Robert SANDERSON
Rank: Private
Number: 4224
Unit: 21st Battalion ROYAL FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 31 January 1916
Age: 24
Cemetery: Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Robert was born in Holmes Chapel, the fourth son of Robert & Jane. By the time of the War, the family had moved to Woodley (and later to Ivy Cottage in Bredbury). Nothing is known of his early life. When he left school, he went to work for the Northern Insurance Ltd at its Manchester offices and, in his spare during the summer, he was a keen member of the Romiley Tennis Club.

When he enlisted into the army, he joined one of the "Public School" Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers. As with many young middle class men, he will have seen it as quick route to becoming an officer and, indeed, some weeks after his death, the Battalion  was disbanded with most of its member being commissioned. He will have gone overseas with his new comrades in November 1915.

During the afternoon of 30 January, the Battalion moved from billets in the town of Bethune to take over a section of the front line. The Battalion's War Diary has no mention of casualties on this or the next day, but the local Stockport newspapers later reported that Robert had been shot in the head and, unconscious, taken to the field hospital at Bethune where he died soon afterwards.

   
           
   
     
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