Name: Robert Verrall
Service Number: 1838
Unit Served: 48th Battalion
Personal Details: Robert Verrall was born in September 1880 in Hermitage, South Australia, to Henry James and Elizabeth Verrall. He attended public school and was a labourer. He was 5’ 7 ¼” tall, with a medium complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair. He weighed 140 lbs.
Enlistment details: Robert enlisted on the 13th August 1915, at the age of 34 years and 11 months. He was initially assigned to the 2nd Reinforcement of the 32nd Battalion but was transferred to the 48th Battalion on the 9th March, 1916.
War Details: Robert left Adelaide aboard the Borda on the 16th January, 1916 and arrived in Suez on the 9th February. He was taken on strength by the 48th Battalion on the 9th March. On the 2nd of June he left Alexandria aboard the “Caledonia” and arrived in Marseilles a week later. After spending some time in the “Nursery” sector of Flanders in northern France, the battalion faced its first major battle at Pozieres on the 5th to the 7th August and again on the 12th to the 15th. During this time the 48th is said to have withstood the heaviest artillery barrage ever experienced by Australian troops and lost 598 men killed and wounded in those 7 days. It then spent time defending captured ground around Mouquet Farm before being sent to the relatively quiet area of Belgium in September. On the 1st of October the battalion was in the front line at Vlorstratt. Despite a fairly quiet day, German artillery dropped 10 high explosive shells in to the line, only one of which found its mark, landing in a dug out and killing three men, including Robert Verrall.
Age at Death: 36
Date of Death: 1st October 1916
Cemetery Details: Ridge Wood Military Cemetery Plot III, Row L, Grave 6