OAKES, Robert Claude

Lieutenant, Robert Claude OAKES
Aged 18

70 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps
and Royal Field Artillery
Killed in Action on 19th July 1916

Robert Claude Oakes was born on 18th October 1897 in Plymouth (4th qtr 1897 Plymouth 5b:248) son of Lt.Col. Orbell Henry and Laura Eliza Josephine OAKES (née CLIFTON)

1901 census...Aged 3, he was at Nowton Court with his mother Laura [44]; born Freemantle, Australia; brother Orbell [20] Lt in the Militia, born India; sisters Eva [17] and Maud [15] both born Curragh Camp, Kildare, Gladys [13] and Vera [8] both born Glasgow, Beryl [5] born Plymouth. A brother had been born in Glasgow on November 7th 1899 (reported in Belfast Newsletter)

1911 census...Aged 13, he was at Nowton Court with his parents and sisters Gladys Mary, Vera Albinia and Beryl Mignon

His brother Henry James Lionel Oates born in India on 30th April 1879. He went to Rugby School and was in the Militia - 3rd Infantry Battalion Loyal North Lancaster Regiment in 1898 before joining the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment in May 1899 aged 20 years old as a 2nd Lt. He was posted to the 2nd Battalion to be sent to Burma but just before leaving he transferred to the 1st Battalion and was sent to South Africa landing on 20th Jan 1900 at Cape Town. He was made a Lt on 25th Feb 1900 and was wounded in action on 29th Nov 1900 at Rhenoster Kop when the regiment lost its commanding officer Lt Col Lloyd was killed. He was mentioned in dispatches in the LG 10th Sept 1901 and as a result of his wounds went on half pay 15th July 1902 and retired on 15th July 1907 and was retired at least till April 1920 as he took no part in WW1 due to his injuries. He gained the Queens South Africa Medal with clasps for Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Tranvaal, South Africa 1901

His brother Orbell was killed in France in 1915 see here

He was commissioned in the Royal Artillery on 27th October 1915 and attached to the Royal Flying Corps as an Observer. He was in "a" Flight of 70 Squadron in A386, Sopwith 1 1/2 strutter No.9653 on 19th July 1916 which was lost, believed in combat, near Le Verguier, France. His pilot was Lt. Henry Rathbone HELE-SHAW. Both were buried in the German cemetery in le Verguier.

A Flight 70 Squadron at Farnborough in June 1916 - photo www.kinsgtonaviation.org.

Enquiry of International Red Cross

Buried first by the Germans and re-interred in Jeancourt in 1920

Photo CWGC

Robert Oakes is buried in Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, France 2:A:18

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