ALLSOP, Robert William

No. 20733, Private, Robert William ALLSOP
Aged 27

Essex Regiment, 1st Battalion
formerly 17673, Norfolk Regiment
Died at Sea on Friday, 13th August 1915

Born in Lakenheath, Robert's birth was registered in Mildenhall [Mildenhall Q1/1888 4A:735].

He was the 6th son of Lakenheath born William ALLSOP, (1850-1920) who married his mother, Lakenheath born Susannah RUTTERFORD (12/9/1852- 7/8/1889) in 1872, Mildenhall [4A:1085]. He also had two sisters, Ethel [1878-1961] who married Charles Rayner, and Mabel [1882-?]. His brothers were Edgar [1876-1939]; William [1880-1880];Wilfred [1883-1888]; Jabez[1884-1965] and Cyril [1885-1970].

His mother died in 1889 and his father then married Susan ROLPH (née PAYNE)(1847-1915) in 1896.

1891 census...Aged 3, Robert was at his grandparent's house in Mill Road, Lakenheath with grandfather William ALLSOP (1825-1897), a farmer, grandmother Hannah [Ann] (née PAYNE), uncle Robert ALLSOP; aunts Thurza ALLSOP and Hannah ALLSOP, and cousins Ethel and Reginald ALLSOP. His father was a barber, at Plough Lane with Robert's Aunt Maria (49) as housekeeper and cousin Albert (16) an assistant barber.

1901 census...Aged 13, he was at Xmas Hill Farm, Brandon with his father, now a farm steward, his stepmother Charlotte and brothers Jabez and Cyril. The three boys were farm labourers.

1911 census...Aged 23, Robert, now 23, had left home and was a horseman on a farm, lodging at 29 Hunstanton North with Henry and Agnes DADE and their son and daughter. His father, stepmother and brother Jabez were living in Station Road, Lakenheath.

In 1911 he married Ellen May TEBBLE [20-5-1887] (Walsingham Q4 4b:821. Their daughter, Marjorie Roberta, was born 6-6-1913 (Docking 4B:503) and their son Robert John was born 6/12/1914 (Docking 4B:492)

The pension card has his wife re-marrying STAPLETON (Edward P in Walsingham in 1921) and living at The Ash, Needham, Harleston.

Robert was a cousin of William Henry ALLSOP see here

Also lost with him on the "Royal Edward" was Alfred HICKS from Hockwold, another man transferred from the Norfolks, to the Essex Regiment see here

He enlisted at Ringstead in Norfolk (near Hunstanton).
His medal index card indicates he was awarded the British War Medal but not the Victory Medal. Possibly this may have been due to not completing 28 days in a war zone. Also the fact that he was not awarded the 1914-15 Star may indicate that he never reached a war zone. Yet others were treated differently as in the case of Edward McMurdo on the Fornham All Saints memorial who has the customary "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred". see here

The 1st Battalion sailed from Avonmouth on 21st March 1915 for Gallipoli, going via Egypt and Mudros. Landed at Cape Helles 25 April 1915.

Some explanation for Gaston's death comes from

Another great source for this incident is here

"These men volunteered to join the Essex Regiment and appear to have constituted the drafts of June 23 and July 24 1915. They were part of the reinforcements carried by the transport "Royal Edward" which was torpedoed and sunk in the Aegean Sea on August 14th 1915. She sank two and a half minutes after the torpedo struck her. Of the 1,400 men she carried just over 600 were saved, and the drowned included all but 18 of the 300 Norfolk men."

Robert Allsop's name is on the list of those Essex Regiment men missing from the Royal Edward, published in The Times on 6th September 1915.

On the morning of 13 August, HMTS Royal Edward passed HMHS Soudan, heading in the opposite direction. Oberleutnant zur See Heino von Heimburg in German submarine UB-14 was lying near the island of Kandeloussa and saw both ships. He allowed Soudan to pass unmolested, and instead concentrated on the unescorted Royal Edward, 6 nautical miles (11 km) off Kandeloussa. A single torpedo was enough to sink the Royal Edward, who just had time to send out an SOS signal. The Soudan picked up the signal and reversed course and managed to save just over 400.

UB-14 was a coastal torpedo attack boat, carrying just two torpedoes. She sank 6 ships to a total of 25,500 tons and was scuttled near Sebastapol in 1919. Her captain went on to be a Vizeadmiral in 1942, At the end of WWII Soviet forces abducted Heino von Heimburg, then a 55-year-old retired naval officer and transported him to a POW camp near Stalingrad. He died there in October 1945.

Heino von HeimburgUB-14

HMT "Royal Edward"

No Known Grave
Robert ALLSOP is commemorated on the Helles Memorial in Gallipoli.
Panels 144 to 150 or 229 to 233.
The reason for two entries is probably due his connection with the Essex AND the Norfolk Regiments, since casualties are grouped according to regiment on the Memorial.

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