Saturday, 25 April 2015

Private Storey - ANZAC Day

In May 1916 my Great Grandfather, Robert Mavin Storey joined the 8th Field Ambulance, Australian Imperial Force. He enlisted at Teralba, NSW where he was working as a bricklayer at the time. The 8th Field Ambulance was only formed in January 1916 after the failed Gallipoli campaign. 
Private Storey.
On 29 March 1918, Robert was apparently "Acting in a manner prejudicial to good order & military discipline in that he created a disturbance." This just so happened to be Robert's thirty-first birthday. For this, he forfeited fourteen days pay. Throughout February and March of 1919 Robert was being transferred to and from different military hospitals, being treated with a "nasal obstruction." On 31 March 1919, he was discharged from hospital and granted furlough (or leave) and told to report back to Headquarters on 14 April. That date came and went and Robert was formerly declared A.W.L (Absent Without Leave), before he finally walked through the door on 23 April. He thus forfeited nine days pay.

Private Storey in
the 8th Field Ambulance, A.I.F.
On 11 September 1919, Robert married Minnie Metcalf at Morpeth, Northumberland. He married while on extended leave, which soon became an indefinite leave as he and his bride were awaiting a family ship to take them to Australia. In March 1920 Robert and Minnie boarded the Zealandic, where they would get off at Melbourne. Minnie was already pregnant with the couple's first child. 

From the Newcastle Sun on
3 June 1920.
Found on Trove.
Robert was formerly discharged from the A.I.F. on 22 July 1920. The couple lived in Weston, a small town in the Hunter Valley area of New South Wales where Robert returned to being a bricklayer.

Nine years later, Robert was looking into getting a refund on his fines he had paid during his service, as friends of his had been able to do the same. A rebate would be gladly welcomed as at the time he was out of work, and was the married with four young children.

In later years Robert, Minnie and their four children emigrated to England after learning that Minnie's mother was unwell. In 1951 Robert inherited a small café shop from his father which he opened and started up for one of his daughters. The café was renamed 'The ANZAC Café'. Robert truly loved Australia, and he returned there in 1953. In December of the same year, Robert died suddenly at Kurri Kurri Hospital after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage. Robert was cremated and his ashes were brought back to Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland to be buried with his parents.

The Storey grave in March 2015.

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