Robert was born on 22nd February 1898 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire to parents Griffith, a coal worker (below ground) and Matilda. On the 1901 census Robert, along with his parents and younger sister Matilda lived at Parkers Row, Newtown, Bedworth.
On the 1911 census Robert was aged thirteen and worked as a colliery lad. He had a further three siblings and the family were recorded living at 20 Gun Hill, Arley, Warwickshire, although his mother was not listed.
Robert worked as a miner before joining the Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 26th January 1915, beginning his training at the shore base HMS IMPREGNABLE, advancing to Boy 1st Class on the 30th April 1915, which was also the day he would leave for service on a ship. Robert was recorded as 5'5" tall with brown hair and grey eyes.
On 1st May 1915 he was posted to his only ship, HMS VANGUARD and rose in rank to Ordinary Seaman on 22nd February 1916. He was present on the ship during the Battle of Jutland and by the 18th January 1917 he had risen in rank again to Able Seaman.
He was 19 when he died. He is remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, his Star, Victory and British war medals were claimed by his father following his death.
(#166 - 451/841)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 Free BMD
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: 715
1901 & 1911 England census
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: 008 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 1194
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 107
Photo source - B Carter