Categories: Anzacs, World War One | AIF, 10th Light Horse Regiment | 2AIF, 19th Australian Infantry Brigade, World War II | Headquarters 1st Australian Armoured Division, World War II | 5th Australian Division, World War II | 2AIF, Headquarters 6th Australian Division | British Commonwealth Occupation Force, Australia | Australian Army Generals, Korean War | Australian Army Generals | Australian Army Generals, World War II | Knights Commander of the Order of the British Empire | Distinguished Service Order | Australian Notables | Notables.
Lieutenant General Sir Horace Clement Hugh Robertson KBE DSO was a senior officer in the Australian Army who served in The Great War, the Second World War and the Korean War. He was one of the first graduates of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, to reach the rank of Lieutenant General.
Horace Clement Hugh Robertson was born on 29th October 1894 at Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia. He was the sixth son of John Robertson and Anne Gray.
He married Jessie Bonnar on 7th November 1914 at the Registry Office, Collingwood, Victoria. The marriage was kept secret as, at the time, junior officers required the Army's permission to marry and at 20 years of age, Robertson would not have been granted such permission. They later put their wedding date down as 1916. They had no children.
He passed away on 28th April 1960 in the Repatriation General Hospital, Heidelberg, Victoria, and was buried beside his wife in Springvale Cemetery, Victoria. Robertson Barracks, Darwin, Northern Territory, is named in his honour.
During The Great War, Robertson served with the 10th Light Horse Regiment in the Gallipoli Campaign, including the disastrous Battle of the Nek, where much of his regiment was wiped out. He later participated in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, where he captured a Turkish Army general, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
During the Second World War, Robertson led the 19th Infantry Brigade at the Battle of Bardia and accepted the surrender of the Italian Navy at Benghazi. For his contribution to the Australian capture of Tobruk he was to be appointed CBE. Later, he commanded the 1st Armoured Division in Western Australia. Following the disbandment of the 1st Armoured Division, Robertson took over command of the 2nd Division, the other division in Western Australia, and then III Corps in April 1944. In the final weeks of the war he commanded 5th Division in the closing stages of the New Britain Campaign and 6th Division in the Aitape–Wewak campaign. At the end of the war, he accepted the surrender of Japanese Lieutenant General Hatazō Adachi.
Promoted Lieutenant General, Robertson was appointed to command the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in Japan and the British Commonwealth Forces Korea in the Korean War. For his services as commander of the BCOF, Robertson was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in the King's Birthday Honours List 1950. He returned to Australia in November 1951 to become Director-General of Recruiting. Robertson turned 60 on 29th October 1954, and retired the next day, after racking up 3,985 days of active service in 43 years in the Australian Army.
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