Robert Joseph Stewart

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First name: Robert

Middle name: Joseph

Last name: Stewart

Personal information:

On the outbreak of World War I, Stewart is reputed to have been the first volunteer from Parkes to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force. He embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A23 Suffolk on 18 October 1914 at the age of 20. He was appointed Second Lieutenant in 'B' Company, 2nd Battalion and promoted to First Lieutenant en route to the Middle East. Following further training in Egypt, he served in the Gallipoli campaign wherein he was wounded. He was evacuated to Alexandria and then sent to convalesce back home. In February 1916 he passed fit to return to active service, was promoted Captain and appointed Second-in-Command of A Company, 34th Battalion on the Western Front.

Box 8 Item 17 – Hugh Venables Vernon miscellaneous papers, 1916-1919.
Handmade protection with steely look and stylish upper lip!

At first glance it is apparent that this garment would have been quite difficult to actually put on, due to the tight fit. Undoubtedly handcrafted by a loved one, it has been photographed in action by the  wearer, as intended. I particularly like the attention to detail on the moustache – possibly one of the few things that a man in his position had complete control over.
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