1914-15 Star : Private R Doutreband, 5 Battalion, AIF

Accession Number REL/15022.002
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Medal
Physical description Bronze
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1919
Conflict Period 1910-1919
First World War, 1914-1918

1914-15 Star. Impressed on reverse with recipient's details.

History / Summary

Roy Doutreband was born at Dubbo, NSW, in September 1894, son of Charles Francis Doutreband, a Belgian immigrant. He was educated at Sydney Grammar, and worked as an accountant before the war, as well as serving in the Militia with 21 Infantry Regiment. Enlisting in the AIF in January 1915, he received the service number 1937, and soon held the acting rank of sergeant, becoming part of the 5th Reinforcements to 5 Battalion. He was taken on the strength of the unit at Gallipoli in July, and served through the remainder of the campaign, despite spending several weeks in hospital with illness. By the time of the evacuation, he had been confirmed in the rank of sergeant, and when the AIF was reorganised in Egypt in early 1916, he became part of the newly raised 57 Battalion, the 'daughter' unit of the 5th. Quickly promoted to Company Sergeant Major, (Warrant Officer Class II) Doutreband was commissioned following the heavy casualties suffered in the disastrous attack at Fromelles in July. He was promoted to lieutenant later in the same year, and in mid 1917 was appointed battalion intelligence officer. Repeatedly recommended for awards in recognition of his gallantry and leadership, it was 1918 before he finally received the Military Cross for his distinguished service in the attack on Polygon Wood the previous September. Almost immediately, he was awarded a Bar to the MC for leadership and courage in the fighting around Villers Bretonneux in April. He was also Mentioned in Despatches before the war ended, and returned to Australia in March 1919. After completing accountancy studies, Roy Doutreband obtained a position with the 'Sydney Star' (later the 'Sun') newspaper, and eventually rose to become its general manager. He died in Sydney in February 1959.