Robert Pollock likeness

Robert Pollock cap badgeSapper Robert Pollock

Royal Engineers 1st (Lowland) Field Company
Service No: 2350

Robert Pollock grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of John and Margaret Pollock of 66a North Jackson St, Coatbridge. Robert's older brother Sapper James Pollock of the Royal Engineers Died of Wounds on the 13/09/1915 just 4 months after his brother. The 1901 Census - Address - Gartcraig Farm Ploughmans Cottage, Shettleston - John Pollock aged 45, Maggie Pollock aged 39, William Pollock aged 16, Maggie Pollock aged 14, James Pollock aged 12, Martha Pollock aged 10, Robert Pollock aged 7, Jeannie Pollock aged 4, Isabella Pollock aged 1. Robert's Pension was awarded to his mother Maggie on the 06/04/1916.

Born / Resided

Levern, Renfrewshire / 66a North Jackson St, Coatbridge

Died

Killed in Action on the 09/05/1915 on the opening day of the Battle of Aubers

Enlisted

Coatbridge 1914

Employed

Union Tube Works

Age

21

Buried / Remembered

Guards Cemetery (VII. A. 14), Windy Corner, Cuinchy, France

Cemetery / Memorial Information

A little west of the crossroads known to the army as 'Windy Corner' was a house used as a battalion headquarters and dressing station. The cemetery grew up beside this house. The original cemetery is now Plots I and II and Rows A to S of Plot III. It was begun by the 2nd Division in January 1915, and used extensively by the 4th (Guards) Brigade in and after February. It was closed at the end of May 1916, when it contained 681 graves. After the Armistice it was increased when more than 2,700 graves were brought in from the neighbouring battlefields. Guards Cemetery contains 3,445 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 2,198 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 36 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate six casualties buried in Indian Village North Cemetery, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire, and five Indian soldiers originally buried in the Guards Cemetery but afterwards cremated in accordance with the requirements of their faith.

Additional Information

The 1st (Lowland) Field Company were part of the 1st Division. Robert was Killed in Action on the 1st day of the unsuccessful British offensive at Aubers on the 9th - 10th May 1915 : the Battle of Aubers. A disastrous attack that cost 11,000 British casualties for no material gain : it was a minor supporting operation to a much larger French attack in an action known as the Second Battle of Artois. 17 other men from the Memorial fell here on this day. On the 9th May : the Southern pincer. At 5.00a.m : British bombardment opens with field guns firing shrapnel at the German wire and howitzers firing High Explosive shells onto front line. German troops are seen peering above their parapet even while this shelling was going on. At 5.30a.m : British bombardment intensifies, field guns switch to High Explosives and also fire at breastworks. The lead battalions of the two assaulting Brigades of 1st Division go over the top to take up a position only 80 yards from German front. At 5.40a.m : British bombardment lifts off front lines and advances 600 yards; infantry assault begins. Despite the early losses and enemy fire the three Brigades attempted to advance across No Man’s Land. They were met by intense crossfire from the German machine-guns, which could not be seen in their ground-level and strongly protected emplacements. Whole lines of men were seen to be hit. Few lanes had been cut in the wire and even where men reached it they were forced to bunch, forming good targets for the enemy gunners. The leading battalions suffered very significant losses, particularly among officers and junior leaders. Around 100 men on the Northants and Munsters got into the German front, but all were killed or captured. The advance of the supporting battalions suffered similarly, and by 6.00am the advance had halted, with hundreds of men pinned down in No Man’s Land, unable to advance or fall back. At 7.20a.m : Major-General Haking (CO, 1st Division) reports failure and asks if he should bring in his last Brigade (1st (Guards)). He offered his opinion that it would not be successful. The new attack at 2.40p.m would again be preceded by a 40 minute bombardment. The various movements of relief forces were achieved only with much confusion and further losses under renewed enemy shellfire. The time was again moved, to 4.00p.m. More than 11,000 British casualties were sustained on 9 May 1915, the vast majority within yards of their own front-line trench. Mile for mile, Division for Division, this was one of the highest rates of loss during the entire war. This battle was an unmitigated disaster for the British army. No ground was won and no tactical advantage gained. It is very doubtful if it had the slightest positive effect on assisting the main French attack fifteen miles to the south. 1st Division casualties : 3,968 of which 160 Officers. See Directory for Robert's older brother James' page. Robert's Grave photo donated by Mick McCann at the britishwargraves.co.uk. Robert is also remembered on the Coats Parish Church Roll of Honour with his brother James (see photos). Robert was reburied in the Guards Cemetery (see photos). See photos for Robert's Medal Index Card, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, Guards Cemetery, his CWGC Grave Registration x 2, his Headstone Report x 2, Robert's Pension Records and the Royal Engineers Cap Badge. Robert's grave inscription reads "THY WILL BE DONE".

Photos
Robert Pollock Medal Index CardRobert Pollock newspaper clippingRobert Pollock newspaper clippingRobert Pollock newspaper clippingRobert Pollock remembered at homeRobert Pollock remembered at homeRobert Pollock remembered at homeRobert Pollock remembered at homeRobert Pollock additional photoRobert Pollock additional photoRobert Pollock additional photoRobert Pollock additional photoRobert Pollock additional photoRobert Pollock additional photoRobert Pollock additional photo

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