R. Gillespie – Kangaroo

Irishman, Robert Gillespie, was born in Randallstown, Ireland and was working in Queanbeyan as a labourer when he enlisted(#1657) at Goulburn. He gave his next of kin as his brother John of Glasgow, Scotland and had served four years in the Highland Light Infantry, British Army in Scotland.

He had previously been rejected for enlistment in the AIF on account of varicose veins however he was accepted at Goulburn and it was noted he had varicose vein operation scars on his right leg as well as dental plates on top and bottom jaw. He gave his age as 44.

Very soon after Robert’s arrival in France he began to suffer from the climate and was returned to England for hospitalisation for treatment for bronchitis a number of times before returning to the front line.

Robert was returned to Australia on the Beltana and discharged due to medical unfitness in June 1917.   He was also believed to be over-age.

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Our sincere thanks to Dahlis Evans for compiling this little story.

Sources:
www.aif.adfa.edu.au ;
www.naa.gov.au ;
The Kangaroo March by Sherry Morris & Harold Fife.

We would be most interested to add to Robert Gillespie’s story if anyone knows? Please email Angela Williamson at kangaroomarch@gmail.com

Enlist now to march in the Kangaroo March Re-enactment.