Lieutenant Robert Lamb Dick enlisted into the Royal Engineers at Glasgow in July 1901 and arrived as a newly appointed Sapper in South Africa in April 1902. Subsequently appointed to 47th Company, R.E., he did not return to England until early 1907 and was discharged in 1913.
Dick enlisted into the Australian Imperial Force at Kensington in October 1914, aged 33 years, and embarked with the 1st Battalion for Egypt soon afterwards. Landed at Gallipoli in April 1915, he was wounded in the same month but rejoined his unit from a short period of convalescence in Malta. Again wounded in August, at Lone Pine, he was evacuated to Mudros, once more returning to Gallipoli that September. He was promoted to Sergeant.
Early in the following year he transferred to the 53rd Battalion as C.Q.M.S., sailing with the Battalion for France in June 1916. He subsequently served at Fromelles on the Somme, Polygon Wood and on the Hindenberg Line, gaining advancement to Warrant Officer Class II in February 1917. Described as a 'thoroughly reliable and capable' man, with an 'excellent power of command', Dick was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in May 1918, and finished the War with the 5th Pioneer Battalion back in France, where he fought at Beaumont Hamel, Molancourt, Amiens, Mont St. Quentin and Peronne. He was promoted 'in the field' to Substantive Lieutenant in August 1918 and relinquished his appointment in May 1919.