Thursday, 26 January 2017

Private Robert Hart known as the "Avoca Giant"

AVOCA GIANT. (1917, February 27). Avoca Mail (Vic. : 1863 - 1900; 1915 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article152146834
Robert Charles Hart, service number 4129, was born in 1883 at Barkly, a locality 37 kilometres north-west of Avoca.

Robert Hart enlisted at Melbourne on 7 January 1916. He was 32 years old, a farmer living at Barkly, unmarried. His next of kin was his father, Benjamin Hart, also of Barkly.

At the time of his enlistment his height was noted as 6 foot 7 inches. Some  newspapers reported that he was even taller, 6 feet 8 1/2 inches tall..

AUSTRALIA'S HEROES. (1916, January 12). Avoca Free Press and Farmers' and Miners' Journal (Vic. : 1900; 1914 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article151685246
No title (1916, July 18). Avoca Mail (Vic. : 1863 - 1900; 1915 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article151724133

Hart served with the 21st Battalion. Wounded in the battle of Pozières in August 1916, he he was invalided back to Australia and discharged the following year.


Hart was one of three brothers who served.

Australia's Heroes. (1917, July 18). Avoca Free Press and Farmers' and Miners' Journal (Vic. : 1900; 1914 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article151688538

He was welcomed home in the Barkly Hall on 13 July 1916.

WELCOME HOME TO PRIVATE ROBERT C. HART. (1917, July 24). Avoca Mail (Vic. : 1863 - 1900; 1915 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article152146244 (click to enlarge)
Robert's brother Norman was wounded at Bullecourt and his leg was amputated below the knee. Norman was welcomed home in 1918. At that time Robert was reported to be farming at Nyah, 250 kilometres north of Avoca near Swan Hill.

BARKLY. (1918, March 22). Avoca Mail (Vic. : 1863 - 1900; 1915 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article152146709

Robert Charles Hart died on 30 August 1948, aged 64 at St Arnaud, Victoria.

The tallest man in the Australian Army was reported to be Private Patrick O'Connor who was7 feet 4 inches tall. This would appear to be O'CONNOR Patrick : Service Number - 2721 : Place of Birth - Tipperary Ireland : Place of Enlistment - Goulburn NSW : Next of Kin - (Wife) O'CONNOR Annie. His attestation papers record he was 7 feet tall.

An Australian giant at Weymouth camp. This soldier's height is 7 feet 4 inches and he is seen standing between two other soldiers of average height. Photograph in the collection of the Australian War Memorial. ID number C04418. This is probably a photograph of Patrick O'Connor.




References