Robert was born in Carrickfergus in1893, the son of Thomas and Agnes and brother to William, Joanna and David. Prior to the war he lived with his family in Mountview, Lower Woodburn and worked as a messenger.
On the outbreak of war Bobby enlisted with the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrim Volunteers) and following training was posted to the Western Front where he was quickly promoted to the rank of Sergeant. On the 7th June 1917 Robert along with the rest of the 12th Battalion were involved in fighting on Messines Ridge, a battle for which the Battalion & Ulster Division paid a huge price. Robert sustained a gunshot wound during the fighting and was taken to a casualty clearing station in the town of Bailleul, France where he later passed away on the 8th June. He was buried just outside the clearing station in the Bailleul Communal Cemetery (III C228) along with 124 other soldiers of the Royal Irish Rifles. As news of the lose trickled back home to Robert's family in late summer, a short remembrance service was held in the family church, 1st Carrickfergus Presbyterian.
His grieving mother would have taken some comfort from a letter recieved from
Nurse McPherson, charge nurse in the military hospital Bobby was sent to;
|The grave of Sergeant Dalton|