Robert Meek, Second Lieutenant, 5th Bn. British West Indies Regiment
Died 2nd October 1918 in Israel, aged 39
Robert Meek was born on 25 May and baptised on 4 June 1879 at Macclesfield Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Church, the only son of Sarah Dunn and Robert Henry Meek, who later lived at “Rowanwood”, Park Lane, Macclesfield.
The death of 2nd Lt. Meek was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 11 October 1918:
Mr and Mrs Robert H Meek, Rowanwood, Park Lane, received news from the War Office on Saturday night informing them of the death of their only son, 2nd Lieut Robert Meek, British West Indies Regt, on active service in Palestine. The date or other particulars of his death have not yet been received.
Lieut Meek was very well-known in the town and district. He was educated at the Macclesfield Grammar School… and during the time he was in Macclesfield he took a keen interest in athletics. For the past nine years he has been mostly abroad, in Belgium, Ceylon, India and the West Indies. In 1912 he was invalided home after a very serious illness. He recovered and about five years ago he accompanied the Mayor and Mayoress (Councillor J G and Mrs Frost) on a tour to the West Indies, Central America and the Panama Canal.
On the outbreak of war Lieut Meek was living in Jamaica, being the owner of a plantation there. He volunteered for the Army and was at once given a commission in the British West Indies Regt. He had previous experience of Army life, having served as a volunteer in Ceylon. After a very short period of training the Regiment was drafted to Egypt and crossed the desert to Palestine. Lieut Meek fought in the battles at Gaza and Beersheba. He was later injured in the arm and septic poisoning supervened, which necessitated an operation. On recovering he rejoined his unit.
Lieut Meek, who is 39 years of age, went out to Ceylon as an engineer and became very interested in planting, and was offered a position as a manager and engineer of a large plantation owned by a rubber company. On going to Jamaica he had an estate of his own. Lieut Meek was a Freemason, being a member of the Palatine Lodge in Macclesfield.
2nd Lieut Robert Meek is buried at the Gaza War Cemetery, Israel, in grave ref. XXVII. A. 2. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for 2nd Lieut Robert Meek, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, 2nd Lieut Robert Meek is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church and Macclesfield Grammar School war memorials, and on the Brunswick Wesleyan Methodist Church roll of honour.
Cheshire Non-conformist & Roman Catholic Baptism Registers (Find My Past):Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Church, Macclesfield
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 11 October 1918, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)