Robert Blackwell, Private 11967, 1st Garrison Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Died 23rd July 1918 at Macclesfield, aged 34
Robert Blackwell was born in 1884 and baptised on 22 April 1885 at Christ Church, Bradford, Manchester, the son of Elizabeth (nee Roberts) and Louis (or Lewis) Blackwell, a collier of 65 Edensor St, Bradford, Manchester.
Robert’s father died in 1890 and at the time of the 1891 census Robert and his mother were visiting his maternal aunt, Maria Fletcher, who lived at Eden Cottages, Bradley Lane, Frodsham, Cheshire. Ten years later in 1901, Robert was living with his aunt at Queen’s Head Yard, Main Street, Frodsham, and employed as a stonemason’s apprentice.
In 1911 Robert, then aged 27, was living at the Salvation Army Home, Mill Street, Rochdale. He was employed as a stonemason.
On 29 August 1914 Robert enlisted in Macclesfield with the Cheshire Regiment, receiving service number 11967, having previously served for 14 years with the 5th Cheshire Regt. He was sent for training with the 3rd Cheshire Regiment and was reprimanded several times for absence.
On 18 August 1915 Pte Blackwell was posted to Gibraltar with the 1st Garrison Battalion, where he served until 22 July 1916. On 24 August 1916 Pte Blackwell was discharged from the Army due to his poor health, after being diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis. Pte Blackwell’s application for an Army pension shows that after leaving the Army he lived at 35 Mill Lane, Sutton, Macclesfield; he stated that he had no next of kin.
Pte Blackwell was awarded a silver war badge (for those unable to serve due to injury or ill-health) in February 1917, and died on 23 July 1918. A notice of his death was printed in the Macclesfield Courier on 3 August 1918:
BLACKWELL – On July 23rd, at 35, Mill Lane, Robert Blackwell, aged 35 years.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Deaths
Manchester Parish Baptism Registers: (Ancestry) Christ Church, Bradford, Manchester
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
British Army Medal Index Cards (Ancestry)
WWI Silver War Badge Records (Ancestry)
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920 (Find My Past)
Macclesfield Cemetery burial records
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Courier: 3 August 1918