Robert Smith Pithie likeness

Robert Smith Pithie cap badgeCorporal Robert Smith Pithie

Royal Engineers 1st (Lowland) Field Company
Service No: 2382

Robert Smith Pithie grave





Personal details

Family Information

Son of James (abt 1851-18/02/1900) and Marion Pithie (abt 1952-02/11/1917). Robert's father James was killed accidentally in a furnace explosion in Calder Iron Works on the 18/02/1900. Husband of Mrs Janet Pithie (06/07/1892- ) of 49d Ronald St, Coatbridge. Robert was the father of 3 young children, James Pithie born 16/03/1911, Alexander McDougall Pithie born 10/10/1913 and Robert Pithie born 14/09/1915. Robert's brother Private William Pithie of the 9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion Highland Light Infantry was Killed in Action on the 10/02/1915. From the 1901 Census - Address - 29 Calder Place, Coatbridge - Marion Pithie aged 49, Allan Pithie aged 26, James Pithie aged 19, Robert Pithie aged 16, William A Pithie aged 12, Hugh S Pithie aged 7. Robert's Pension was awarded to his wife Janet on the 22/01/1917. Their 3 children also listed. Janet remarried Robert Hannah and they had a son John. Robert's mother Marion sadly died on the 02/11/1917 having lost sons Robert on the 20/07/1916 and William on the 10/02/1915.

Born / Resided

Whitehaven, Cumberland / 49d Ronald St, Coatbridge.


Killed in Action on the 20/07/1916 shot through the head by a German machine-gun


Coatbridge 1914


Chain Works previously an Apprentice Mechanical Engineer.



Buried / Remembered

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 9), West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Cemetery / Memorial Information

The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, often referred to simply as the Menin Gate, bears the names of more than 54,000 soldiers who died before 16 August 1917 and have no known grave. Between October 1914 and September 1918 hundreds of thousands of servicemen of the British Empire marched through the town of Ypres's Menin Gate on their way to the battlefields. The memorial now stands as a reminder of those who died who have no known grave and is perhaps one of the most well-known war memorials in the world. It commemorates casualties from the forces of Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and United Kingdom who died in the Salient. In the case of United Kingdom casualties, only those prior 16 August 1917 (with some exceptions). United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war. New Zealand casualties that died prior to 16 August 1917 are commemorated on memorials at Buttes New British Cemetery and Messines Ridge British Cemetery.

Additional Information

MORE FAMILY INFORMATION - From the 1891 Census - Address - Boigside Cottages, New Cumnock, Ayrshire - James Pithie aged 42, Marion Pithie aged 40, Allan Pithie aged 16, Jane Pithie aged 14, Marion Pithie aged 11, James Pithie aged 9, Robert Pithie aged 6, William Pithie aged 2, Robert's Grandmother Jessie Pithie aged 71, boarder George Blackley aged 52. In his Will dated 22/12/1914 Robert left the whole of his property and effects to his wife. Robert arrived in France on the 16/12/1914 and were part of the 1st Division. Robert was killed when out working in front of his own line. Just as work was finishing a German machine-gun opened up and shot Robert through the head. The Battalion took part in these Battles of the Somme 1916 : The Battle of Albert (1st – 13th July), The Battle of Bazentin (14th – 17th July) and The Battle of Pozieres (23rd July – 3rd September). Robert would have fell during this time. The Battles of the Somme, 1st July – 18th November 1916 : A Franco-British offensive that was undertaken after Allied strategic conferences in late 1915, but which changed its nature due to the German attack against the French in the epic Battle of Verdun, which lasted from late February to November. Huge British losses on the first day and a series of fiercely-contested steps that became attritional in nature. For all armies on the Western Front it was becoming what the Germans would call “materialschlacht”: a war not of morale, will or even manpower, but of sheer industrial material might. The 15th September 1916 saw the first-ever use of tanks in the step known as the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. The British army in France is now approaching its maximum strength in numbers but is still developing in terms of tactics, technology, command and control. Robert's brother Private Hugh Pithie of the Royal Engineers wrote a letter to Robert's wife telling of his death. See Newspaper clipping for letter sent to Robert's wife from his brother Hugh and Officer Commanding Captain William Downs also from Coatbridge. Robert and his brother Hugh who was also serving attended their brother William's funeral in February 1915. See Directory for Robert's brother Private William Pithie's page. Robert is listed as SAPPER on the Memorial. Robert is also remembered on the Maxwell Parish Church and East United Free Churches Rolls of Honour and at the Family Plot in Old Monkland Cemetery (see photos x 2. Robert's brother William's Memorial stone there also). See photos for Robert's Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clippings x 2, his CWGC Grave Registration, his name on the Menin Gate Memorial x 2, his name on the Menin Gate Memorial Panel List, Robert's Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls, the Royal Engineers Cap Badge and Robert's Pension Records x 2.

Robert Smith Pithie Medal Index CardRobert Smith Pithie newspaper clippingRobert Smith Pithie newspaper clippingRobert Smith Pithie remembered at homeRobert Smith Pithie remembered at homeRobert Smith Pithie remembered at homeRobert Smith Pithie remembered at homeRobert Smith Pithie additional photoRobert Smith Pithie additional photoRobert Smith Pithie additional photoRobert Smith Pithie additional photoRobert Smith Pithie additional photoRobert Smith Pithie additional photoRobert Smith Pithie additional photoRobert Smith Pithie additional photoRobert Smith Pithie additional photo

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Robert Pithie was my great -grandfather. Thank you for the information and pictures.
Angela Pithie, London, 30/04/2021 11:31PM
Thank you so much for your message Janet. Can you please contact me on the contact us page. I'm currently updating all the mens pages and at the moment I'm on surname H. I'll gladly skip ahead to Robert's page and update it. Thanks again Janet. Much appreciated
John McCann, Belfast, 06/10/2020 11:50AM
Robert Pithie was the first husband of my grandmother Janet who later married Robert Hannah from Shotts. My father John was their only son, although both had children from their first marriages. They became a very happy family who were very proud of Robert Pithie who was never forgotten. I still have photographs of him in his uniform and the container which would have contained the letter informing my granny that Robert Pithie had been killed. The letter, however, is missing. It’s great to see him remembered in this way. Thank you.
Janet Hannah, Lincolnshire, 05/10/2020 9:33AM

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