Rank: Private
Service No: 4518
Date of Death: 16/02/1916
Age: 24
Regiment/Service: Middlesex Regiment 13th Bn.
Grave Reference VIII. D. 55.

Additional Information:

Born in 1893 at Wanstead, son of Robert (General Labourer) & Clara Fenton.

1901: With his family at 38 Oxford Terrace Maybank Road South Woodford. 1911: At the age of 19 Robert was working as an Assistant in an Ironmongers Shop, his father was a Labourer to a Cartage Contractor and the family now lived at 3 Gordon Villas, Gordon Road South Woodford. In 1916 his parents were living at 3 Roseberry Cottages, Maybank Road.

On 08-09-14 Bricklayers Labourer Robert left Gordon Villas and travelled to Stratford where he enlisted with 13 Middlesex Regiment. He remained in the UK for almost a year before sailing to Boulogne and joining the Expeditionary Force on 02-09-15.

In 01-16 the Battalion was in trenches at Sanctuary Wood, with periods in reserve at the Belgian Dugouts, and a rest camp further to the rear. During this time the Battalion provided up to 400 men at night for Royal Engineer working parties. The Front was relatively quiet during the day, but rifle fire increased during the hours of darkness.

Perhaps Robert Fenton was with these working parties when he sustained a severe gunshot wound to his back on or about 30-01-16, and he was removed to 11 General Hospital at Boulogne. His file survives and contains telegrams, one of which dated 12-02-16 offers his parents the chance to visit their dangerously ill son, at public expense if they could not afford the fares. They confirmed they wished to see him but could not cover the cost. The telegram dated 15-02-15 states simply that his parents were travelling that morning by boat to Boulogne.

Hopefully they arrived in time to see Robert before he died from his wounds on 16-02-16.

X/R Pvt. Edward Vincent Fenton (Brother)

Memorial: Roll of Honour Holy Trinity Church.
Separate Folder: NO.
Principal Sources: Ancestry. Woodford Times
Qualification: Borough Resident. Name read at St Mary’s Church Sunday Service, December 1917.