Sergeant Robert Baskiville LONG
Note: the correct family spelling of his second name is Baskiville, not Baskeville/Baskville, also his mother was Mrs T Tuohey not Tushey as given on the archives.
Robert enlisted at age 28 years when he was living in Toowoomba, although he was born in Auckland, New Zealand. He enlisted at Toowoomba Queensland and embarked from Enoggera Camp, Brisbane on 23rd April, 1915. On enlistment he was placed in the 1st Reinforcements. His active service began in the 26th Battalion, A Company, 7th Brigade. He embarked from Australia to Gallipoli on June 29th,1915.
While at Gallipoli in October of 1915, he was promoted to Corporal. For many months after this he was hospitalised in England, and then on 9th August 1916 he proceeded to France where he was in the 2nd Division. In October of 1916 he was promoted to Sergeant. In January 1916 he joined the 7th Training Battalion in Rolleston, France for duty. An outstanding marksman, in April 1917 he qualified at the School of Musketry in Tedworth, England with 1st Class Honours at the Light Rifle Course, where he also trained in working a Lewis Gun. He was a man of bravery holding strict principles of fairness to his troops and was thus held in high regard by his men.
He rejoined the 26th Battalion from the 2nd Division base in Belgium on 14.9.1917. After leave in Paris at the beginning of the next year, he rejoined the unit in Belgium on 2.2.18. He recalled serving at Passchendaele where his unit of 250 men saw only 50 men survive the horrific battle. For the next 3 months he was in hospital in France and Belgium. In September of 1918 he went to France again to establish the A.I.B.D. (Australian Infantry Brigade Depot). With the armistice declared, on the 30th December 1918 he returned to Australia via Burma.
He shortly returned to NZ where he faithfully served as Vice President of the Eden Roskill RSA (Auckland) and also as President of the RSL Auckland Branch (1934 -?). In this role, he lead a large contingent of ex soldiers to Sydney in 1928 when the national Anzac Day was founded, and helped to raise a substantial amount of money to fund the Auckland RSA Headquarters. He was active in this role for 22 years, representing and aiding the repatriation of the NZ soldiers who had fought with the Australians.