Robert Kerr was born in 1885 as the eldest son of Robert Kerr (senior), the assistant head teacher at the Prince of Wales State School in Northcote.
Kerr later gained both First and Second Certificates from the Teacher Training College and was appointed junior teacher at Victoria Park in Collingwood, later becoming assistant at Armadale.
In 1908, he resigned as a teacher and joined as a public servant with the State Forests Department, the predecessor of the Forests Commission Victoria (FCV). It’s not sure what his job was, but he was living in North Melbourne at the time.
Robert Kerr then enlisted in the 57th Battalion on the 23 August 1916.
Kerr was also a qualified pianist and gymnasium teacher, and had spent five years with the 1st Battalion, Victorian Scottish Regiment before enlisting.
Robert embarked from Melbourne aboard HMAT Nestor (A71) on 2 October 1916 as 2760 Private R J L Kerr.
He transferred to the Officers’ Cadet Battalion at Oxford in April 1917 and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 1 August 1917. He went to France to join his unit on the 19August.
His military records show he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 23 April 1918 and killed on the same day by a bomb dropped from an enemy aircraft. He was on the line with the Battalion at Aubigny near Villers-Bretonneux in France.
Lieutenant Robert John Leslie Kerr is buried in the Daours Communal Cemetery Extension in France.
He was 33.
Robert’s younger brother, Benjamin (1888) embarked as a Lieutenant in 1915, was wounded at Gallipoli and repatriated back to Australia. He re-enlisted in 1917 and returned with rank of Captain.