|Date of birth:||1883|
|Place of birth:||Tunbridge Wells|
|Regiment:||Army Ordnance Corps|
|Battalion:||Egypt Expenditionary Force (EEF)|
|Died:||18th February 1917 aged 33 years|
|Death location:||Battle of Rafa, Sinai Peninsula|
Life before the War
Robert was the oldest of four siblings born to George and Agnes Mary, nee Goodwin. George was born in Kendal in 1850 and was a Draper by trade. He died in Bury St. Edmunds in 1912. Agnes was born in Framlingham, Suffolk, in 1856, and was a Milliner. She also died in Bury St. Edmunds in 1926.
The family was based in Bury St. Edmunds for many years, with the two youngest children being born there. There is no obvious reason why Robert and a sister were born in Kent.
Robert’s 3 younger siblings were:
Madeline b.1884 Tunbridge Wells and d.1955 Chichester.
Married Herbert V Nuthall in Bury St. Edmunds in 1915.
Gilbert born 25th March 1887 in Bury St. Edmunds and d. 1965 Chichester.
Grace born 25th March 1887 in Bury St. Edmunds and d.1968 Chichester
Gilbert and Grace were twins. Neither married. Gilbert became a Draper and Grace a Teacher.
At the 1911 census Robert was living as a boarder with the Newson family at 27 Castle Street, Southampton with this employment given as a Shop Assistant.
The Egypt Expeditionary Force was formed in Egypt on 10th March 1916. It was under the command of General Archibald Murray and was initially formed to protect the Suez Canal. It wasn’t long before the EEF became part of a large reserve force for the Western Front.
It was also around this time that Robert got married. It can be presumed that he was on leave when the EEF was formed. He married Florence Ada Gould in Southampton in the second quarter of 1916. Florence was born in the city in 1885 and lived at 25 Padwell Road with her family. Unfortunately, Florence did not live much longer than Robert, she died in 1919.
Upon his return to action following his marriage, Robert found his battalion participating in the Batttle of Rafa, in January 1917. It was of little consequence to Robert that this battle turned into a victory for the Allies, for it is possibly during this action that he lost his life.
Robert is buried in the Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery (Plot D, Grave 90). This cemetery was begun in April 1916 when it was realised that the cemetery at Chatby would not be large enough. Most of the burials were from Alexandria hospitals, although some graves were brought in from burial grounds in the Western desert, Maadia and Rosetta, in 1919.
Robert’s headstone states “Until the day break”
|Published:||21st May 2015|
|Updated:||Insert dates here|
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