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URBAHNS, Alfred Robert Henry Charles MM (1897-1954)

URBAHNS, Alfred Robert Henry Charles MM (1897-1954)

Alfred Robert Urbahns was born at Natimuk on 24 December 1897, the third and youngest son of John Frederick William Urbahns (1858-1917) and Lilian 'Lily' Anne nee McClure. Alfred's grandfather, Heinrich Friedrich Carl Urbahns (c1830-1907) had originally emigrated to Melbourne in 1854 from Holstein, Germany.

Alfred Robert Urbahns was enrolled at Geelong College as a day student from 1906, leaving in 1913. His address at entry was Aphrasia Street, Newtown. During his education at College he was a member of the 1st Football XVIII in 1912 and 1913; the Athletics Team in 1911, 1912 and 1913 and the 1st Cricket XI in 1913.

During World War I, he enlisted (No. 32249) as a Driver in the AIF on the 9 October 1916 and embarked for France on RMS Osterley on 14 February 1917 with 24th Reinforcement Group, 4 Field Artillery Brigade (FAB) though he later served served with 10 FAB. He was awarded the Military Medal gazetted on 3rd July 1919, the citation for which read:
'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the attack by 2nd American Corps on St Souplet Sector on 17th October 1918. Just prior to the opening of the barrage and immediately after ZERO, the 37th Battery was subjected to a heavy bombardment. This Gunner was the only unwounded member of his gun detachment, but he maintained his gun in action alone during a considerable portion of the barrage. By his fearlessness and determination he set a fine example to the remaining detachments who had also been depleted by casualties.'

Alfred Robert Urbahns returned to Australia, embarking on 4 July 1919.

His obituary in Pegasus of 1954 described him:
'Alfred R H C Urbahns, who left the College in 1913 died in August. He was a member of the XI and Athletics Team. During the First World War, he served with distinction in the AIF, and was awarded the Military Medal. In his profession - surveying - he was a very notable figure, having been a Fellow and Past President of the Victorian Institute of the Surveyor's Board of Victoria.'

Alfred Robert Urbahns died on the 6 August 1954.

His brother, John Harold Urbahns (1892-1967), and son, John George William Urbahns (1927-2012), were also educated at Geelong College.

Sources: Pegasus December 1954 p52; Geelong Grammarians: A Biographical Register 1855-1913 Vol 1 by Corfield and Persse p228; Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. pp330-331 (citing The Pegasus; National Archives).
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