Service no. 8024
Private, Lincolnshire Regiment, 2nd Bn.
Died aged 21 on 23 October 1916
Son of Deborah Doyle, of 24, Courland Grove, Clapham, London.
Remembered at Bancourt British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France
Robert’s Service records are extremely fragmentary. They show that he signed up on 13 August 1914, embarked for France on 26 March 1915, was in the field from 6 November, was attached to 179th tunnelling company in April 1916, and was disciplined for refusing to obey an order. His effects and medals were sent to his mother at 17 Ely Place, Dorset Road.
The 179th Tunnelling Company was responsible for digging a mine that was detonated on 1 July, the first day of the Somme Offensive, which lasted until November. It formed what is now known as the Lochnagar Crater. It is likely that Doyle was of short stature.
Information from the censuses
In 1901 the Doyle family lived at 25 Stewarts Lane West, Battersea. Lawrence G. Doyle, 28, was a general labourer born in Pimlico. Deborah Doyle, 29, was born in Lambeth. Robert Doyle, 7, and Margaret Doyle, 2, were born in Lambeth. Deborah Doyle, 6 months, was born in Battersea.
In 1911 the family lived at 105 Hartington Road, SW8. The census form shows that Lawrence was now a house painter and builder. (He gives his name as Laurence, and as the form was completed by the householder himself, this is presumably the correct spelling. However, other names are mispelled (“Lambert” for Lambeth, “Deborh” for Deborah and so on), so his general grasp of spelling was probably not strong.) The children in the house were
Margaret Doyle, 12
“Deborh” Doyle, 10
Kateleen Doyle, 7
Magderleen Doyle, 5
Victoria Aderlade Doyle, 2
(The latter 3 were born in Pimlico)
Robert does not appear on the 1911 census for this address.