Robert Sparkes Best

Robert Sparkes Best was born in 1890 in Thirroul to Frederick Best and Agnes Rebekah Reid (nee). He was a builder prior to the war. He enlisted 4 December 1916 at Thirroul at the age of 26. Robert joined the 1st Pioneer Battalion 6-10 Reinforcements and embarked from Sydney on 24 January, 1917 on HMAT Anchises A68.[1]

Robert Sparkes Best

Robert Sparkes Best

Robert and his sister, Mary Best.

Robert and his sister, Mary Best.

Robert was discharged on 11 August, 1919. He subsequently received the British War and Victory medals for his service.

He married Mary Smith (nee) and together they had two children.

Robert Best died in 1962 at Bulli.

Victory March through London. 3 May 1918.

Victory March through London. 3 May 1919.


[1] Australian War Memorial, Embarkation Roll- Robert Sparks Best, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, < http://www.awm.gov.au/research/people/nominal_rolls/first_world_war_embarkation/person/R2048111/&gt;, viewed 29 January 2014.

NAA: B2455, BEST R S

Honour Roll

We need you

To commemorate the centenary of World War 1, Wollongong City Libraries will develop an innovative online resource – Illawarra Remembers 1914-1918 – which will include information and photographs that tell the stories of the Illawarra’s brave men and women who went to war. We need your help.

There are a number of Honour Rolls and Memorials across the Illawarra which commemorate the men and women involved in the war. Below are photographs of the Roll of Honour at Helensburgh Workers’ Club  and the Roll of Honour at Thirroul Public School [1] (NB. The rolls and memorials may have changed location since the time the P12756

Helesburgh Workers’ Club
HONOUR ROLL
To commemorate the members who made the supreme sacrifice for their country in World Wars 1 and 2.
1914-1918

Barrie W.
Freebairn J.L
Ford T. (Paddy)
Hillier B.
Hilton J.
Kinlock S.
Mini J.
McKenzie J.
McPaul H.
Stewart J.
Thickett A.
Williamson J.

P12766

FOR KING AND COUNTRY
Thirroul Public School

WEBB, William
STURT, Clifford
WELCH, Walter
BOOTH, Reginald
CAVILL, Walter
SMITH, Erroll
JONES, Alfred
JONES, Murray
CURRAN, Jack
ADEY, Alfred
WOODALL, Vivian
GRANGE, Gordon
ROBERTS, James
BIRCH, Walter
DWYER, Clyde
WEST, Jack
ELPHINSTONE, Nichs
ROBBINS, Regnld
WILSON, Briton
BROWNING, Arthur
SPEIRS, Joseph
GIBSON, Albert
BEST, Robert S
WRIGHT, Waltr
HILTON, John
GRIFFIN, Victor
WILSON, Edison
CAIGER, Walter
CHRISTIE, Alfred
MOBBS, Walter
HILTON, Joseph
HEARD, Oliver
BIVENS, John
DIGNAM, Daniel
BROWN, Charles
BARNSLEY, Wllm
HINDMARSH, Thos
McCALLUM, Geo
ANDERSON, Willm
HOPKINS, Daniel
WHITFORD, Willm
MARR, Harold
BEVAN, Hirwain
CURRAN, Frank
KIGGINS, John
PECK, Charles
GIBSON, Thos
BLOOR, Clarence
RIXON, Keith
WOODALL, Eric
FREW, Robert
BEVAN, Victor
MOBBS, Albert
DINES, Charles
BLOOR, Roy
HICKS, Henry
CHEADLE, George
ROBERTSON, Roy
SMITHERS, Sydney
McAULAY Herbt
ADEY, Arthur
WYNN, Chas
BRADBURY, Saml
BRITTEN, Cecil
SWAIN, Stanley
MARR, Cyril
ROBERTSON, Jas
DWYER, Jack
GREEN, Arthur
BOOTH, Harold
BETTERRIDGE, Gdn
HUTTON, Willm
JACK, James

If anyone has any information about the names on this Honour Roll (or any other), please let us know either through the contact page, in person at Wollongong Reference Library or by calling the Reference Library on (02) 4227 7414.


[1] Compiled by Illawarra Family History Group Inc, Illawarra Remembers: War Memorials of the Illawarra, Printed by University of Wollongong Printery, Wollongong NSW, August 1995.

Alfred Smith

Alfred Smith was born on September 10, 1892 in Hartley Valley NSW. His address at enlistment was Harbord St, Thirroul where he lived with his wife, Doris Irene Smith. He was a coal miner prior to the war.

Alfred enlisted in Kiama NSW on the 1st November, 1916 at the age of 24 and joined the 8th Reinforcements, 45th Battalion.

alredsmith

Alfred’s reminiscences from the front has been shared with Wollongong City Libraries –  a typed transcript which contains a detailed account of Alfred’s service. It covers his departure, the voyage, training, the battle and his wounds, visiting his family in Cornwall on leave, his departure and voyage home.

One very interesting thing happened during this period. On 23rd April (1917) all the able men at the camp at Codford were marched to a place called Bulford. I don’t know the distance but it took us all day to get there. The purpose of the exercise was to be reviewed by the King. It was claimed there was 40,000 Australian troops the day of the review. We stayed there over-night and the next day we marched back to Codford. The interesting thing was that each way we travelled, we had our lunch at Stonehenge.

While fighting at the front line he received bullet wounds in his right shoulder, through the back of the neck, right shin and right elbow and was subsequently transferred to a rest camp in Weymouth. He stayed he until he set out on October 20, 1917 from Plymouth back to Australia.

On Alfred’s return to Australia Alfred wrote:

13th December, 1917.

We arrived at Sydney early this morning. The State Governor came on board and gave us a welcome home. When I went ashore I was met by my wife. I had to go to Victoria Barracks for certain formalities then we got a train to Thirroul where I was greeted by the Thirroul Brass Band (of which I was a member) and a large number of other people who then escorted me to my home on Mountain Road Austinmer. I was discharged from the Army on 17th January, 1918.

On his return, Alfred continued his work as a coal miner and later became a mine manager until his retirement.

He died at the age of 97 on October 6, 1989.

Alfred Smith on his 90th birthday.

Alfred Smith on his 90th birthday.

NATIONAL AUSTRALIAN ARCHIVES: B2455