Robert Henry Caldwell was living in Sydney and working as a ship’s painter when he enlisted in January 1916. His brother, William Andrew Caldwell, who lived in Millthorpe, had enlisted in December 1915 and the brothers trained together at camp in Bathurst.
Robert embarked from Sydney in September 1916, just a month before his brother. A Private in the 19th Battalion, 15th Reinforcements, Robert was appointed Corporal in June 1917.
Corporal Caldwell was hospitalised several times during 1917 suffering from gunshot and shell wounds. On 28 December he took ill after dinner and was again admitted to hospital. The following day Robert was dangerously ill with peritonitis and his brother William was recalled from France to be with him. Robert died on New Year’s Day 1918, aged 22. He was accorded a military funeral and buried at Brookwood Cemetery, Pirbright, Surrey.
Robert Henry Caldwell is commemorated on St Joseph’s Church Orange Honour Roll and on panel number 88 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
William survived the First World War; he returned to Australia in November 1919.