In 1911, Phil Robin was one of the best AFL footballers in Australia.
He won the best and farest at Norwood football club, and was part of South Australia’s victorious interstate carnival team.
His football career came to a sudden halt when war broke out and he was shipped off to Egypt for military training.
His fiancée Nellie Irene Honeywill went across to Cairo as well, and the two put on a somewhat surreal wedding at the Mena training camp.
As the Adelaide Register reported at the time: “It is certain that the contracting parties never dreamed that the ceremony would be celebrated in Egypt, with the monuments of a thousand years and grim fighting men as spectators.”
Rather than a honeymoon, Robin was then off to an invasion.
Deployed to Gallipoli, Robin made it to land, and with Arthur Blackburn ventured as deep into Turkish territory as any Australian would for the entire campaign. The pair made it past the Third Ridge, the original objective of the landing.
Famously nimble on the football field, Robin ducked and weaved back to the relative safety of the cliffs after he and Blackburn saw large numbers of Turkish troops preparing a counterattack.
Three days later however, Robin would be killed in more fighting.
His heartbroken wife discovered she was pregnant with his child and went to England.
Sadly, both Nellie and the baby died in childbirth.