William Robb

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment:
  • Place of enlistment: HMS Unicorn, Dundee
  • Service no: Z/395
  • Rank: Leading Seaman
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Division
  • Unit/Ship: Drake Battalion, Royal Naval Division
  • Place of Death: 61 Watson St, Dundee
  • Age at Death: 26
  • Date of Death: 05.09.1919
  • Burial Country:
  • Cemetery:
  • Grave/Mem Ref no:

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 61 Watson Street, Dundee
  • Occupation: Labourer
  • Mother:

    Mrs Christine Robb, 61 Watson St, Dundee

  • Father:

    Mr James Robb of 61 Watson Street, Dundee

  • Siblings:


  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about William Robb

William Robb was the son of Mr James Robb of 61 Watson Street, Dundee and worked as a Labourer. He was one of the first Dundee men to volunteer to join the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve onboard HMS Unicorn for service in the Royal Naval Division (RND). His initial Naval training was carried out at the Crystal Palace in South London and in November he was drafted to A Company of the Drake Battalion which was billeted at Manderston Stables at Duns, Berwickshire in November. Manderston House was presented with commemorative scroll listing Officers and Men of the Battalion and this is on display at the House. In January 1915 the Battalion entrained for Blandford Camp in Dorset to undertake Brigade and Divisional Training with the rest of the RND. At the end of February nine Battalions of the RND, including the Drake, sailed for the Eastern Mediterranean and prepared for action in the Dardanelles. Allied troops began landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April. The RND took part in the Second and Third Battle of Krithia in early May and June. William Robb became ill with dysentery in August and was evacuated to hospital at Giza, Egypt. He rejoined the Drake Battalion in October, remained with the battalion after the evacuation from Gallipoli in January 1916 when it garrisoned Aegean islands until June when it sailed for France and the Western Front. In November, William Robb was hospitalised with Trench Foot and, later in January 1917, influenza. Throughout 1917 the Drake Battalion took part in several battles including Gavrelle and Passchendaele. In late December he was granted 10 days leave and, on his return in January 1918, was advanced to Leading Seaman. In March he was severely wounded by Gas Shells and evacuated to Cardiff for treatment. After recovery, he transferred to Sea Service in July and was drafted from HMS Pembroke, the Naval Barracks at Chatham, to HMS Actaeon, the Base Ship at Sheerness in Kent. On 24 April 1919 he was demobilised. He is mentioned in the Peoples Journal in 1925 and in the Dundee City Roll of Honour.

For reasons unknown this man is not listed on the C.W.G.C. He was the brother of Pte James Robb, 428417, who died of wounds, 06.02.1919.

William Robb   CZ/395   Drake Bn   R.N.D.

ROBB—At 61 Watson Street, on the 5th September, William Robb, son of Mr and Mrs Robb, aged 26 years (of pneumonia, after serving with the Royal Naval Division, for 4½ years).

Dundee People’s Journal 27th September 1919

Additional information supplied by Gary Thomson.

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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