600638 Captain Albert Glynn (Glynn) Roberts – NZ Medical Corp

Albert Glynn Roberts was born in Takapuna[i], Auckland on 23rd September 1918 the eldest son of Edith Zealandia
(nee Duder) and David Charles Roberts[ii].

Glynn as he was known was raised and went to school in Takapuna in October 1929 the
13 year won a patriotic essay competition.[iii]

                                                                       Glynn Belmont - Belmont School, Takapuna

Glynn was successful in gaining entrance to University of Otago’s, School of Medicine in
1935 – 36 moving to Dunedin.  At Otago Glynn enlisted in the Territorial Forces signing on
for three years in the Otago University Medical Corp as a private.

In Otago Glynn married Robertta Helene Raymonde prior to 1941 when Glynn was
promoted from Sergeant to Temporary 2nd Lieutenant in the Territorial Forces.

On 28th January 1943[iv] Albert Glynn Roberts was listed as one of 27 graduating from
Otago University with a degree in medicine and surgery. Doctor Roberts and his wife
moved to Hamilton where Dr Roberts was posted to Waikato Hospital as a House Surgeon. 
In Hamilton the couple had their first child, a son, on 18st June 1943.[v]

The Superintendent, Waikato Hospital was able, by sourcing two 6th year medical students , to release on 14th July 1944 Doctors  R F Mulligan and A G Roberts for full military duties. Doctor Roberts was  seconded from the Territorial Force to the NZ Medical Corp.

On 16th March 1945 Lieutenant Roberts as  a member NZ Medical Reinforcements who embarked on No1 Hospital Ship Maunganui for the Middle East[vi]. Lt Roberts was disembarked in Melbourne and remained in Australia for a month after suffering an attack of renal colic. Lt Roberts re-embarked in April after treatment on a military transport with the 15th Reinforcements, 2nd NZEF.

The war in Europe ended on 8th May 1945, while there was peace when Lt Roberts disembarked in Egypt on 12th May
1945 there was still considerable work to do for the wounded and sick who would come through Egypt prior to repatriation to New Zealand.

However Lt Roberts became a patient admitted to the Maadi Camp Hospital on 14th May 1945 then to the 5th NZ General Hospital where the Renal Colic (kidney stones) was re-diagnosed as Renal Tuberculosis. The diagnosis, while later was discounted, indicated a very poor prognosis and the young officer only had a short time to live. Lt Roberts was also prescribed morphine and pethedine for the pain which coupled with the stress of the prognosis lead to dependency on these drugs and also alcohol.

Lt Roberts was promoted to Temporary Captain prior to being evacuated from Egypt on 20th July 1945 in the Hospital
Ship Oranje.

Temp Captain Roberts arrived back in New Zealand on 10th August 1945 and was admitted to the NZ public service hospitals and also went before a Army Medical Board. T/Captain Roberts was regarded as unfit and following treatment and leave was discharged from the 2nd NZEF on 26th January 1946. Temporary Captain Roberts was made a Captain and then placed on the Retired List.

Doctor Roberts had difficulties in civilian life being admitted to Hamner Springs’
Queen Margaret Hospital in the late 1940’s. Dr Glynn Roberts moved to the
Tauranga area listed as a medical practitioner in the 1954 electoral rolls.
Dr Roberts was admitted to the Tauranga Hospital in the 1960’s and later
transferred to Porirua Mental Hospital where he died on 24th April 1971.

Albert Glynn Roberts is buried in the old Porirua Cemetery.
Renal colic and Renal Tuberculosis: Wikipedia
NZDF Military Achives
Paperspast Online
Medical Units of the 2nd NZEF Middle East

Glynn Roberts – Flag essay competition: Auckland Star
Albert Glynn Roberts’ grave-old Porirua Cemetery: Mel Macdonald
Hospital Ship – Oranje: Medical Units of the 2nd NZEF

[i] NZDF Military Files: 600638 Captain Albert Glynn Roberts
[ii] NZ BDM
[iii] Winner of the Flag Essay Competition, 1st October 1929, Auckland Star.
[iv] Otago Degrees, 28th January 1943, Auckland Star.
[v] Births, 21st June 1943, NZ Herald
[vi] NZDF Archives: 600638 Captain Albert Glynn Roberts
Hospital Ship Oranje