Robert Dealtry

scotish rifles badgePrivate, 25568, 1st Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) (previously 9369 33rd Divisional Cyclist Company, Army Cyclist Corps and 1744, Middlesex Regiment), killed in action, 20th July 1916, aged 27

Born at Eastoft in 1889, Robert was the second son and one of eight children of William and Emma Dealtry (nee Till). His father was born in Swinefleet and his mother in Eastoft. In 1901 family lived in Wash Hole Lane, next-door to Arthur Binns, where his father was a small farmer.

In 1911 following his father’s retirement his parents had moved to Whitgift. However Robert had moved completely away from the area as he was living in London where he worked as an assistant drapery salesman for Messrs H Holdron Ltd, in Rye Lane, Peckham.

Robert enlisted in the Middlesex Regiment at Shepherd’s Bush in 1914 or 1915. He most likely served in either the 16th or 17th (Service) Battalions as he arrived in France when they did on 15th November 1915. Both battalions were in 100th Brigade in 33rd Division and some time during his service Robert transferred to the Divisional Cyclist Company.

In July 1916 Robert had transferred once again as he was serving with the 1st Cameronians, who had joined 33rd Division in France. On 20th July the 1st Cameronains were one of units who attacked High Wood (Bois des Fourcaux) a hotly disputed area of ground on the front line near Bazentin le Petit on the Somme. The battalion did manage to capture much of the wood, but were then beaten back by a counter attack with heavy casualties, including among the missing, Robert Dealtry. The war poet, Robert Graves was badly wounded in the same attack.

Robert has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. He is also remembered on the Scottish National War Memorial Roll.

A cousin, Horace Dealtry, of Swinefleet, also lost his life on The Somme in September 1916.