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  • a photograph of the 'fallen' headstone marking the grave of Robert Etherington Poole in Hucknall Cemetery and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages SmalL Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
30 Jan 1886
Ilkeston
Robert Etherington Poole was born on 30th January 1886 in Ilkeston and was baptism on 28th February 1886 at Ilkeston, he was the son of Robert a licensed victualler and Margaret Poole they had 2 further daughters Gertrude b1888 in Ilkeston and Edith b1889 born Hucknall. In the 1891 census the family were living at Seven Sisters Inn at Hucknall his father Robert 42 yrs was the licensed victualler, he was living with his wife Margaret 39 yrs and their children Robert Etherington 5 yrs Gertrude 3 yrs and Edith 2 yrs He married his wife Annie Foster in 1909 , their marriage was recorded in the Basford Registration district . In the 1911 census he is shown as living at the Griffins Head public house, Papplewick Nottingham he is 25 yrs of age and a licensed victualler, he is living with his wife Annie 24 yrs (born at Hucknall,) who is assisting her husband in his business. His probate proven in Nottingham 14th September 1916 shows him as Robert Etherington Poole 37 Woodstock Street, Hucknall a joiner died 15th July 1916 at the General Hospital Nottingham, his effects of £834 1shilling and 7 pence were left to his widow Annie Poole.
He was working as a joiner and had been the landlord of the 'Griffin's Head' at Papplewick (his father had kept the 'Seven Stars' on West Street, Hucknall).
15 Jul 1916
2749986 - CWGC Website
154833
Sapper
Royal Engineers
Sapper Robert Etherington Poole enlisted at Hucknall and was posted to the Royal Engineers in February 1916. On 22nd June 1916, Poole was lucky enough to be granted six days' home leave. He had not gone abroad by this stage, being based at the Royal Engineers' Eastern Training Centre at Newark, only 20 miles away from his home. He was arrested at his home on 15th July 1916 for being absent without leave and subsequently shot himself in the head with a revolver, He was taken to the Nottingham General Hospital, where he died at 3.30 in the afternoon. He was buried in Hucknall General Cemetery on the 18th July 1916.
An article published in the Hucknall Dispatch 20th July 1916 ;- Robert Etherington Poole was working as a joiner prior to becoming a Royal Engineer in February 1916. Previously, he had been the landlord of the 'Griffin's Head' at Papplewick (his father had kept the 'Seven Stars' on West Street, Hucknall). On 22nd June 1916, Poole was lucky enough to be granted six days' home leave. He had not gone abroad by this stage, being based at the Royal Engineers' Eastern Training Centre at Newark, only 20 miles away. Unfortunately, he was quite ill at the time and decided to use his six days' leave to visit Blackpool with his wife, Annie, to recuperate. When he returned, he was no better and a Dr. Saunders was called for, diagnosing neuritis and acute gastritis. Robert Poole was deemed unfit to travel and a certificate to this effect was sent to the depot at Newark. Whatever happened to that certificate is unknown but its loss was to cost him his life. At 9.15 a.m., Saturday, 15th July, two weeks after the opening of the Battle of the Somme, a warrant for Poole's arrest was received at Hucknall police station. Poole's home, at 37 Woodstock Street, was a matter of minutes from the station so Police Constable Whitsed wasted no time in carrying out his warrant. He went straight round to Poole's house to arrest him for being absent without leave. Answering the door, Poole tried to explain that a certificate explaining his absence had been sent to his commanding officer but P.C. Whitsed knew nothing of this and said that Poole had to come with him. Seeming to accept this, Poole said, "Oh well, I'll get ready and go with you." As P.C. Whitsed reported to the Coroner's court, "The next minute I heard a revolver shot and, going upstairs, saw him sitting on the edge of the bed with a wound in his forehead and a revolver by his side. I spoke to him about it and he said he was sorry he had done it." Local doctor, Dr. James Percival Denny from British Guyana, was called for but there was little to be done, though Robert Poole did not die for some hours. He was taken to the Nottingham General Hospital, where he died at 3.30 in the afternoon. In evidence to the Coroner, on 17th July, his wife, a daughter of Councillor William Foster, said that, "He was not a deserter. He intended to go back to the regiment….. It was done because he could not stand the disgrace of being fetched." A verdict of suicide during temporary insanity was returned, the jury stating its belief that the deceased was not a deserter. On 18th July, Sapper Robert Etherington Poole was buried in Hucknall General Cemetery. A party of Royal Engineers from Newark attended his funeral, the coffin bedecked with flowers. He was 30 years old. Although he is recorded in "Soldiers Died in the Great War" and regarded as a casualty of war by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Robert Poole’s name was not included on the local war memorial. It was added in 2012. A further article published on 18th July 1916 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- The inquest into the suicide of Spr. Robert Etherington Poole at his home at 37 Woodstock Street, Hucknall, was held at the Nottingham General Hospital on 17th July 1916. “HUCKNALL SHOOTING CASE. “Sad Inquest Story of a Maligned Soldier. “NOT A DESERTER. “The Hucknall shooting sensation of Saturday, [15th July 1916] the victim of which was a soldier named Robert Etherington Poole, aged 30, 37, Woodstock-street, was investigated by the City Coroner, yesterday, [17th July 1916] at the Nottingham General Hospital, where the man died a few hours after admission. “The widow, Annie Poole, said her husband was a joiner before enlisting in February last, and entered the Royal Engineer, voluntarily as a tradesman. He came home on six days’ leave on June 23nd, but as he was ill when he arrived they went to Blackpool. When they returned at end of the week he became worse, and Dr. Saunders was consulted, but explained that her husband should by then have returned to his duties. On July 6th he sent to the military authorities at Newark a medical certificate from Dr. Saunders, stating that he was unfit to travel as he was suffering from neuritis and acute gastritis. “Crossed in the Post. “The next day her husband received from the military authorities a letter calling attention to the fact that he had overstayed his leave, and inquiring if he had any medical certificate to show that he had been ill. “The letters had crossed in the post,” said the witness, “but as we had sent a medical certificate thought that would be sufficient. He was not a deserter. He intended to go back to the regiment, because he was interested in the work.” A police officer, she added, called the on Saturday morning and said to her husband, “I have come for you.” The witness went on to say that her husband told the officer that he had sent a medical certificate to the military authorities, but the policeman said, “That was no use." Deceased then said, “All right, I'll go and get ready.” “He went out of the room, I thought into the next room, but instead went upstairs,” said the widow. “Then it was done. He was no deserter: he intended to go back yesterday. It was done because he could not bear the disgrace of being fetched.” “The Shooting. “Her husband, she added, never left the home on returning from Blackpool because he was too ill. Police-constable Whitsed said that at 9.15 a.m. on Saturday he received a warrant for the deceased's arrest from the officer commanding the Royal Engineers, Newark. According to the warrant the deceased was an absentee without leave. Witness saw the deceased at his home, and when he inquired if he were an absentee he replied, “Yes.” He mentioned that he had forwarded a medical certificate to Newark, and witness said that nothing was stated about that on the warrant. The deceased then said. “Oh, well, I'll get ready and go with you.” “The next minute,” said the officer, “I heard a revolver shot, and going upstairs I saw him sitting on the edge of the bed with a wound in his forehead and revolver by his side. I spoke to him about it, and he said that he was sorry he had done it.” “Dr. M. Foster, a lady doctor at the hospital, said the deceased was dying when admitted on Saturday. He had a bullet wound in the right temple, and his skull and brain were injured. “Jury’s Criticism. “The Jury, after considering the evidence in private. found that the deceased committed suicide during temporary insanity. They also expressed the opinion that the deceased was not deserter and “should not have been classed as one.” Above articles are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
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Photos

  • a photograph of the 'fallen' headstone marking the grave of Robert Etherington Poole in Hucknall Cemetery and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages SmalL Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    Robert Etherington Poole - a photograph of the 'fallen' headstone marking the grave of Robert Etherington Poole in Hucknall Cemetery and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages SmalL Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918