Robert Dewar

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment:
  • Place of enlistment:
  • Service no: Clyde Z/1850
  • Rank: Leading Seaman
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  • Unit/Ship: Anson Battalion, R.N. Div
  • Place of Death: France
  • Age at Death: 21
  • Date of Death: 28.04.1917
  • Burial Country: France
  • Cemetery: Arras Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Bay 1

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 5 Blyth Street, Dundee
  • Occupation:
  • Mother:

    Betsy Rodger Dewar, 5 Blyth St, Dundee

  • Father:

    Alexander Dewar, 5 Blyth St, Dundee

  • Siblings:
  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about Robert Dewar

Robert has no known grave but is remembered on the Arras Memorial.

Robert Dewar   CZ/1850   Anson Bn  Royal Naval Division

DEWAR___Reported wounded and missing since 28th April last, now reported to have been killed on that day, No. 1850, Leading Seaman Robert Dewar, 21 years, R.N.D., only son of Mr and Mrs Dewar, 5 Blyth Street, Dundee.

Dundee People’s Journal 28th August 1917

Robert Dewar was the son of Mr Alexander and Mrs Betsy Rodger Dewar of 5 Blyth Street, Dundee and was employed as a Hackle Worker. In late October 1914 he volunteered to join the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve onboard HMS Unicorn for service in the Royal Naval Division. After initial Naval Training at the Crystal Palace in South London he was sent to Blandford Camp in Dorset for advanced military training and drafted to the Benbow Battalion. In May 1915 the Benbow sailed for Gallipoli arriving at the end of the month. It played a supporting role in the Third Battle of Krithia during which the RND as a whole suffered very heavy losses. The Benbow was disbanded and the men sent to fill the gaps in other Battalions. Robert Dewar was transferred the Anson Battalion. In July he was hospitalised with influenza but returned to his unit and saw out the rest of the campaign on the Peninsula. From January 1916 the men were employed in garrison duties until May when the Anson sailed for France. After training in Army tactics the Anson Battalion began to experience the war on the Western Front and was being prepared to join in the Somme battle. One of the first day’s objectives of the British attack on 1 July 1916 was the capture of the village of Beaucourt just to the west of the River Ancre. It was finally taken on 14 November by the men of the RND. This was the first major operation by the RND in France and established a reputation for being a “Can Do” Division. However, the casualty list was very long and over 30 local men were killed and countless more wounded. This was the worst ever day for Dundee’s Naval forces in the First World War. Robert Dewar was wounded and buried by a shell explosion during the attack. On recovery, he returned to the Anson but was severely wounded in December by an accidental explosion and hospitalised until January 1917. He was granted leave and also advanced to Leading Seaman. Robert Dewar was listed as missing during the fighting at Gavrelle in April 1917 and later confirmed as killed in action. His body was not recovered and his name is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Northern France.

Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

Additional information kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell.

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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