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Great Southern Line | A Soldier's Story: Reginald Vandenbergh
Dr Mary Hutchison
By admin Posted in The Great Southern Line on February 21, 2018 0 Comments
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Reginald VANDENBERGH

Engine Driver

 Picton Goulburn

War Service record: NAA B2455, VANDENBERGH REGINALD (service No. 236)

NSWGR Employment: NSW Public Records (Staff no. 14952)

Family contact to be followed up.

Reginald Vandenbergh Biography

Joined NSWGR in 1908 aged 17 as a shop boy at Eveleigh. After six months became a permanent employee and was promoted to engine cleaner at Picton. By the time he enlisted in 1917 in the NSW Railway Unit (6th ROC) he was an engine driver.  His war service was cut short by illnesses and he was discharged in 1918 as a result of serious nephritis.

When he returned in early 1919 he continued at Picton as a driver until 1925 when he moved to Thirroul and then to Goulburn in 1930. There he worked as steam driver for Mechanical branch until 1947 when reduced to ‘hostler’ (a helper in the mechanical workshop) in 1953 because of unspecified misdemeanor.  He retired in 1954 aged 63.

Born in 1891 and grew up in Robertson on the family farm.  The youngest son of parents who had migrated mid 19th century with their respective families originally from Germany.  His father and elder brother Charles served in the Commonwealth Horse in the Boer War. Reginald and another brother were also  members of the Light Horse militia. All three served in WW1. Their cousin Bert, also from Robertson, was killed.  Charles worked for NSWGR and moved to Tramways after the war. Relatives in-law also worked for the Railways.

Married Elsie Florence Burgess in 1915.  (Roberston Advocate 14 Sept 1915 p2; Picton Post 8 September p4).

Family moved to Goulburn in 1930 where Reg was involved in Goulburn Railway Ambulance rifle club for many years. In 1940s Ted Vandenbergh and Mrs Vandenbergh on Ladies Day also mentioned. (GEPP 1930s-40s).

The Vandenbergh’s were a Robertson farming family active in community life with a number of connections to railway work, militia and war service.  His family was regularly mentioned in the paper in relation to sporting and community organisation activities (not returned soldier organisations).


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