Name: Robert Steven Penney
Service Number: 6187
Units Served: 27th Battalion
Personal Details: Robert Penney was the son of Mr Albert and Mrs Mary Penney of Wattle Park, McLaren Flat and was born on the 2nd June 1896. He stood 5 foot and 5inches tall, weighed 140 lbs and his chest measured a 34-36 inches. He had a medium complexion, grey eyes and auburn hair.
Enlistment Details: Robert Penney enlisted on October the 4th 1916 and was posted to the 17th reinforcement of the 27th Battalion. He was 20 years of age.
Details about his role in War: Robert Steven Penney embarked from Adelaide on the 7th of November 1916. On the 18th of December 1916 he was admitted to the ships hospital and not discharged until the 5th of January 1917. Four days after he was discharged from the ships hospital they arrived at Plymouth. The company was then marched in to Rollestone on the 10th of January. On the 28th of February 1917 Penney was admitted to Fargo Hospital with Pneumonia. He was not discharged until the 19th of May 1917. Robert Penney’s regiment remained at Rollestone until the 9th of October 1917 when they embarked for France via Southhampton. He spent a small time in La Havre before travelling to Belgium where he contracted Scabies and was admitted to hospital on the 22 of November 1917. On the 23 of February 1918 he rejoined the 27th Battalion in France. There is little recorded between this time and the 11th of May 1918 when he was again admitted to hospital. On the 29th of June Penney rejoined the Battalion who were still situated in France. On the 8th of August, 1918 the 27th Battalion marched for an hour and a half to provide reinforcements for an advance. This was one of the major battles the 27th Battalion were involved in which were pushing the Germans back to the Hindenburg Line. They moved forward three km’s to capture enemy trenches. During this advance, Private Robert Steven Penney was killed.
Age at Death: Died on the 8th August 1918 at the age of 22
Cemetery or Memorial Details: Villers Bretonneux – France
There is conflicting information in regards to Robert Steven Penney’s age at enlistment. Throughout his records he is sometimes recorded as being 20 years of age while at others it says he was 40 years old. Robert Steven Penney worked as a farmer before enlisting. His legacy lives on in the McLaren Flat Region as Penney’s Hill Road was named after his family.