Our People - Robert Cameron
14 September 1914
#7017 Private Robert Cameron
1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
2nd Brigade, 1st Division
Killed in Action 14 September 1914 age 36
Vendresse British Cemetery, Aisne, France. Ref: II. H. 3.
Robert Cameron was born to Duncan Stewart Cameron and Jessie Cameron in Glasgow about the year 1878. In 1881, Duncan and Jessie lived with their growing family at 22 Fauldhouse Street in Hutchesontown, Glasgow - the south side of the River Clyde from Glasgow Green (the author, Charles O'Donnell, knows this area well as some of his family are from the same city). As well as Robert, they had two sons and two daughters - Isabella (12), Alexander (7), Margaret (5) and Duncan (6 months old).
Between 1883 and 1885, the family moved south to Leyland. In 1891, they lived at 13 Grove Street. Duncan was working as a Laundry Blue Manufacturer and Jessie was keeping house. They had added to their brood - Isabella (22) was working as a cotton winder, Alexander (17) a bleacher, Margaret (15) a cotton winder, Robert (13) a spinner, Duncan (10) a scholar, Janet (8) a scholar, Mary (6) a scholar, Neil (3) and Angus (1). Mary, Neil and Angus were all born in Leyland.
The family were at 2 Leyland Lane in 1901. Duncan was working as a cotton dyer and Jessie was at home. Isabella (32) a cotton warper, Margaret (25) a cotton warper, Robert was working as a railway labourer, Janet (18) a cotton winder, Mary (16) a cotton winder, Neil (13) was a wire worker, Angus (11) a schoolboy.
Robert married Mary Ellen Cameron (nee Charnock) at Chorley registry office in 1908. In 1911 they were living at Shuttleworth Cottage in Leyland with their daughter Mary Manson Cameron who was 1 month old. By this time, Robert was working as a rubber mixer at a local factory. Another child was born to them before Robert's death, as two children are mentioned in a pension document, although I have yet to find a name or record.
Robert was also a reservist, having attested with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in 1903 in Preston. Some documents from his service record still exist. Contrary to the census documentation, the attestation papers give his age as 22 Years and 9 months. At his medically examination he was found to be 5 feet 6 and 7 eighths of an inch tall and weighed 125 pounds and had a good physical development. He was of fresh complexion with blue eyes and red hair. He was found to have "upper front incisor teeth defective but he has sufficient (22) sound teeth".
He went on to serve in Gibraltar and Pretoria. Documents dated 1911 and 1913 showed that he was put through the rigours of a reservist examination.
His battalion was one of the first on the Continent as part of the British Expeditionary Force. He disembarked 12 August 1914. He was killed at the Battle of the Aisne on 14 September 1914.
His widow Mary Ellen was given a war gratuity of £5. 0s. 0d. authorised 12 June 1919, and paid credits of £3 12s. 11d. for 'self & children' on 16 June 1915. She was also awarded a pension of 21 shillings a week with effect from 21 June 1915. Robert is also remembered on the Leyland - Church Road Civic Memorial and the Leyland - United Reformed Church WW1 and WW2 Lamp. He was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal