Biography

Birth date: 17 May 1890
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Tatura
Death date: 01 September 1918
Death place: France: Picardie, Somme, Mont St Quentin
Final rank: Private
Service number: 6939 - First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

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.

Rolls and Awards

Roll of Honour

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of Death: 01 September 1918
  • Unit: 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 11 May 1917
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files

  • Rank: Private
  • Unit: 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files

  • Rank: Private
  • Unit: 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Collection Items

Photograph

H06787A

Portrait of 6939 Private R Mactier VC of the 23rd Battalion AIF, who was killed in action at Mont St Quentin, north of Peronne, France in an attack on the village on the morning of 1 September 1918.

H06787A

P02939.041

Studio portrait of Private (Pte) Robert Mactier VC 23rd Battalion. Pte Mactier was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for "most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty" on 1 September 1918 at Mont St. Quentin, France. Pte Mactier was sent forward as a part of a bombing patrol, where he single...

P02939.041

A05807

STUDIO PORTRAIT OF PRIVATE LANE (SEATED) AND 6939 PRIVATE ROBERT MACTIER VC (1890-1918), 23RD BATTALION AIF. PRIVATE MACTIER WAS AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS POSTHUMOUSLY FOR CONSPICUOUS BRAVERY AND DEVOTION TO DUTY. HE CHARGED FOUR GERMAN MACHINE GUN POSTS DURING THE ASSAULT ON MONT ST QUENTIN ON...

A05807

A05806

HEM-MONACU, FRANCE. THE GRAVE OF 6939 PRIVATE ROBERT MACTIER VC (1890-1918), 23RD BATTALION AIF. PRIVATE MACTIER WAS AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS POSTHUMOUSLY FOR CONSPICUOUS BRAVERY AND DEVOTION TO DUTY. HE CHARGED FOUR GERMAN MACHINE GUN POSTS DURING THE ASSAULT ON MONT ST QUENTIN ON 1918-09-01 AND...

A05806

A05808

LAKE COOPER, NEAR COROP, VIC. GROUP PORTRAIT OF A PICNIC PARTY. LEFT TO RIGHT: ROBERT MACTIER (KILLED IN ACTION MONT ST QUENTIN 1918-09-01, AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS POSTHUMOUSLY), JACK CRAWFORD; BACK ROW: MARGARET MACTIER, DAISY ENDERS, LUCY ENDERS, RUBY ROSS, EDNA CAMERON. (DONOR P. MACTIER)

A05808

H06787

6939, PRIVATE R. MACTIER, VC, 23RD BATTALION, KILLED IN ACTION ON 1918-09-01 AT MONT ST QUENTIN DURING THE ACTION FOR WHICH HE WAS AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS.

H06787

Private Record

Film

The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (6939) Private Robert Mactier, 23rd Battalion (Infantry), First World War

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial every day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story...

PAFU2013/018.01

Timeline

Date of birth 1890-05-17
Date of embarkation 1917-05-11
Date of death 1918-09-01
Date of honour or award 1918-09-01 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 1918-09-13