FULLER, Robert

No. 320923, Corporal, Robert FULLER
Aged 37

1/5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
formerly #5150 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regiment.
Died of his Wounds on Wednesday 6th November 1918

Born in Chippenham in Q3-1881[Newmarket 3b:524], son of Henry and Elizabeth Hannah FULLER (née PAYNE), of Phantom, Chippenham,

1891 census...Robert [9] was at Phantom, Chippenham with his father Henry [36] Agr.Labourer born Chippenham..his mother Elizabeth H [35] born Isleham...brothers James H. [14] Agr labourer and William [12] Agr.Labourer , Frederick [7] and sisters Mary S [3] and Louisa [1]. All the children were born in Chippenham

1901 census...Robert had joined the Army in 1898, at 3 Jockey Club Cottages, Exning were his parents and brothers William [22] Frederick [17], sisters Louisa [11] and Julia [5] born Snailwell and brother Walter [2] born Exning. Sister Mary was at the Stores, Exning.

1911 census...Robert had left the Army and was a gas fitter, living with his parents, still at Jockey Club Cottages, and was a gas fitter, his sister Julia Annie and brother Walter. Frederick was in the Army and although apparently in UK, cannot be found in the census.

He was married in Bury St Edmunds in Q2 of 1913 to Alice WEBB.(15-12-1886) (at 6 Field Terrace Road,Newmarket in 1919)

The pension card initially has Alice at Hall Farm, Great Wilbraham but changed later to Douglas Lodge, Cheveley Road, Newmarket.

He was an elder brother of Frederick FULLER .

Robert's entry in "Our Exning Heroes" reads as follows:

Fuller, R.   2nd Batt. Suffolk Regt. Corporal
Robert Fuller had already served for several years in the Army and had been through the South African War, where he gained two medals.He also spent three years in India. When the war with Germany broke out, he at once rejoined and went to France in September, 1914. He remained there till the Somme Offensive in 1916, when he was wounded and came back to England. He was first in Manchester Hospital and afterwards was sent to Shoreham-on-Sea, but managed to get home for Christmas.
In the following January he was sent to Palestine, where he was killed on November 5th, 1918, while leading his platoon into action. His death occurred as our troops were advancing on Jerusalem, having recently captured Beersheba. In the early part of 1915, he had a miraculous escape whilst bringing up ammunition. Out of several he was the only one who got through. His officer, when he arrived, gave him a splendid pair of gloves.
On May 19th, 1913, he married at St. John's Church, Bury, Alice Webb, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Webb in Vine Terrace. In civil life he was a gardener. He was also a splendid swimmer.

He enlisted in the Suffolks in Bury St Edmunds on June 8th 1898, number 5150, having been in the 4th Suffolks Militia. His age is given as 18 ( which was not true of course)and occupation Gardener. Height 5' 4.5" (163.8 cm) and weighing 119 pounds (54.1 kg). He was educated at Duke of York Military School and Royal Hibernian Military School.
In 1904 he was permitted to extend his service to 8 years with the colours, and in 1905 extended to 12 years in the colours. Having received several good conduct badges, he underwent 14 days detention for drunken-ness in May 1908. In the meantime he served :-
Home 8 June 1898 to 26 Oct. 1898    Malta 27 Oct. 1898 to 11 Jan. 1899
Home 12 Jan. 1899 to 29 Aug. 1900    South Africa 30 Aug. 1900 to 25 Sept. 1902
Home 29 Sept. 1902 to 27 Jan. 1905    India 28 Jan.1905 to 27 Dec. 1907
Home 28 Dec. 1907 to 14 Sept 1909    Malta 15 Sept. 1909 to 3 Oct. 1910
Home 4 Oct. 1910 to 5 Oct 1910 when he had completed his 12 years.
He received several campaign medals whilst serving in South Africa. He had clasps to his Queens South Africa medal for Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal and for his Kings South Africa medal he has the 1901 and 1902 clasps. Except for his Medal Card, his military records for his second enlistment have not been found.

Seems to be the last Exning casualty during hostilities. Given the date of his death it appears no-one submitted a claim for the clasp to his 1914 Star
Impossible to say where or when he was wounded without his records. The last major operation of the battalion was taking Observation Hill near Wadi el Ayun, due east of Jaffa, on 19th September. An armistice with Turkey had come into effect 5 days before he died.

Robert is buried in Beersheba War Cemetery, Israel/Palestine Ref: M.56

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