Service no S/23067
Rifleman, Rifle Brigade, 8th Battalion
Died of wounds on 16 September 1917, aged about 30
Remembered at Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, France and at Stockwell War Memorial, London SW9
British Army WWI Service Records 1914-1920
Printer Robert Atkins married Emily Louisa Umpelby in June 1913 at All Saints Church, Lambeth. The couple lived at 14 Horace Road and their sons Robert Thomas and Thomas John Atkins were born in 1913 and 1915.
In December 1915 Robert joined the Reserve at Lambeth, and in June the following year he joined the regular Army. He was described as 29 years, 5 feet 8¼ inches, 38 inches around the chest (with 3 inches expansion), and 10 stone.
Atkins’ file records just one misdemeanour: In November 1916 “when on active service [he was] absent without leave from tatto, 9.30pm until 8.30pm,” for which he forfeited 3 days pay.
When Atkins died of gunshot wounds to the neck, legs and left arm at the 2nd Australian Casualty station he had served 1 year and 280 days. In January 1918 his effects were sent to his widow: “2 playing cards, 1 pipe, 1 knife, 1 cig box, 1 pr scissors, 2 Rifle Brigade numerals”.
In May 1919 Emily Louisa, 29, married Henry Edward Powell, 30 . She lived 14 Luscombe Street, Lambeth.
Information from the 1911 census
Robert Atkins and his two brothers were printers’ labourers in 1911, living with their sister and widowed mother, Mary Jane Atkins, 53, at 43 Neptune Street, Lambeth (near Spring Gardens). Mary Jane was from Cullum, Devon.
Robert Atkins, 24
Charles Atkins, 22
Thomas Atkins, 20
Elizabeth Atkins, 26, a domestic worker
All were born in “Wandworth Road.”
Mary Jane signed the form with her mark.