Regiment: 4th Canadian Infantry Battalion
Robert was born at Edinburgh on the 19th February 1887 to William and Isabella. After he left school, he enlisted into the Royal Scots Fusiliers militia battalion, before emigrating to Canada, sailing from the port of Greenock and landing in Quebec, probably in 1911. On arrival in Canada Robert moved to Toronto where he took lodgings with a Mr John Sidney at No. 144 George Street. He also enlisted into his local Militia Battalion, the 20th Regiment (Halton Rifles).
The outbreak of war saw Robert volunteer for service overseas and along with thousands of others, they mad their way to Valcartier. There, on the 6th of August 1914, Army Order number 2067 was announced by Privy Council which authorised the formation of the 4th Canadian Infantry Battalion. The men and Officers of the Battalion embarked on the SS TYROLIAR and sailed for England; they arrived off Plymouth Sound on the 14th of October.
Robert was a problem drinker who had been taken out of normal battalion duties and was attached to the battalions Base Company, tasked with guarding the armouries that held the battalions weapons. On the morning of the 16th January 1915, Robert was found near Shrewton, comatose through drink and suffering from exposure from being outside all night. He was admitted to the Field Ambulance at Bulford and then transferred to the Hospital at Netheravon, arriving there at 1020 the same morning. Robert could not be revived, and he suffered heart failure at 1820 eight hours after his admission. He is buried in Netheravon churchyard, and remains here with us.