DILLON, Robert

No.10025, Private, Robert DILLON
Aged 31

1st Battalion, Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)
Died of his Wounds on Friday, 4th June 1915

Robert Dillon was born in Barony, Lanarkshire on 8th May 1884, son of Andrew and Annie DILLON. That birth place and date (given on his Army enlistment cannot be confirmed with Scotland's register of births. They have him born at 96 Watt Street, Glasgow at 11:50 pm on 13th May 1883. his father a master stevedore, mother née WINNING, born 10-4-1866 in Belfast.

1891 census...Aged 7 he was at 106 Ardgowan Street, Glasgow with his father Andrew DILLON [50] stevedore born Ireland; his mother Annie [45] born Ireland, brothers Thomas [21] stevedore foreman, born Ireland, Arthur [17] law clerk born Glasgow, John [15] boilermaker's apprentice born Glasgow, Andrew [11] and James [5] both born Glasgow; sister Annie [13] born Glasgow.

1901 census...Aged 17 , a platsman? domestic, he was at 284 Crookston Street, Glasgow with his parents and brothers Andrew and James.

1911 census...Aged 27 he was somewhere in the Army, not found in census. His regiment was in India from 1909 to 1914.

He enlisted in Glasgow on 8th April 1907, giving his age as 22 years and 11 months, born Barony, Glasgow, father Andrew DILLON. He was 5 feet 3.5 inches (161.3 cm)tall, weighed 128 lbs (58.2 kg), chest 39" to 42" (99.1 to 106.7 cm), hazel eyes, brown hair, Catholic. He signed for 7 years in colours, 5 on Reserve. He had references from Honeyman Co, Stevedore and Coal Trimmers of 12 Waterloo Street, Glasgow.

At depot on Glencorse 11th April to 31st July 1907, then to Shorncliffe Camp, Kent 1st August 1907 to 18th February 1909. He was promoted to L/Cpl on 31st May 1907 but reverted to Private on joining Home Battalion on 1st August. He was permitted to extend his service to 9 years on 5th August 1915. His discipline was reasonable, only minor punishments ( he like a drink, quite normal for a young soldier). In 1914 he was assessed as a good signaller and had recorded only one case of drunken-ness.

He joined the BEF in France on 19th December 1914. Received a gun shot wound to his right arm on 18th January 1915, sent to No 10 General Hospital, Rouen, returning to duty on 2nd April. He was received wounds to both legs in Ypres on 22nd May and was evacuated to England on 27th May, admitted to Suffolk Army Hospital, Ampton on 28th and died there from his wounds on 4th June 1915.
His family moved frequently in Glasgow. The certificate of death to his father at 5 Govan Road was returned "not found". Strangely his personal effects letter was sent to W.G. Dillon at 39 Kyle Street, Town Head, Glasgow. That was the address of his parents when the family form was sent in. On that form the brothers Thomas, James and Andrew were address unknown (probably in the Army), Arthur was at 103 Dover Street, Glasgow and John at 12 Henry Street, Glasgow. Sister Annie was Mrs Jenkins at 103 Kirkland Street, Glasgow.

His personal effects (such as are legible) consisted of razor, knife, penknife, table knife, broken watch, disc, pipe, pipe lighter, badge, 4 letters, prayer book, spoon and stamps. His final cash settlement was shared equally by his parents and 6 siblings, £1-11s-5d (£1.57) each.

On the 22nd May 1915 the battalion were in the area of Sanctuary Wood, SE of Ypres. CWGC figures show a quiet spell for the 1st battalion ( 1 killed) while the 7th Battalion were destroyed in UK when two trains taking them to Liverpool collided head-on with another train at Quintinshill, near Gretna and almost immediately a Glasgow-bound express ran into the wreck. Over 200 were killed. Of the 1,028 men, only 468 carried on to Gallipoli.

Robert Dillon is buried in Ingham (St Bartholomew) Churchyard, grave A:2

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details