Car pennant : 1st Armoured Division, 1943-1944 : Maj Gen HCH Robertson

Accession Number REL28471.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Flag
Physical description Wool; silk; felt
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made c 1943
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Small red woollen swallow-tailed vehicle pennant, featuring a sewn-on grey woollen WW1 tanks shape, with red cotton embroidered numeral 1. The edge binding and hoist edge is made from red silk. This pennant was used by Lieutenant C.H.C.Robertson, whilst he commanded the 1st Armoured Division, 1943-1944.

History / Summary

Vehicle pennant used by Major General Sir Horace Clement Hugh Robertson, whilst he commanded the First Australian Armoured Division, 1943-1944. Born at Warrnambool, Victoria on 29 October 1894, Duntroon graduate Robertson had enjoyed a highly successful career during the First World War, serving with 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment at Gallipoli (including surviving the disastrous assault on The Nek) and in the Middle East where he was awarded a Distinguished Service Order. Between the wars, Robertson served as a Colonel with the Commonwealth Military Forces (CMF), notably as an instructor at the Small Arms School in Sydney and at Duntroon. In March 1939 he was appointed commander of the newly created 7th Military District (including the Northern Territory). He volunteered for the AIF in April 1940 and was chosen as one of the 6th Division¿s Brigade commanders, responsible for 19th Infantry Brigade. After seeing action from Bardia, to the start of the Greek Campaign, Robertson returned to Australia where he was promoted to Major-General and given command of the 1st Australian Cavalry Division in January 1942. By April he had taken over command of the newly established 1st Australian Armoured Division, which, with the continued ¿invasion scare¿ of 1943, was sent to Western Australia to deal with any Japanese threat to the west coast. It was during this period that ¿Red Robbie¿ (so called because of his red hair) flew this pennant on his staff car. He commanded the 6th Australian Division in New Guinea in the final weeks of the war and took the surrender of the 18th Japanese Army at Wewak. After the war Robertson commanded the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan. Red Robbie died in 1960.