Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Rifleman Robert Kirk Royal Irish Rifles KIA October 14th 1918

NAME; Kirk, Robert
RANK; Rifleman
SERV. NO; 6103
REGIMENT; Royal Irish Rifles
BORN; Carrickfergus in 1900
LIVED; Davy’s Street, Carrickfergus
FATE; Killed in Action, October 14th 1918
CEMETERY; Dadizeele New British Cemetery (Belgium) - II. A. 2.
CHURCH; St Nicholas, COI, Carrickfergus
MEMORIAL; St Nicholas, COI
REMARKS; Robert (Bobby) was the youngest son of Thomas and Margaret Kirk of Davy's Street, Carrickfergus and brother of Francis (killed in action 1st July 1916 at the Somme), Neillie, Jane and Lucy.  He was born in Carrickfergus in 1900 and left school at 14 to take a job in the local mill.  He enlisted with the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 1917 aged on 17.  By this stage of the war the true horrors and huge lose of life were apparent to all but men like Bobby continued to enlist to fight for King and Country.  Imagine the emotion of his parents as their second son went off to fight just a year after their other son had been killed in action.  After a short time training Bobby was sent to the Western Front were he served with distinction in France and Belgium.  He was killed in action, Belgium October 14th 1918 during the last major German offensive, less than 1 month before the end of the war.  He is buried in Dadizeele New British Cemetery in Belgium. 

Jake McAtamney at his great Uncle's Grave (Robert Kirk)

Dadizeele New British Cemetery is located 10 km east of Ypres - The village of Dadizeele was in German hands for much of the War until reached by the 36th (Ulster) Division, and taken by the 9th (Scottish) Division, on 29 September 1918. Severe fighting followed on 1 October, at Hill 41, a little south of the village.  Dadizeele New British Cemetery is in fact an extension of the communal cemetery. It was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from other burial grounds and from the battlefields of 1918.  Bobby has originally been buried in Railway Crossing Cemetery, Dadizeele, on the Dadizeelehoek Klephoek road, 100 metres west of "Teofani" railway crossing Kirton Farm but was brought along with other men from the 36th Division who fell on the 14th October 1918. 

1 comment:

  1. Picture of Rifleman Kirk from my Great War newspaper pictures archive (www.greatwarbelfastclippings.com)