PRIVATE DAVID HEATHCOTE MELROSE ROBERTSON
22ND BN AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY
22ND SEPTEMBER 1917 AGE 21
BURIED: SANCTUARY WOOD CEMETERY, YPRES, BELGIUM
"My darling" not our darling, although David Robertson's father was still alive. It was David's mother, Mrs Emma Jane Roberston, who filled in the form confirming the inscription and she wrote "My darling". Father, Mr James Robertson, didn't die until 1950 and he's buried under a headstone which describes him as the beloved father of David, but nevertheless his son's headstone inscription only reads "My darling".
David Robertson was a motor mechanic from Ballarat, Victoria. He enlisted at the age of 18 in July 1915, and was sent to Gallipoli in August where he was wounded and spent some time in hospital on Malta. After the evacuation from Gallipoli in January 1916, the Battalion regrouped in Egypt and then were sent to France in March where they took part in the Somme campaign. In 1917 were sent to the Ypres front. David was killed in action at Zonnebeke during the Battle of Passchendale on 22/23 September. According to his mother, on the form for the Roll of Honour of Australia, he was "twenty and one week" when he died, so not 21 as it says on the War Graves' records. Initially buried without being identified, his body was later exhumed from map reference 28.J.@.d.7.2, identified by the clothing and correspondence on it, and reburied in Sanctuary Wood Cemetery.