John and Samuel were the sons of Elizabeth and John Robertson of Stannifer, near Inverell. They were educated at Stannifer Public School.
John, a thirty four year old Carpenter, enlisted at Inverell in September 1916. He left Australia with the 54th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement on HMAT A29 Suevic in November. They arrived in England in January 1917 where training continued before going to France in November. John returned to Australia in July 1919. After the War he married and lived in the Warialda district where he died in 1947. His name was recorded on the Stannifer Honor Roll.
Samuel enlisted at Armidale in February 1916 when he was twenty seven years old. He was working as a Miner at Stannifer at this time. He joined the 33rd Battalion, D Company and left Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. After arriving in England in July, further training was undertaken before he was sent to France in November. Shortly after arriving in France he was sick for several months. Only a few weeks after going into the firing line he was Killed in Action during the Battle of Messines on 7 June 1917. Samuel has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium.
The Tamworth Daily Observer newspaper, 7 August 1917, reported that a memorial service was held for him at Stannifer where the Church was ‘draped in purple and white’ and a photograph was placed in ‘a wreath of flowers.’ His name is recorded on the Stannifer Honor Roll and at Inverell Private Robertson’s name is inscribed on the town’s large Honor Roll and the Cenotaph. In 1919 he was one of the men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade, Inverell