No.50088, Private, Robert THURMAN
Aged 31

8th Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
formerly 88989, Machine Gun Corps
Died of Illness on Friday, 3rd May 1918

Somewhat of a mystery as to his civilian life after 1891
Robert THIRMAN was born on 14th October 1887 in Saxmundham (Plomesgate Q4-1887 4A:854) son of George and Anna Maria THURMAN(née MOYES). His father, from his birth certificate, was George Thirman, a labourer, mother Maria Moyse. The informant was Harriet Clowting. His parents marriage nor his father's death have yet been identified. His parents are most likely George [28] labourer born Woodbridge and Maria Thurman [27] born Kelsale living at Bigsby Corner, Saxmundham in 1881 census, but the ages do not seem to match.

1891 census...Aged 4, born Benhall (next to Saxmundham), at Bowling Green, Badingham with his widowed mother Maria THURMAN [30] born Saxmundham, housekeeper to widower Samuel Street [36] farm labourer born Marlesford

1901 census...(just possibly) Aged 14, farm labourer (but Yorkshire born ? ) at Birds End, Hargrave, with Henry and Elizabeth CLARKE and their family

1911 census...(appears to be) Aged 24, single, a domestic groom, birthplace not known, he was at Ivy Cottage, Stanton with widow Maria Ann BAKER [72] born Wattisfield.

According to CWGC and soldiers effects he was married to Maggie Lavinia HOLDEN (Hartismere Q1-1912 4A:1143). Their daughter Ruthey Joyce was born on 5th February 1914 at Fritton, Norfolk ( Depwade Q1-1914 4B:346) her father was then a gardener and was Ernest Robert Thurman

He enlisted in Bury St. Edmunds, legatee his widow. "Soldiers Effects" show him in 9th Battalion.
Arneke was used by 4th and 10th Stationary Hospitals and 13th Casualty Clearing Station.

The Bury Free Press of 25th May 1918 reported:-
Sincere regret was felt in Thurston when it became known that Prvt.Robert Thurman had died of pneumonia in a casualty clearing station in France. A letter has been received by Mrs Thurman from the Chaplain part of which read as follows:-
"I was going to write you about your husband, when he suddenly became much worse and died yesterday quite peacefully. He constantly spoke about you and little Ruth, for his thoughts were fixed upon you. I buried him in the British Cemetery, and a cross inscribed with his name will be place on his grave....."
Previous to joining the Army, Prvt Thurman worked for the Rev. W.B.Bladon of Thurston.He was a member of the church choir and was of a quiet disposition, possessing an upright and straightforward character.................


Robert is buried in Arneke British Cemetery, France, grave 2:B:8

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