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Born in Ballarat, Victoria and a grocer by trade, Robert Maldon Barrett was 22 years when enlisted on the 31st of January 1916 in the 5th Battalion, 16th Reinforcement, Australian Imperial Force, with the rank of Private, Number 5042. His Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A23 Suffolk on the 1st of April 1916 and was listed as returned to Australia on the 15th of May 1919. 'For marked gallantry and conspicuous devotion to duty as a Battalion Headquarters runner during attack by 58th Battalion on PERONNE on the 2nd of September 1918. He made many runs both to Front Line, neighbouring units and back to rear Battalion Headquarters, all the while exposed to heavy shelling in the town and machine gun fire in the direction of the front. In addition he carried all the ammunition he could bear on trips up to the front line, or up to Battalion Headquarters from rear Battalion Headquarters as demands for ammunition kept coming in. On this, as on other previous occasions, his bravery and devotion to duty were an inspiring example to all ranks.' (Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 115 Date: 10 October 1919). Other details War service: Western Front Tree No. 2065