Born in Tetford, Robert was the friend of George Hannath. Both enlisted together and both had just enjoyed leave at home. Robert lived with his mother and step-father, Mr. Sanderson farmer, for whom he worked prior to the war. Ironically both friends joined together and died, virtually together at the Bluff. Robert was, according to newspaper reports, a “fine well built lad, highly respected by all, and a keen musician, playing for Tetford Brass Band”.
After enlisting at Horncastle, Robert found himself drafted into the 7th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment, a Kitchener's Battalion. The Regiment, formed at Lincoln, was part of the 51st Brigade of the 17th Northern Division. This division comprised of units from the Midlands, The North of England and Dorset. Having received orders to move overseas, advance parties of the division left Southampton on the 6th July 1915, the remainder of the division beginning its embarkation for France 6 days later. It concentrated south of St. Omer before being located South West of Ypres on the 19th July. Instruction in trench warfare soon began, the regiment first moving into the trenches on the 27th July linking with the territorial battalions of the regiment. The division finally saw its first action on the 9th August 1915, when the British attacked the village of Hooge on the Ypres-Menin Road.
The official history of the Lincolnshire regiments records the 7th Lincolns returning to the Ypres front on the 7th February 1916, to a place called the Bluff, an area of high ground won from the enemy in early 1915. During the 14th - 17th February, and on the 2nd March, Robert’s battalion was engaged in a series of actions and counter attacks, in which the enemy tried to regain this ground. Robert died on the 2nd March 1916, just a few days after his friend George Hannath. The loses to the battalion for this period was 1 officer and 25 other ranks killed.