Private Robert Henry Brodie, the son of Daniel Brodie and Katharine Brodie (nee Forsyth), was born at Clifton in Queensland on 21st April 1910. He was educated at the Toowoomba Grammar School. At the age of 30 years and 9 months he voluntarily enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Toowoomba in Queensland on 18th February 1941 after swearing the statutory oath that he would serve for the duration of the war and an additional twelve months. At the time of his enlistment he was single, employed as a Farmer/Carpenter’s Labourer and residing at Brookstead via Pittsworth. He had previously served for two and a half years in the Citizen Military Forces. His physical description at the time of enlistment was that he had dark brown hair and brown eyes. He stated that he was of the Presbyterian religion. He gave his next of kin as his mother, Mrs Katharine Brodie, 40 Amelia Street, Coorparoo, Brisbane.
Private Robert Brodie was allotted the regimental number of QX16687 and he joined the Australian Imperial Force Reception Depot at the Exhibition Grounds in Brisbane on 18th February 1941. He joined the 2nd Infantry Training Battalion at Grovely Camp on 20th February 1941. Whilst serving with the 11th Infantry Battalion at Redbank Camp he was granted pre-embarkation leave during the period 17th May until 23rd May 1941 to farewell his family and finalize his personal affairs in preparation for service abroad. He married Phyllis Loveday on 20th May 1941 and he gave her address as 27 Burnett Street, Ipswich. He was allocated to the 8th Reinforcements of the 2nd/12th Infantry Battalion and he left Redbank by rail transport for Eastern Command in New South Wales on 26th June 1941.
Private Robert Brodie embarked for overseas service in the Australian Imperial Force from Sydney on 27th June 1941 and he disembarked from the ship in the Middle East on 31st July 1941 where he joined the 15th Australian Infantry Training Battalion. He left the Training Battalion on 14th September 1941 and joined the 2nd/12th Infantry Battalion in the field later that day.
Private Robert Brodie embarked with his battalion from the Middle East on the ship “Nieuw Amsterdam” on 11th February 1942 to return to Australia to meet the Japanese threat. He was transhipped to the ship “Dilwara” at Bombay on 23rd February 1942. He disembarked from the ship at Adelaide in South Australia on 29th March 1942. His battalion moved to Sandy Creek in South Australia, to Tenterfield in New South Wales, and later to Kilcoy in Queensland for the continuation of military training in preparation for service in New Guinea.
He embarked for overseas service in New Guinea from Brisbane on the ship “Anshun” on 10th August 1942 and he disembarked in New Guinea on 17th August 1942. The battalion then deployed to Milne Bay where they were involved in the counterattack against the Japanese landing. The battalion was then sent to invade Goodenough Island.
Private Robert Henry Brodie was killed in action at Goodenough Island on 23rd October 1942 and buried in the field. At the time of his death Robert Brodie was 32 years of age. His remains were reburied in the Milne Bay War Cemetery on 15th January 1943 and finally laid to rest in the Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery on 29th March 1946. His headstone in the Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery contains the family inscription “Honour, Service and Sacrifice”. Robert Brodie’s name is commemorated on Panel No. 35 at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and locally on the Toowoomba Grammar School World War 2 Honour Board.
His wife applied for and received the Female Relative Badge with one star on 9th October 1941. His mother applied for and received the Female Relative Badge on 1st August 1941 and the Mothers & Widows Badge with one star on 25th March 1944.
Toowoomba Grammar School archive records show that he enrolled as a boarder on 22nd July 1924 and that he left the School on 1st September 1926. His parent was shown as Mr Daniel Brodie, Greenmount. He was the captain of one of the In-School football teams.
View on Australian War Memorial