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Robert Henry Lines

Portrait, Auckland Weekly News 1918 - No known copyright restrictions

Portrait, Auckland Weekly News 1918 - No known copyright restrictions


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Robert Henry AWMM
  • Surname
    Lines AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 33389 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    10 March 1887 Noel Smith and Lyn Griffiths research
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs Victoria May Lines (wife), 25 Plunkett Avenue, Petone, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 19 January 1917 AWMM Married AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 33389 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 Unknown AWMM Labourer/Civilian AWMM
    PetoneWellington AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of J. and F. Lines, of Christchurch; husband of Victoria May Lines, of Petone, Wellington, New Zealand.

    Robert Lines was killed near Ypres in France during the winter of 1917 and 1918. During this time technical troops and the reserve infantry brigades were improving the railway, increasing existing underground accommodation in the underground dugouts. The artillery were constructing platforms and cover for guns, shellproofing battery commanders' and observation posts etc. 'All this work was pushed on under generally adverse conditions. In December a series of snow-storms and frosts made the labour of digging the hard earth at once costly in tools and excessively arduous. On the icy duckboard tracks carrying and working parties, moving in single file, slipped and stumbled, and splinters from the enemy's high-explosive shells flew incredible distances. Even more difficult were conditions during the period of rainy weather, which started in January and lasted with scarcely a break till the first week in February. Parapets fell in, despite carefully made berms, and drains became choked. ... In the muddy wastes of the Reutelbeek patrols endured extreme hardships. For preserving the health of the troops in the line, minute arrangements were made by provision of gum-boots, of hot food and hot drinks, and of camphor treatment as a precaution against 'trench feet'.' (p. 318-319 of The New Zealand Division 1916-1919 A Popular History Based on Official Records by H.Stewart).

    Lines' death is not recorded in the text of the official history (he does appear in the Roll of Honour at page 509) but details of the Brigade's actions on the days just before he died are as follows:

    'On January 2nd, 1918, the New Zealand Rifle Brigade relieved the 4th Brigade in the old sector, the interchange being completed by 9 p.m. The front line was now divided into three battalion sub-sectors. That on the right was named "Reutel", after the site of the village which it included; the central sub-sector was known as "Judge", from the Judge Cross Roads and the ruins of Judge Cottage, both of these being German strong-points immediately opposite; and that on the left, which enveloped the remains of the hamlet of Noordemdhoek, was named "Noord". The 2nd Battalion took over Reutel sub-sector from the 3rd Wellington; the 3rd Battalion relieved 3rd Canterbury in Judge sub-sector; and the 4th Battalion replaced 3rd Auckland in Noord. The lst Battalion in Cameron Covert was relieved by 3rd Otago, and moved to a position in the Albania Area, immediately north-west of the Butte, as battalion in support. Shelling was persistent during the relief, and we suffered several casualties.

    On the night of the relief the enemy attempted to raid the point of the salient at Joiner's Avenue in the 4th Battalion line. After a sharp fight the raiders were driven off, and were pursued into No Man's Land by Corporal A. Adamson and another. Unfortunately, both these men were wounded by a bomb. The corporal, however, not only succeeded in bringing his companion safely in, but also secured identifications from one of the enemy who had been killed. ...Enemy air-craft were active, flying low over our positions. Shelling continued with varying intensity upon our trenches and tracks, and carrying-parties moving over the exposed routes suffered severely.' (p. 259-260 The Official History of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade by W.S. Austin) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    4 January 1918 AWMM
    Age 31 AWMM
    BelgiumEurope AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Polygon Wood Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium AWMM D. 6. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
  • References
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1918). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume III. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      52: 34 AWMM
    • Austin, W. (1924). The official history of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade (The Earl of Liverpool's Own). Wellington, N.Z.: L T Watkins. AWMM
    • Beattie, P.J. & Pomeroy, M. (2013-2020). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-5). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
      Vol. 1: Includes portrait AWMM
    • This record was partially completed by information provided by Noel George Smith and Lyn Griffiths (2021). AWMM

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