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Born in Prahran, Victoria and a Drill Instructor by trade, Robert James Byers was 41 years and married when enlisted on the 6th of February 1917 in the Railway Unit, Section 2, Australian Imperial Force, with the rank of CSM (WO Class II), Number 457. His Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A70 'Ballarat' on the 19th of February 1917. Admitted to the 49th Divisional Rest Station, suffering with Diarrhoea on the 26th of December 1917 and transferred to the 2nd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station and later to the 14th General Hospital. Granted Sick Leave to England from the 9th of January 1930 to the 30th of January 1918 then proceeded overseas to France on the 2nd of February 1918 where he was admitted to2nd General Hospital, Manchester, suffering from Hospital and discharged on the 28th of February 1919 and was listed as returned to Australia per R.T.'Konig In Luise' on the 21st of June 1919. Disembarked on the 23rd of July 1919. Discharged on the 10th of October 1919 and appointment terminated from the 3rd Military District. Tree No. 2871