Private Robert Mactier

Service number 6939
Birth Date 1890-05-17
Birth Place Australia: Victoria, Tatura
Death Date 1918-09-01
Death Place France: Picardie, Somme, Mont St Quentin
Final Rank Private
Service Australian Imperial Force
Unit 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918
Gazettes Biographical information They dared mightily. in 1963
Published in London Gazette in 1918-12-14
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-05-23

Robert Mactier (1890-1918) was born at Tatura, Victoria, and worked on his parents' property. Enlisting in March 1917, he joined his battalion on the Western Front in late 1917. Next year he fought in the battle of Hamel and in the August offensive. In his last letter home he wrote: "if our side only keep going I think the war [will] be over by next spring".

Mactier won the only Victoria Cross for his battalion, but made the ultimate sacrifice. Moving into position for the assault on Mont St Quentin, the 23rd was stopped by enemy machine-gun fire. As a company runner, Mactier was sent to investigate. Armed with a revolver and bombs, he attacked, throwing a bomb, climbing through the wire, and tossing the machine-gun out of the trench. When his comrades came forward, they found the crew dead and saw Mactier attacking the next post. He then charged a third post, killing the occupants. Finding yet another obstacle, he ran into the open for his fourth attack. He was killed by fire from his flank.

Mactier was awarded the Victoria Cross and two service medals for the First World War.



Date of birth 17 May 1890
Date of enlistment 01 March 1917
Date of embarkation 11 May 1917
Date of death 01 September 1918
Date of fate 01 September 1918
Date of honour or award 01 September 1918 Awarded Victoria Cross for action at Mont St Quentin, north of Peronne, France whilst serving with 23 Battalion, 6 Brigade, 2 Division as a Private
Date of recommendation honour or award 13 September 1918