Robert was born on 28th November 1890 at 39 Cottage Row, Southwark, London to parents Robert Allan and Sarah Ann, their second child and baptised on 16th December 1890, along with his older sister Christina, at Lady Margaret Church, Walworth, Southwark.
On the 1901 census the family were living at 13 Madron Street, Southwark with several of their neighbours working as Police Constables. Robert Jnr was aged ten and it is assumed he attended school.
He previously worked as a rivet boy before joining the Navy and was recorded as 5'8" tall with dark brown hair, hazel eyes and several tattoos; "I.L.E" on his right forearm, with an anchor, bee and snake and a dancing girl, butterfly and a dot on his left forearm.
His service list follows:
HMS GANGES - 12/09/1906 - 14/05/1907, training as a Boy 2nd Class, rising to Boy 1st Class on 27/04/1907
HMS HOGUE - 15/05/1907 - 06/09/1907
HMS PEMBROKE - 07/09/1907 - 09/10/1907
HMS TRIUMPH - 10/10/1907 - 05/10/1908
HMS PEMBROKE I - 06/10/1908 - 28/10/1908
HMS CHARYBDIS - 29/10/1908 - 06/11/1908
HMS BLACK PRINCE - 07/11/1908 - 04/04/1910, rising to Ordinary Seaman on 28/11/1908
HMS PEMBROKE - 05/04/1910 - 14/04/1910
HMS ENDYMION - 15/04/1910 - 12/04/1911, rising in rating to Able Seaman on 03/08/1910
HMS PEMBROKE I - 13/04/1911 - 01/05/1911, recorded on the 1911 census at home on leave with his parents and siblings at 67 St Philips Street, Battersea.
HMS HUSSAR - 02/05/1911 - 24/06/1913
HMS PEMBROKE I - 25/06/1913 - 28/01/1914, rising to Leading Seaman on 01/08/1913
HMS TYNE - 29/01/1914 - 06/03/1914
HMS PEMBROKE I - 07/03/1914 - 30/03/1914
HMS VANGUARD - 31/03/1914 - 09/07/1917, rising in rank to Petty Officer on 01/07/1915
He served aboard the ship during the Battle of Jutland, his character described as very good for the whole of his duty. Robert or "Bobby" was very close to his cousin Emma; when she died she requested that one of his naval collars be buried with her.
Following Robert’s death his Star, Victory and British war medals were issued to his father, his mother was awarded his pension. As his body was never recovered he is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial.
#216 - 173/843
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 Free BMD
London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Board of Guardian Records, 1834-1906/Church of England Parish Registers, 1754-1906; Reference Number: P92/LDM/001
1901 & 1911 England Census
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 421
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece: 007 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/7; Scan Number: 0802
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 98
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 017/0088/COB-COG
Photos courtesy of Chris W - Ancestry & Carol Suddes
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