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Robert (Bob) Francis Iskov

Robert (Bob) Francis Iskov

Bob was born at Glenrowan, Victoria. With seven others from 59th Battalion Citizen Military Forces (CMF), he joined the 2/14th Battalion, as an original member, at Caulfield in September 1940. The eight men from the 59th developed a close relationship. They served together in the new battalion’s mortar platoon for the first three years of the war, spending leave together and sharing news from home.

Bob disembarked in the Middle East in November 1940. After further training in Palestine he fought in the Syrian campaign of 1941. In 1942, the 2/14th Battalion returned to Australia and then was sent to Papua. Arriving at the front line on the Kokoda track in time for the Battle of Isurava, Bob then participated in the long retreat to Imita Ridge. At one time, like hundreds of other Australians, he was cut off in the jungle for a period before he could rejoin his unit.

In November 1942, the battalion was sent to Gona. Bob was detached as a guide for the 39th Battalion which was engaged in the fighting for Haddy’s Village on the north-western flank of the main battle. There, in a skirmish, he captured valuable documents from the enemy.

In 1943, Bob returned to Australia to undertake officer training. On completion he was posted to the School of Jungle Warfare in Canungra, Queensland. In 1945, now with the 2/23rd Battalion, Bob sailed to Morotai and later saw service with the battalion on Tarakan.

Returning to Australia in November 1945, Bob was discharged the following month. He married in 1946 and in 1949 he moved his family to a soldier settlement farm near Wangaratta. He had a long history of community service, inlcuding giving presentations on the war in New Guinea to school children and service clubs inlcuding Probis and Rotary. Bob passed away in June 2014 aged 93.