Private Wilfred John Robinson, AIF, First World War and 45th Royal Fusiliers, North Russian Relief Force 1919, interviewed by Stuart Menzies

Accession Number S00181
Collection type Sound
Measurement 1 hr 15 min
Object type Oral history
Physical description 1/4 inch sound tape reel; BASF; stereo; 6 inch
Maker Menzies, Stuart
Robinson, Wilfred John
Date made 23 June 1984
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright unknown

Copying Provisions Copy provided subject to permission from copyright holder

Interview with Mr W J Robinson, Private 61464 of the 11th General Service Reinforcement of the 1st AIF, also served with the 45th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers North Russian Relief Force, enlistment no. 133038. Interview held in Castle Hill, Sydney, on 23 June 1984. Interviewed by Stuart Menzies.

Wilfred meets his friends Johnny Redman and Jimmy Peaden when ill at Sierra Leone and the three are sent to London aboard SS Zealandic, arriving December 1918. While on camp duties, they all enlist in 45th Royal Fusiliers as part of the North Russian Relief Force and are discharged from the AIF in mid-1919. Swearing in to 45th Royal Fusiliers before going to Saddling Camp, Kent. Shortage of cash. Visiting Glasgow with tickets and pass from 45th Royal Fusiliers. Shipped to Russia aboard the Czar, calling at Murmansk and disembarking in Archangel, lodged in barracks. Known as the Australian Company of the 45th but neither a full company nor all Australian. Stealing cases of champagne and port wine and ensuing fire and scuffles with firemen and guards. All Australians released apart from Peaden, who was to be court martialled for assaulting a White Russian officer. Capt Newbold had him released with the proviso that he was to be given every onerous duty that there was when the company was sent into the line at either Nova Seskia or Backaritza. Peaden was detailed to patrol a forest and Robinson and Redman volunteered to go with him.

Places mentioned include: Sierra Leone, London, Sutton Veni No. 1 Command Depot, AIF Headquarters, Horsery Road, Saddling Camp, Kent,
Glasgow, Southampton, Murmansk, Archangel, Nova Seskia, Backaritza, Ampster. People mentioned include: Sergeant Pearce (later VC)
Major May (CO of Australian contingent of 45th Royal Fusiliers), Capt. Newbold (2IC of contingent).