Great Uncle Robert not forgotten

Great Uncle Robert not forgotten

On 8 April this year 2016 I, my nephew and his partner visited the spot where my Great Uncle Robert was killed a hundred years earlier. Sadly we have no photo of him, only his 'dead penny'. In the past few years I have also been able to visit the places where he lived in sussex was wounded in France. My Great Uncle Robert was born in Deer Keepers Cottage Harting, Sussex on 6 January 1889. His father was the head deer and game keeper at UpPark. Sadly he died before Robert was one resulting in his mother moving her family to Walberton, where she remarried, and then Yapton. Most of his childhood was spent in Yapton. . On the 1st December 1905 so just before he was 16 he attested to join the Royal Sussex regiment, and in 1907 in the 1st Battalion he went to India, where he served until he was discharged on 27th February 1913 on his return to England. As an A category reservist he was mobilised as soon as war broke out and arrived in France in 12 August. The long retreat from Mons was soon to come and Robert received his first wound on 28th September at Troyon above the River Aisne, resulting in hospitalisation in Rouen, and then the convalescent camp there. When he rejoined his regiment it was Ypres, the La Bassee Canal area and then on 9 May 1915 Richebourg (near Neuve Chapelle). In this battle (now called Aubers Ridge) the Royal Sussex suffered very heavy losses. Robert suffered his second wounding, to the buttock, which sent him to hospital in Rouen again. Summer 1915 onwards in the La Bassee and Loos area, taking part in the Battle of Loos 25th September. A third wounding, this time shrapnel to the scalp gave Robert a blighty.on 26th December 1915. By the end of February 1916 he was assessed as fit for service again - but went AWOL for a week. Can you blame him? His superior probably didn't as he only received loss of three days pay and eight days confined to barracks. Back in France he was sent not back to the 2nd but to the 7th Battalion which was fighting at the Hohenzollern Redoubt. Arriving towards the end of march Robert would have had little chance to make new friends (and pals were so important) before he was blown up by a shell on 8 April 1916. he is commemorated on the Arras memorial, in St George's chapel Chichester Cathedral, on the memorial plaque in Yapton Church and on his mother's headstone in Yapton churchyard. Finally his name is also on a board at Notre Dame de Lorette

Created by: susan28367

  • British Army 8365 Private Royal Sussex Regiment