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Great Southern Line | A Soldier's Story: Robert Ellerslie Young
Dr Mary Hutchison
By admin Posted in The Great Southern Line on February 21, 2018 2 Comments
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Robert Ellerslie YOUNG

Porter Signalman

(Sydney) Moss  Vale

War Service record: NAA B2455 YOUNG RE, (service No. 3086)

NSWGR employment card: State Records NSW (Staff no: 22933)

No family contact

Robert Ellerslie Young Biography

First employed by NSWGR in 1910 as a third class porter at Sydney stations. Promoted to leading porter in 1915 in the Goulburn District, mainly at Moss Vale Station. Several work injuries and went out on strike (1913) before the War. Enlisted May 1918 by which time he was a signalman at Moss Vale and had passed his Ambulance Certificate.  He did not go out on strike in 1917 but received warnings about his performance in late 1917 early 1918.

He joined Reinforcements for the 2nd Australian Light Railway Company. He returned to work as a signalman at Moss Vale and held this position until he retired in 1950.  Over this time he declined a number of promotional positions at other stations.  He achieved 6th class signalman.  His record shows examination passes and fails and regular eyesight tests a s well as a number of cautions and warnings concerning his work. Towards the end of his career he sustained a work injury resulting in 11 days off work.  He was also award the Ambulance gold medal.

Born Tenterfield NSW 1889. He was married with two children when he enlisted in 1918 at the age of 28. His wife was Dulcie Myrtle and their address was Browley Street Moss Vale. It’s possible that he moved to Moss Vale when he married. His refusal of promotions to other stations and districts suggests that it became his home and that his wife may have had family connections there.

A handwritten note on his service record shows that his brother enlisted at the same time as he did and that the military accommodated his request for them to travel overseas together.

Robert received a number of warnings and cautions during his career.  He went out on strike in 1913 but not during the big strike of 1917.  Perhaps the discomfort of the situation post strike prompted his enlistment.  Nothing on his service record re injury – but the number of warnings and cautions and medical tests in the years immediately after his return to work suggest that he might have been unsettled/unwell.


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  1. This is interesting as this is my grandfather. His daughter Joan is still alive and lives with me, and is 92yrs old. Joanne

  2. Dr Mary Hutchinson-My name is Joanne BRADFORD. I care for my mum Joan Olwyn Garth(née Young) my grandfather was Robert Ellerslie Young(The great Southern Line story) Joan’s father. If you want to talk to Mum (she has all her faculties about her and has a great memory of her upbringing.)My number is 02 44573373 or 0427822250. Email- Please put subject matter being I know who it is from. Thank you. JBradford