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Philip de Quetteville (Phil) Robin (1884–1915)

On Tuesday Mr. R. B. Robin of Sixth avenue, St. Peters, was officially notified of the death of his son, Lance-Corporal Philip de Quetteville ('Phil') Robin, who died, recently at the Dardanelles. The first intimation of the sad news was received in Adelaide from private sources last Thursday week. Not receiving official advice, Mr. Robin sent a cable message to London, and on Tuesday, a few hours prior to being notified by the military authorities, Mr. Robin got a reply to the cablegram, stating that the news of his son's death was correct. Lance-Corporal Robin was in his thirtieth year. He was educated at St. Peter's College, and began his business career with Messrs. G. & R. Wills and Co. Leaving that firm he entered the service of the Union Bank. He subsequently joined the Bank of Adelaide, and was transferred to the Murray bridge branch. At the time of his enlisting in September he was accountant at Murray Bridge, and had completed about five years' service in the bank. He was admired by his friends and respected by his employers. It may truly be said that the huge war machine has claimed one of Australia's best sons. He was married in Egypt, just after the arrival of the Australian troops. His bride (Miss Nellie Honeywill, daughter of Mr. W. Honeywill, late of North Adelaide) journeyed to Egypt from London, and the marriage took place at the camp in January. Mrs. Robin then returned to England. Lance Corporal Robin figured prominentlv in metropolitan and inter-State football. He was a member of the Norwood Football Club, and it is said of him that he was a true sportsman, and always played the game best in defeat. He was certainly one of the best-liked footballers on the metropolitan grounds, and his clean, manly game made him the idol of the crowds. He was a brilliant player for St. Peter's College in his younger days, and afterwards joined the Norwood B grade. He got on so well at the game that he was included in the senior team, where he played centre wing for eight years. He was one of the representatives of South Australia at Sydney and Melbourne. At the conclusion of the football season in August last year, he accompanied the Norwood team on a trip to Western Australia. On his return to South Australia he expressed his willingness to surrender his own cherished ideas of life and success for the nation's life and prosperity, and on the day following his arrival at Murray Bridge sent in his name to the military authorities.

Mr J. Homburg (chairman of the Mobilong District Council), in writing an appreciation of Mr Robin states: — “During the past two years Phil, as he was popularly called, was accountant at the Bank of Adelaide at Murray Bridge, and during his residence in the town so endeared himself to the people that his death appeals to all as a personal loss. There was no worthy effort made by the people of this town with which Mr Robin failed to associate himself. He was a valuable citizen, just as ready to take an active part in the progress of the town as he was to take his part in the maintenance of his country’s cause. Phil’s was a robust character. As he was transparently honest he was esteemed by all. Not only was he an able and painstaking officer of the bank, but his exhilarating influence worked for good in every association in the town which claimed his interest. As an inter-State footballer he became a popular hero; but to those whose good fortune it was to know him intimately his sterling qualities of character far outshone the transient fame he won as an all-round athlete. The influence of his healthy and honorable character was felt by all who came in contact with him. He was a sport to the backbone, and all branches of athletics in which he engaged suffer loss through his death. In Murray Bridge he has left friends who will always cherish his memory as one of the beautiful experiences of their lives, and when, in the years to come, the great war is referred to, we shall recall with pride the name of Phil Robin. In the short span of years which fate decreed for him he crowded a wealth, of effort, and he leaves behind him an example and influence which will long remain an inspiraton. To his young wife and parents we tender our deepest sympathies, but in his life and death they are doubly honored.”

Mr. R. Smeaton, manager of the Bank of Adelaide, Murray Bridge, said:— “Phil, as he was known to his many friends, was one of the best, and the news of his death was keenly felt by every member of the bank's staff with whom he had been associated. As he was stationed with me for over two years, I, of course, knew him well, and am glad to say intimately, as we were in the happy position of being able to work harmoniously in the office, and to associate as personal friends out of business hours. It is unnecessary for me to enlarge on his outside achievements as they are well known, but I should like to express my appreciation of him as an officer of the bank. His genial nature and thoughtfulness made him a warm favorite with the bank's customers in their dealings with him, and his keen sense of duty made him an efficient officer from the bank's point of view. He was one of the most manly men who have ever entered the service, and whence the call for volunteers was made he was among the first to respond. When in time we learn the circumstances of his death I feel sure we shall hear that he died foremost in a charge, helping to make traditions for our army, and fighting for his country. A more noble death it is not possible to conceive.”

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Robin, Philip de Quetteville (Phil) (1884–1915)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


10 August, 1884
Norwood, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


25 April, 1915 (aged 30)
Gallipoli, Turkey

Cause of Death

killed in action

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Military Service
Key Organisations