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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium. Photograph Murray Biddle
Person Details
Huthwaite Nottinghamshire
Robert was the son of William and Florence Moakes née Ashley. His father William was born in Tibshelf, Derbyshire (also given as Huthwaite on some records) on 31 May 1867 (J/A/S Mansfield), the son of Robert and Ruth Moakes; he was baptised Tibshelf parish church on 29 December 1867. In 1881 the family was living in Huthwaite, William (15) was a pit boy. His mother Florence Ashley was born in Huthwaite in about 1871. William and Florence were married at Sutton in Ashfield St Mary Magdalene on 15 December 1890 (O/N/D Mansfield) and had nine children, four of whom died in infancy or childhood. All the children were born in Huthwaite: Robert William birth registered 1891 (J/F/M Mansfield); Ruth Florence Mary (also k/a Florrie) b. 24 October 1892; Dudless (sic, sometime called Douglas) b. 1895; Charles Henry b. 1897; twins Stephen and George b. 1899 (J/A/S Mansfield) d. 1899 (J/A/S); Eliza b. 6 July 1900; Stephen Henry b. 1902 O/N/D Mansfield) d. 1902 (O/N/D) and Henry birth registered 1904 (J/F/M Mansfield) d. 1909 (O/N/D). In 1891 William, a coal miner, and Florence were living on Station Road, Huthwaite, with their son Robert (under 1 year). Also in the household was Florence's sister Fanny (17). They were still living on Station Road in 1901. They had had seven children of whom five survived: Robert, Ruth F (8), Dudless (6), Charles (4) and Eliza (under 1 year). Also in the household was Florence's brother, Joshua Ashley (19) a coal miner loader. William and Florence had sons in 1902 and 1904 who died in infancy. Florence died in 1907 (O/N/D Mansfield) aged about 36. By 1911 William and his five surviving children were living at 30 Newcastle Street, Huthwaite. Robert was a coal miner, Florry (no occupation, presumably keeping house for the family), Dudless and Charles who were both coal miners, and Eliza. The family home was still at 30 Newcastle Street when Robert was killed in 1915. However, the later CWGC records of both Robert and Charles give William's address as 124 Sutton Road, Huthwaite. Their brother Dudlass also served, William, a retired coal miner, was still living in Sutton in Ashfield in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled. He died in 1940 (A/M/J Mansfield). His brother Charles Henry served in the Royal Field Artillery and was killed in 1917. Of Robert's surviving siblings: Ruth Florence Mary married Percy Partlow in 1912 (J/F/M Mansfield). They had three children, Henry b. 1912 (registered Mansfield), Florence b. 30 August 1915 (registered Hemsworth) and Percy b. 9 December 1920 (registered 1921 J/F/M Hemsworth). In 1939 they were living on Ashbourne Road, Derby. Percy (b. 13 August 1890) was a shopkeeper (fish and chips) and his wife a shop assistant. Also in the household were their two children, Florence a hosiery machinist and Percy a shop assistant (fish and chips) together with Henry's wife Gwendoline (b. 8 August 1914, m. 1938 J/F/M Derby) who was also a shop assistant. Ruth died on 31 October 1971 and her husband in 1984. Dudlass served in the Sherwood Foresters (12989 Private, Douglas Moakes). He enlisted on the outbreak of war and served abroad from 2 August 1915 first in Gallipoli and later France. He was discharged from the army on 4 July 1919. He probably died in 1957 (J/F/M Mansfield). Eliza married Tom Heathcote (b. 9 December 1895) at St Mary the Virgin, South Elmsall, Yorkshire, on 25 December 1919. Eliza (19) was then living at 17 Kirton Street, South Elmsall, and her husband, a coal miner, at 16 Victoria Street. They had two daughters, Florence J. b. 1920 (Hemsworth) and Margaret b. 28 December 1928 (1929 J/F/M Hemsworth). In 1939 they were living in Hemsworth, Yorkshire, with their daughter Margaret. Eliza died in 1977 (J/F/M Pontefract).
He was a miner at New Hucknall Colliery
15 Jun 1915
25
155404 - CWGC Website
956
30 Newcastle Street, Huthwaite
Private
1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
'C' Company 1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters Robert enlisted in the Territorial Force on on 22nd August 1910 at Sutton in Ashfield, on a 4 year engagement with the 8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters. He gave his age as 19 yrs 7 months, his occupation as a coal miner (New Hucknall Colliery) and religion Church of England. He undertook initial training and attended summer camp every year, the first at Scarborough 30 July 1911 to 13 August 1911 followed by 4-18 August 1912, Thoresby Camp 27 July-10 August 1913 and finally to Humanby Camp on 26 July-3 August 1914. It was while he was at Humanby camp that war was declared. He embarked from Southampton on 25th February 1915 and joined the British Expeditionary Force on 2nd March 1915. The 1/8th battalion was in the area of Kemmel in 1915 and early in June 'took over more of the J and K trenches, with the reserve company at Siege Farm and Battalion Headquarters at Rossignol Farm.' ('History of the 1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters 1914-1919', Capt. WCC Weetman) On 15 June 1915 the enemy, whose trenches were within 60-70 yards of the battalion's front line, exploded three mines, one of which blew up a portion of J3 Right trench, killing two men. Some enemy soldiers got into the mine crater but were repelled by 'C' Company. The battalion's casualties that day included two officers, a corporal and eight men killed. Robert was killed in the above action and was buried in Kemmel Miltary Cemetery, Belgium (grave ref. D.69).
His brother Charles served during the war in the Royal Field Artillery and died of wounds on 16th June 1917. He was buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. (See record on this Roll of Honour) 1/8th Bn casualties, 15 June 1915: Lieutenant AFO Dobson (grave ref. D.64), Lieutenant WH Hollins (D.70), Corporal F Wilcox (D.71), Privates AE Armitage (D.65), B Cox (D.67), FW Hill (D.66), P May (D.72), RW Moakes (D.69) and W Richardson (D.68) buried Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery and Privates OL Bryan and A Cook commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.. Mansfield Reporter, 25 June 1915: ‘The 8th Sherwoods Badly Damaged. This interesting letter has been received by Mrs Wilson, wife of Ald. JL Wilson, from her son who is at the front. In the letter, which refers to the death of Lance Corporal Charlie Wilson, he adds that he attended Charlie’s burial ‘in a special ground we have in a village, just behind our lines’ [now Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery] Just as we were waiting for the chaplain (about 9.15pm) there came from the trenches a terrific report, followed by two others almost instantly. At the same time the sky was lighted up by [a] tremendous flash, followed by a continuous roar of rifle fire and artillery. Of course, we knew immediately that it was a mine blown up, and that it must have been a German one, too. I cannot describe to you what it was like, but for at least an hour the roar was simply deafening.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk Notts. Free Press, July 1915, photograph and report: 'He was killed in the disaster which recently befell the battalion when their trenches were mined. He was 24 years of age, and had been a member of the Sutton "Terriers" for three years. He was unmarried, and was employed at New Hucknall Colliery, and his family live in Newcastle Street. The photograph was taken at Luton. 'A letter has been received by his family from the chaplain of the regiment describing his funeral. It states that the men are buried in separate graves, which are planted with shrubs, etc. A Huthwaite man, writing home, mentions that he has seen the grave. He says it was in nice order, with a wooden cross at the head. 'At the Parish Church on Sunday morning the Rev. F.N. Beswick made reference to the death of Private Moakes. He preached from the text "The Lord is my refuge and strength," and the hymn "Sun of my soul" was sung to his memory, while the Union Jack flew at half-mast on the tower during the service. Mansfield Advertiser – 2nd. July, 1915. - HUTHWAITE “TERRIER” KILLED. 'A Huthwaite man, Private Robert Wm. Moakes, has been killed in action. He was a member of the 8th. Notts and Derby (T.F.) and his home was in Newcastle Street, Huthwaite. He was 24 years of age and was previously employed at New Hucknall Colliery. At the Parish Church. On Sunday morning the Union Jack was hoisted to half-mast, and a service held to his memory, conducted by the Rev. F.N. Beswick, his text being “God is our refuge and strength” and the hymn “Sun of my soul”, which was sung by Pte. Moakes’s comrades over his grave, was sung. 'A letter has been received by his family from the chaplain of the regiment to the effect that his grave is well cared for and planted with shrubs. A Huthwaite soldier writing home also says that he has seen it, and states that the dead are laid in separate graves, each with a wooden cross and flowers. Pte. Moakes met his end when the trenches were mined, the casualties including a large number from this locality. 'At New Hucknall Colliery, where a number of the Sutton Company of Territorials were employed, the Union Jack was flying at half-mast for several days on the colliery headstocks.' Mansfield Reporter, 2 July 1915:’Soldier Killed. A Huthwaite man, Private Robert Wm. Moakes, has been killed in action. He was a member of the 8th Notts. And Derby (TF), and his home was in Newcastle-street, Huthwaite. He was 24 years of age, and was previously employed at New Hucknall Colliery. At the Parish Church on Sunday morning the Union Jack was hoisted to half-mast, and a service held to his memory, conducted by the Rev. RM Beswick. The text was ‘God is our refuge and strength', and the hymn, ‘Sun of my soul', which was sung by Private Moakes’s comrades over his grave. A letter has been received by his family from the chaplain of the regiment, to the effect that his grave is well cared for, and planted with shrubs. A Huthwaite soldier writing home also says that he has seen it, and states that the dead are laid in separate graves, each with a wooden cross and flowers. Private Moakes met his end when the trenches were mined, the casualties including a large number from this locality. At New Hucknall Colliery, where a number of the Sutton Company of Territorials were employed, the Union Jack was flying at half-mast for several days on the colliery headstocks.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father William was his legatee.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium. Photograph Murray Biddle
    Robert William Moakes - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium. Photograph Murray Biddle