Robert Craig HIDES
Year of Birth: 1891
Place of Birth: Cairns, Queensland
Date of Enlistment: 8 December 1914
Date and Place of Embarkation: 13 February 1915, Brisbane, Queensland
Ship: HMAT Seang Choon A49
Unit(s): 9th Australian Infantry Battalion – 1 to 9 Reinforcements
Regimental Number: 1555
Died: 15 April 1917
Private Robert Craig Hides – photo courtesy RSL Virtual War Memorial
Robert Craig Hides was the youngest of three sons born to George Parker Hides and Elizabeth Moir Headrick (nee Paterson), George Paterson (1889), John Gordon Hides (1890) and the Robert. His brother John enlisted and was killed in action. He also had a step sister Jane McNab Headrick.
The heritage-listed Hides Hotel Cairns was built in 1885 by George Hides and Duncan McColl (on an isolated patch of land on Lake Street reputedly swapped for a horse and gambled on the development of the town). Their instincts proved correct and a thriving commercial precinct evolved around Hides Hotel. In 1895, following the death of Robert’s father, George Hides, his mother Elizabeth took over the lease and the hotel became a social hub for travellers and local elites. Elizabeth married again to Charles Walls
Robert enlisted in Cairns on 8 December 1914, three months after his brother John. His age was 22 years 11 months, occupation was Station Hand and his next was his mother, Mrs E M Hides, Cairns Hotel, Cairns. He was 5 feet 8 ¾ inches in height, weighed 11 stone with a fair complexion, brown eyes and fair hair. His religion was Church of England.
He embarked from Brisbane on the HMAT Seang Choon for Gallipoli and was admitted to hospital several times with illness, finally being transferred to Malta, then to England. He was again admitted to hospital in Birmingham.
Robert went to France on 4 August 1916 and was killed in action on 15 April 1917 aged 25. He is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France.
HMAT Seang Choon A49 – photo courtesy Australian War Memorial
Northern Herald (Cairns) 25 May 1917 p2
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