Australia with the first Anzacs, in October, 1914, after four years' service abroad, died of wounds in France on 7th October, 1918. The brother, Pte J. C. Herweg, died of illness in Egypt, and Lance-Corporal R.H. Herweg has returned. 

ROLL OF HONOR. (1918, November 21). The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: Morning. Retrieved September 3, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74607706

 

Mentioned in correspondence

Henry Wright to Mother, 1915- Gallipoli  10 Jun 1915

Greene T W W Pte 1652 Welcome home given by Mrs & Mrs Greene.

Herweg T G Driver 2958 letter from brother T G Herweg in Essendon Gazette 3 May 1917

 

Ascot Vale State School "Noble Deeds"

"Herweg, Robert H, L Cpl.  Born 25 March 1892.  Enlisted August 1914. He fought with

the AIF infantry at the landing at Gallipoli.  A few days later, on the 30th April, he was

severely wounded in the head and arm, and in consequence was invalided home".

 

War Service Commemorated

Essendon Town Hall F-L

Ascot Vale State School

Ascot Vale State School Noble Deeds Book

North Suburban Cycling Club

St Thomas' Church of England [Herwig]

Essendon Gazette Roll of Honour

Welcome Home 7 Nov 1918 ..

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