Biography of Private Robert Wilson Wyer (12129)
7th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
Died 3rd July 1916

Soldier

  • Name: Robert Wilson Wyer
    Date of birth: 1885
    Place of Birth: Haconby, Lincolnshire, England
    Date of Birth registration: January – March 1885
    Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
Father

  • Name: William Wyer
  • DOB: 1847
  • Place of Birth: Kirkby Underwood, Lincolnshire, England
  • Occupation: Farm labourer
Mother

  • Name: Sarah Elizabeth Wilson
  • DOB: 1858
  • Place Of Birth: Haconby, Lincolnshire, England
  • Marriage: 1882 Bourne District

Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)

  • Annie Lizzie Wyer, 1883, Haconby
    Robert Wilson Wyer, 1885, Haconby
    Edmund Wyer, 1887, Haconby
    Ethel Jane Wyer, 1889, Haconby
    Emily Wyer, 1891, Haconby
    Sarah Elizabeth Wyer, 1892, Haconby
    William Wyer, 1894, Haconby
    John George Wyer, 1896, Haconby
    Kathleen Wyer, 1900, Haconby
    Hilda Mary Wyer, 1902, Haconby
Census

  • 1891: Robert is living with his parents in Haconby, Lincolnshire
  • 1901: Robert is living with his parents in Haconby, Lincolnshire
  • 1911: Robert is living with the Wilson family possible his uncle as a nephew in Oldham. The census gives him an age of 26 and he is listed as a Labourer.

Relatives in services

Marriage

  • No marriage for Robert has been found and because of his age we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.

Newspaper Mentions

  • Grantham Journal Saturday 3rd October 1914
    MORTON
    KITCHENER’S ARMY – Nine men have volunteered from these parishes, viz., Hacconby, Robert Wand, Robert Wilson Wyer, Edmund Wyer, William Wyer, Jack Healey; Morton, Fisher Handford, William Holmes, George Smith, John Ashton. We trust that others will be actuated by their splendid examples and follow suit.

 

  • Lincolnshire Echo Monday October 25th 1915
    LINCS. REGIMENT CASUALTIES
    The following casualties are officially reported from the Base in France, under date not given.
    IN THE RANKS
    Reported from France, under date, Oct 14th
    WOUNDED
    8th LINCOLNS
    Wyer, 12129 Pte. R. W.

 

  • Grantham Journal Saturday 30th October 1915
    LINCOLNSHIRE REGIMENT CASUALTIES
    8th Battalion
    Wounded
    Wyer 12129 R. W.

 

  • Sheffield Daily Telegraph Friday 25th August 1916
    MISSING
    LINCOLNS.
    Wyer (12129), R. W. (Bourne)

 

  • The Times Friday August 25th 1916
    MISSING
    LINCOLN R.
    Wyer, 12129 R. W.

 

  • Sheffield Daily Telegraph Friday March 16th 1917
    PREVIOUSLY REPORTED MISSING, NOW REPORTED KILLED.
    LINCOLNS.
    Wyer (12129), R. W. (Bourne)

 

  • The Times Friday March 16th 1917
    Previously reptd. Missing, now reptd. Killed
    LINCOLN R.
    Wyer, 12129 R. W. (Bourne)

Military Records

Attestation Papers

  • None found

Soldier’s Died In The Great War

  • These records show that Private Robert Wilson Wyer, 12129, 7th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment was killed in action on 3rd July 1916 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.

Pension Records

  • Available

Effects Left To

  • Mother Sarah E

Medals

  • The British Medal
    The Victory Medal
    The 15 Star

Memorials

  • UK:
  • Haconby, plaque in St Andrew’s Church

 

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
  • In Memory of Private Robert Wilson Wyer, 12129, 9th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment who died on 3 July 1916.
    Remembered with Honour Thiepval Memorial
    Panel Ref: Pier and Face 1C

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

Military Service Timeline

  • Robert enlisted in the Army in the September 1914, the Grantham Journal of the 3rd October 1914 carried the following news for MORTON:

    KITCHENER’S ARMY – Nine men have volunteered from these parishes, viz., Hacconby, Robert Wand, Robert Wilson Wyer, Edmund Wyer, William Wyer, Jack Healey; Morton, Fisher Handford, William Holmes, George Smith, John Ashton. We trust that others will be actuated by their splendid examples and follow suit.

    Robert enlisted in Bourne and was posted to the 8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.
    Like 60% of all soldiers WW1 service records, Robert’s cannot be found and it is assumed that they were destroyed in the London warehouse fire in the Blitz.
    We have pieced together the story of Robert’s war as best we can from medals rolls, pension records, battalion diaries and other remaining records. This means that some of the dates are approximate.

    After enlisting in September 1914 Robert would have been posted to the newly formed 8th Battalion. The Battalion was formed in Lincoln in September 1914 as part of the Third New Army (K3) and then moved to Halton Park near Tring for training as part of the 21st Brigade of the 21st Division and then moved to Leighton Buzzard.

    In April 1915 they moved back to Halton Park and then Witley Camp before being mobilised for their posting to the Western Front.

    We take up Robert’s story from the reports of the Battalion Diary of leaving England to their first tour of the trenches.

    10-09-1915 – Whitley Camp
    7.10pm Battalion under the command of Lt Col H E Walter left camp at 6pm and entrained at Milford Station. Journeyed via Folkestone to Boulogne; in rest camp for 1 day; Officers 28 + 2 personnel, 923 other ranks.

    11-9-15 – Boulogne
    Entrained at Pont des Bargues St for Watten; Billeted at Bayenghem Les Eperlecques.

    13-9-15 – Bayenghem
    Captains Preston. Harrison + Lieuts Parker, Brown + Rowcroft spend 24 hours in the trenches of the 2nd Corps. The first two machine gun sections under Lieut R G Cordiner were attached to 63rd Brigade Headquarters M G Detachment.

    14.9.15
    2nd Lieut Cragg and Sgts Cummins + Wood attended a 4 day course of instruction at M.G. School at Wisques. (a point of interest is that 2nd Lt Cragg was from Threekingham and is also commemorated on our web site)
    During stay at Bayenghem the Battalion Participated in Brigade and Divisional exercises and were also practiced in bombing and the use of the new pattern respirator.

    20-9-15 – Racquinghem
    7pm Battalion left Bayenghem and bivouacked one night at Racquinghem.

    21-9-15 – Norrent
    8.45pm Battalion left Racquinghem and billeted at Norrent

    22-9-15 – Cauchy-a-la-Tour
    6.30pm Battalion left Norrent and billeted at Cauchy-a-la-tour. Battalion addressed by Brigadier General N Nickalls comanding 63rd Brigade.

    24-9-15 – Fours-a-chaux
    7.30pm Battalion left Casauchy-a-la-Tour and bivouacked at Fours-a-Chaux 1 1/2 miles from Noeux-Les-Mines.

    25-9-15 –
    10.30am Battalion with 8th Bn Somerset L I was warned for the firing line.
    2.30-pm Verrmelles reached; under artillery fire.
    7.10pm Battalion moved into position forming part of relieving force to the 15th Division: 24th Division was on our left and the 8th Somerset Light Infantry on our right.

    28-9-15 – Vermelles
    8.15pm Owing to casualties in officers Capt H Pattinson became acting commander of the Battalion; acting 2nd in command Capt J T Preston; acting adjutant Lieut Brown.
    Battalion left Vermelles and proceeded by road and rail to Linghem.

    29-9-15 – Linghem
    9am Strength 6 officers + 3 personnel, Other Ranks 522.
    As can be seen from the two at strength reports the Battalion lost 22 officers and 401 other ranks during their first engagements of the 25th – 27th during the Battle of Loos.
    A report submitted as appendix 1 in the battalion diary explains those days.
    On the night of the 25th September our Battalion left the road leading to Loos and formed lines of platoons in fours. After a short advance we halted for three hours. We then advanced in echelon formation over the trenches. After advancing for about three hours, in short stages, we halted for a short time and then moved in the direction of Hill 70.
    We dug ourselves in during the night. It was now daybreak.
    Major storer came to us and said “All is well’. The advance will commence at 11am. In the meantime we were under heavy shell and rifle fire. We then advanced meeting great numbers of the enemy. A short retirement took place the Battalion making a new line of men composed of various units about 400 x in rear of of pour first position.
    We again advanced under the comm and of the nearest officer. By this time a great number of our officers had become casualties.
    The men continnued to fight with the units to which they had become attached.

    On the 27th The Regiment was relieved by a unit of guards.
    Robert Wyer appears in a casualty list posted by the Army on the 14th October. These lists could be many weeks behind time. We do not know exactly when Robert was injured or what happened to him during and following treatment, convalescence etc. We van see from the Battalion Diary that with their reduced fighting strength they did not go back into the front line in October it is therefore safe to assume that Robert was one of the 401 other rank casualties that the Battalion sustained during their first action on the Western Front.

    We do know that at some point in then future he ended up being posted to the 7th battalion. Usually after a man convalesces after a wound they eventually would be classified as fit for service again and then sent back to a base camp. At this point they could be posted to another unit that needed replacements urgently and although this practice was not popular with the men, meant that this is the most likely reason for Robert to be found with the 7th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment in 1916.

    As we have no records showing Robert’s return to the front we have to move forward to the 7th Battalion Diaries for the period just before the Battle of the Somme to carry on with Robert’s story with any accuracy.

    We take up the story with the 7th Battalion Diary.
    The Battalion had spent the first part of 1916 in the Ypres Sector before moving down to Bailleul at the beginning of March and later in the month moving to Armentieres.
    It would not be until June that the Battalion would find itself on the Somme, marching out of Billets at at Hellebrouck, entraining at Ardrique at 1.20am on the 12th June 1916.
    They later detrained at Longueau and marched into Billets in Allonville at 4pm that same day.
    Over the next 10 days the Battalion would undertake Battalion and Company training in readiness for the big planned operation nut also on the 13th 4 officers and 300 other ranks were to form a working party to bury cables in the line.

    25-05-16
    Received 51 infantry brigade order no 16 that battalion will march out of billets to Heilly on 27th June 1916. reinforcements re-joined for duty 60 other ranks.

    26-05-16 – Allonville
    Preparing for move 10 other ranks evacuated sick

    27-05-16
    Battalion marched from billets at Allonville to Heilly. 10 Other Ranks evacuated

    28-05-16
    In camp at Heilly awaiting orders. 30 other ranks evacuated sick.

    29-6-16
    London Gazette – Suppliment to the London Gazette d 13.6.16 war office 15.6.16. The following dispatch has been received by the secretary of state for War from General Douglas Haig, GCB Commander in chief of the British Expeditionary Force in France:-

    Sir, I have the honour to forward herewith the names of those under my command whom I wish to bring to notice for gallant and distinguished conduct in the field.
    I have the honour to be sir, Douglas Haig General
    Commander in Chief
    British Forces in the Field
    Lincolnshire RGT (Service Battalion)
    Forrest, Major (Temporary Lieut Col) J,. Retired Pay.
    Metcalfe, Temporary, Major FE
    Graham, Temporary Capt (Brigade Bombing Officer) J A Killed
    Getty Temporary Captain J H Adjutant

    30-06-16
    12 midnight – Battalion arrived at Morlandcourt to await orders previous to taking part in British Offensive.

    1-7-16 Morlandcourt France (Map 62D N.E)
    12 midnight Arrived by march from Heilly.
    8.55 pm Ordered to march to Beaucourt Wood via Meaulte to pick up Table A thence to British Front in front of Fricourt to relieve 6 Dorset Rgt.

    2-7-16
    8am Orders received that the Battalion was to attack Fricourt with the South Staffs Rgt.
    12.15 pm Battalion Advanced. Lieut Barrett and 2/Lieut Kimber with Battle Patrols lead the attack followed by B and D Companies supported by A and C companies.
    12.50pm First objectives reached 13 Prisoners taken
    2.10pm Hold up at second objective by machine guns at Fricourt Wood. Battalion holding line Rose Cottage,edge of circle to F.3.b.7.5 Montauban 1/20000
    5.20pm In position north of Fricourt Wood, one platoon and machine guns willow trench and remained in this position during the night 2/3 July. Captain Dickinson killed 19 other ranks wounded.
    3-7-16
    9am In position north of Fricourt wood several casualties caused by enemy machine gun fire.
    10.50am Lieut Jones with Battalion Bombers sent to assist Border Rgt
    11.40am. B company under Lieut Carr sent up to support Border Rgt with lewis guns and bombs.
    1.20pm Railway alley taken. South Staffords sent as reinforcements.
    Our casualties were – Killed Captain L D Wickham. 2/lieut S Shankster, 2/Lieut L C Andrews, 80 Other ranks. Wounded 2/Lieut T C Barrett,, L:ieut W I Abbott, 2/Lieut H Emery, 2/Lieut Thomas and about 160 other ranks. Wounded slightly at duty Lieut J Kendall and 2/Lieut E de G Carr. About 1000 prisoners taken by 51st Brigade, 2 fild guns, 2 machine guns and a quantity of stores were captured by the Battalion.

    4-7-16
    Position was taken up about 600 yards in front of captured trenches B&C companies in support to Brigade with A&D and Headquarters in Railway Alley. Consolidation of position in progress. Enemy shelled trenches very frequently. Battalion relieved by South Staffords during night and went into Billets at Ville.

    5-7-16 – Ville north of Fricourt
    Reorganisation and refitting. Total casualties up to this stage was:-
    Killed 4 officers 35 other ranks
    Wounded 4 officers 153 other ranks
    Missing 18 other ranks
    It was as part of the action on the 3rd July that Private Robert Wyer was officially posted as missing.

    25th August 1916 – The Times + 25th August Sheffield Daily Telegraph
    Missing
    Lincoln R – Wyer 12129 R W (Bourne)

    On the 7th September 1916 The International Red Cross received an enquiry as to if Robert Wyer was taken prisoner. These enquiries were normally made by concerned relatives trying to find their missing loved ones but in this case we have not been able to find the record to see who the enquirer was.
    This does give us extra information in that Robert was serving in IV Platoon of A Company, 7th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.

    William and Sarah Wyer lost all three of their sons that joined up for war service. William’s brother Thomas lost one son out of the three sons that signed up. Half Brother George Sandall lost one son and another half brother Edward Sandall lost two sons.

    Of the nine cousins that signed up only two came home and one of them was disabled out of service.

Sources

  • WW1 Soldier’s Records (www.ancestry.co.uk)
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  • British Newspaper Archive.

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