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  • photo of Robert Ainger provided courtesy of Cliff Housley
Person Details
Robert was born in 1884 (O/N/D) the son of Isaiah and Mary Ainger nee Martin. Isiah Ainger was born in Castle Bytham, Lincolnshire, to parents William and Mary and was baptised in Bytham Castle on 22 May 1855. Mary Martin was born in Calverton about 1857. Isiah and Mary were married in 1876 (marriage registered A/M/J, Basford) and when they completed the census form in 1911 they had been married for 34 years and had had 11 children of whom only nine were still living. Ten children were named on the census between 1881 and 1911: John William (b. abt 1877, Calverton), Sarah (b. abt 1879, Calverton, d. 1901), George (b. 1881, Calverton), Robert (b. 1884, Calverton), Albert Victor (b. 5 April 1887, Arnold), Frank (b. 1890, Calverton), Ernest (b. 5 January 1893, Calverton), Joseph (b. 1896, Calverton), Edith Mary (b. 1899, Arnold) and Charles (b. 1902, Arnold). In 1881 Isaiah (25), an agricultural labourer, and Mary (24) who was working from home as a dressmaker, were living at Main Street, South Terrace, Calverton. They had three children, John William (4), Sarah (2) and George (1 month). Also in the household was Isaiah's niece, Sarah Richardson (7, b. Calverton). By 1891 they were living at Nottingham Road, Calverton, and there were six children in the family; John (14, agricultural labourer), Sarah (12), George (10), Robert (6), Albert (4) and Frank (1). Ten years later in 1901 Mary and Isaiah, who was still working as an agricultural labourer, were living at East Lodge, Sherwood Lodge, Arnold, Nottingham, where they were to live for the rest of their lives. Six of their children were at home on the night of the census; George (20, agricultural labourer), Albert (13, gardener 'not domestic'), Frank (11), Ernest (8), Joseph (4) and Edith Mary (1). Their three other children had left home. John (24) was an attendant at the City Asylum, formerly known as the Borough Asylum. Robert (16) was working as a milk lad on Charles Seeley's estate in Greasley, Nottinghamshire, and living with the farm bailiff, John Tebb and his wife Emma. Sarah has not yet been traced on the 1901 Census but it is likely that she died later in the year aged 22 (death registered J/A/S, Basford). Isaiah and Mary's youngest son, Charles, was born the following year in 1902 and in 1911 he was one of only three children still at home with their parents; Joseph (14), Edith (11) and Charles (9). At the time of the 1911 census, Robert (26) was working at Blackwell Colliery and was a boarder at 89 Devonshire Arms Yard, South Normanton, Derbyshire, in the household of George Wilcox, who was also a coal miner, and his wife Mary. His brother Frank (21), a coal miner/loader, was also living in South Normanton at 44 Carter Lane; he was a boarder in the household of widowed colliery worker Isaiah Fradgley. George (30) too was a coal miner (underground roadman), and living at 57 Sherwood Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, with his wife Celia (29) and son George Edgar (3). Ernest (18) was working at Manor Farm, Gedling, as a wagoner. The oldest boy, John William, had married Polly Fisher on 2 August 1903; they were to have three daughters, Florence Ellen (23 August 1905), Edith Annie (16 June 1907) and Dorothy Mary (8 January 1912). In 1911 they were living at 79 Cross Street, Arnold, which was to be the family home until they died. John was now working as a gardener at a City Council waterworks. At the time of the census he, his wife and two daughters (Florence and Edith) shared their home with Polly's three younger sisters, Charlotte Rebecca (23, b. Arnold), Ethel (19, b. Calverton) and Mabel (16, b. Calverton). John's sisters-in-law worked in the hosiery trade. Albert Victor had probably emigrated to the United States by 1911; no UK records have been found for him after 1901 but there is a record of Albert Victor Ainger, born 5 April 1887 in Nottingham, on the US WW1 Civilian Draft Registration, State of New York (Manhattan). Albert was living in New York in 1919 with his wife, Grace, and son Rolph and employed as a chauffeur by Miss Helen F Rubel. Charles (b. 1902) would have been too young to serve in the army during the war, but no military record has been found for Frank (b. 1890). However, John William attested on 9 December 1915 when he was 39 years old and he served in the Army Service Corps (21619 Corporal) from the following year. He was demobilized on 11 February 1919 and qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. Joseph served initially in the 2/8th Bn Notts & Derby Regiment (4711) but transferred to the 10th Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment (27473 Private) and died of wounds on 8 May 1917. He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. Robert's mother completed a form for the army giving the names of his surviving blood relatives. The form was completed on 28 May 1919 and witnessed by the vicar of Daybrook parish church (St Paul): Parents: Isaiah and Mary Ainger of East Lodge, Sherwood Lodge, Arnold, Nottinghamshire. Brothers: John William Ainger (42) of 79 Cross Street, Arnold, Nottinghamshire; George Ainger (38) of Empire Street, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire; Albert Victor Ainger (32) of 14146 Street, (-), New York; Frank Ainger (29) of 64 Mansfield Road, South Normanton, Derbyshire; Ernest Ainger (26) of (?117 Wyvel) Cottages, Vernon Road, Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire; Charles Ainger (17) of East Lodge, Sherwood Lodge, Arnold, Nottinghamshire. Sister: Edith Mary Ainger (19) of East Lodge, Sherwood Lodge, Arnold, Nottinghamshire. Mary Ainger died on 25 February 1924 aged 67 and Isaiah seven years later on 2 January 1932 aged 76. Their eldest son, John William, died on 16 February 1964 aged 87; his wife Polly had died nearly twelve years earlier on 25 June 1952. Ernest probably died in 1985 aged 92 (death registered September, Mansfield).
In 1901 he was a milk lad. By 1911 he was a coal miner loader (Blackwell Colliery).
01 Jul 1916
772861 - CWGC Website
89 Devonshire Arms Yard, South Normanton, Derbyshire. He enlisted in Alfreton, Derbyshire
1/5th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Robert's Territorial Force Attestation ('for the duration of the war') survives. He enlisted at Derby Barracks on 12 March 1915 with regimental number 4129. Initially in the 2/5th Battalion he transferred to the 3/5th Battalion on 26 March 1915. He subsequently transferred to the 1/5th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (9 December 1915). He was posted to 'D' Company on 16 October 1915. The British Army issued new six figure regimental numbers in late 1915/early 1916 to avoid the confusion caused by many men having the same three or four figure number; Robert’s number was changed to 201366. Robert served in France from 10 December 1915 and was with his battalion on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. 484 officers and men of the 1/5th were either killed, wounded or posted missing on the first day. Robert was one of those killed in the attack probably - as were so many - by machine gun fire. His service record was annotated that he was posted missing on 1 July 1916 and was struck off the Battalion strength on 15 August 1916 and was presumed to have died on 1 July 1916, Authority E/396.583.1. Robert has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. He served a total of 1 year and 109 days: Home Service 15 March 1915-9 December 1915 and France 10 December 1915-1 July 1916. He qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
UKSDGW incorrectly gives place of birth as South Normanton, Derbyshire. Register of Soldiers' Effects: his father, Isaiah, was his sole legatee. Probate: Ainger Mary of East Lodge Sherwood Lodge Arnold Nottinghamshire (wife of Isaiah Ainger) died 25 February 1924 Administration Nottingham 21 May to the said Isaiah Ainger farm foreman. Effects £144 8s. 2d. Death index b. abt 1857 d. 1924 aged 67. Probate: Ainger Isaiah of East Lodge Sherwood Lodge Arnold Nottinghamshire died 2 January 1932 Probate Nottingham 3 March to John William Ainger gardener. Effects £255 10s. 7d. Probate: Ainger John William of 79 Cross Street Arnold Nottinghamshire died 16 February 1964 Probate Peterborough 3 April to Edith Annie Ainger spinster and Florence Ellen Taylor (wife of Leonard Taylor). £215. Note: John William's other daughter, Dorothy, had died on 28 December 1953; she was still living at 79 Cross Street and Administration of her will was awarded to her father who was described as a 'retired gardener'.
Remembered on


  • photo of Robert Ainger provided courtesy of Cliff Housley
    Robert Ainger - photo of Robert Ainger provided courtesy of Cliff Housley