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Person Details
Yarm, Yorkshire
Robert Wilford was born in 1895 in Yarm, Yorkshire and was the son of Robert Levi Wilford a hotel proprietor and Jane Eliza Wilford née Foster of The Black Bull Hotel, Yarm, Yorks. His father Robert Levi was born in 1859 in Welbury, Yorkshire and his mother Jane Eliza Foster was born in 1861 in Yarm, Yorkshire, they were married in 1883 their marriage was recorded in the Middlesborough Registration District, they went on to have 13 children , however sadly 3 were to die in infancy or early childhood, their children recorded in the 1901 and 1911 census were : Winifred Margery b1884, Bertram b1886, Isabel b1888, Stanley b1889, Georgina b1891, Henry Leslie b1894, Constance May b1894, Robert Wilford b1895, Angela Dorothy b1898, Phillip Basil b1900, and Phyllis Sarah b1902 all the children were born in Yarm. In the 1911 census the family are living at the Black Bull Hotel , Yarm and are shown as Robert Levi 52 yrs a hotel proprietor, he is living with his wife Jane Eliza 50 yrs and their children , Winifred Margery 27 yrs an assistant music teacher, Bertram 25 yrs a brewers clerk, Stanley 22 a insurance agents clerk, Henry Leslie 17 yrs a business assistant, Constance May 17 yrs a business assistant. Robert Wilford 16 yrs a scholar, Phillip Basil 11 yrs a scholar and Phyllis Sarah 9 yrs a scholar, also living with the family is Mary Pattison Best a 26 yr old servant.
He was educated at Middlesborough High School for Boys and at Nottingham university and gained a B.A. at (London University).
23 Nov 1917
1757871 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
5th Bn Alexandra Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment)
Second Lieutenant Robert Wilford joined the Officer Training Corps whilst at Nottingham University. He subsequently received a commission into the 5th battalion Yorkshire Regiment on 23rd November 1916. . It was whilst serving on attachment to the 13th battalion, that he was killed in action on the Cambrai front , leading an assault on 23rd November 1917. He has no known grave, his name is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval.
His name is also commemorated on the Middlesborough College Memorial in Middlehaven, the memorial board was originally located in the Middlesborough High School for Boys. Following 2 articles were published in the Harrogate Herald First is dated - 5th December 1917 Roll of Honour Second Lieutenant Robert Wilford, of the Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action in the fighting on the Cambrai front on November 23rd. He was a son of the late Robert Wilford and of Mrs Wilford, of Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, and nephew of Mr T E Wilford, Franklin Mount, Harrogate, and of the firm of Messrs Wilford & Howard, Yorkshire House, Harrogate. The news was contained in a letter from a brother officer, who spoke of Second Lieutenant Wilford meeting a hero's death, gallantly leading his men against the enemy. The young officer was intended for the scholastic profession, for which he had shown brilliant qualities, and had gained several scholarships, and the profession loses a promising student by his death. He was at the Nottingham University when war broke out, being already in the OTC, and he subsequently received a commission in a Yorkshire regiment. He was, a short time ago, home on leave, and spent a few days in Harrogate. Of three chums who went out together, two have now made the great sacrifice. Second is dated - 12th December 1917 Roll of Honour The following letter has been received by Mrs Wilford, mother of Second Lieutenant R Wilford : "Dear Mrs Wilford, I cannot tell you how exceedingly sorry I am that I am compelled to be the bearer of bad news. Your son, Lieutenant Wilford, was killed on the 23rd ult., during an attack on very strong enemy positions. He was leading forward his men at the time, cheering them on, and encouraging them in a particularly brave and gallant fashion, when he was shot through the head and killed instantly. We are all exceedingly sorry to lose Lieutenant Wilford. His ready smile and sunny disposition, his bright and winsome personality, had endeared him to everyone, and every remaining officer and man in the battalion mourns with you the loss of such a fine and gallant soldier. His personal effects will be collected and sent to you through his bankers as soon as possible. If there is anything that I can do for you, please do not hesitate to write and ask. I shall esteem it a great privilege to be able to do anything in memory of such a gallant lad and personal friend. With the sincerest and most heartfelt sympathy with you in your great and sad bereavement. I am yours very sincerely, William Brownlie, Captain RAMC
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