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Scobie, Robert (Bob) (1871–1915)

from Maitland Mercury (NSW)

Official messages received last week went to show that Maitland district men were in the thick of the fighting a few days ago at Gallipoli, that gained for the Australians and New Zealanders considerable progress on the Peninsula. Lieut.-Colonel Robert Scobie and Lieut. Rupert Crudick were killed, Captain Harold Leslie Nash is reported as missing, and Lieuts. Cotton and Garnham and Private Roy Dransfieid were wounded.

The sad intelligence concerning Lieut. Colonel Scobie, who was killed in action between August 6 and 8, was transmitted to the Rev. A. S. McCook, by the Defence authorities, who requested him to inform Mrs. Scobie and convey the deep regret felt in the loss that she and the army had sustained in the death of an officer. The late Lieut.-Col. Scobie was a son of the late Mr. Robert Scobie, who represented Maitland for a term in the State parliament, and was a native of Oakhampton. He was 44 years of age, and was educated at the Public School and the Boys' High School, and later joined his father and uncles in farming, orchard, and vigneron work at 'The Gardens,' Oakhampton. From his youth he took a very keen interest in military matters, and musketry, and was a fine stamp of officer, always cool, self-reliant, and fearless, a man who inspired the confidence of his men, who were so devoted to him that they would have followed him anywhere. He joined the old 4th Regiment, and received his first commission as a 2nd Lieut, in 1900. In 1903 he was made a Lieutenant, and was promoted to Captain in 1908. In 1912 he was transferred to the 14th (Hunter River Infantry), being then the senior captain of the regiment, and when that regiment, consequent on the drafting into the militia of many of the cadets, was split up into the 13th and 14th Regiments, he attained to the rank of second in command to Major Nash of the lastnamed regiment. He saw service in the Boer war, 1901-2 going as lieutenant and being promoted to captain. He was in engagements in Cape Colony, Transvaal and Orange River Colony, and received the Queen's medal with five clasps. When the present war broke out, and an appeal was made to Australians, he was one of the first to volunteer and went away with the First Expeditionary Force, as second in command, with the rank of major, to Lieut.-Colonel Braund, of the Second Battalion. He was taken ill in Egypt with pneumonia, and, though not thoroughly recovered, insisted on accompanying his battalion at the historic landing at Gallipoli. He was wounded early in the engagement, a bullet chipping a piece off his eyebrow, and injuring his nose, and he was afterwards twice operated upon in hospital in Egypt. He was in the thick of the engagement, for a bullet also cut through the lace of his puttees, and another passed through the peak of his cap. He also lost his chief, Lieut.-Colonel Braund, and other brother officers. Just when he returned to the Dardanelles is not known, but latest news indicated that he expected to be in action shortly. When he did rejoin, it was apparently to take command of the battalion. He was a good shot, and took a prominent part in encouraging rifle shooting. He was elected one of the official members of the New South Wales Rifle Association, and was a member of the executive of the Northern District Rifle Clubs Union. Straightforward and honourable, the late Lieut.-Colonel Scobie was esteemed by a large circle of friends, whose deepest sympathy will go out to his widow and three little children, his aged mother, and other members of the family.

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'Scobie, Robert (Bob) (1871–1915)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/scobie-robert-bob-18200/text29784, accessed 18 August 2019.

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