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WW1 Casualty: Private 265766 Robert Bacon -

Private 265766 Robert Bacon

St Helens Reporter (courtesy of Ste M)

Unit/Regiment 12th Bn., Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
Date of Death 18/07/1917 Age at Death 21
& Reference
Kantara War Memorial Cemetery
C 79
Census Details 1901 Census -

Living at 17 St Paul Street, St Helens, are Michael Bacon, aged 28, a glass worker, his wife Elizabeth (23), and sons Robert (4), Willie (2) and Richard (3 months).

1911 Census -
Living at 14, Paul Street, St Helens were Michael Bacon (38), his wife Elizabeth Ann (33), and their children Robert (14), William (12), Richard (10), John (8), Elizabeth (5), Arthur (3) and Ernest (1)
Birth/Marriage/Death Registrations Birth Registered Q4/1896, Prescot, 8b, 781
SDGW – Where Born Prescot, Lancs
Enlisted St Helens, Lancs
How Died Killed In Action Theatre of War Egypt
Research Ref. No. P009

Service Details

Robert Bacon attested into the 12th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 8th November 1915 in St. Helens, originally having the service number P1385. At some point in his service, the regiment was renumbered and Pte. Bacon was assigned service number 265766.

He recorded Prescot as his birthplace although at the time of attestation, the family were living in St. Helens. Robert was aged 19 years and 6 days, stood 5 foot 6 inches in height and weighed 124 pounds. He was a Glassmaker by trade and in good physical condition.

His next of kin was his father, Michael John Bacon, of 42, St Paul Street, St. Helens.

The battalion had been raised in August 1915 as a Pioneer Battalion and was initially based at Lytham. It was here that Private Bacon joined the battalion after his attestation.

In March 1916 the battalion was finally deemed to be ready for overseas service and was sent to Norfolk for the completion of its engineering training. Shortly after this they were attached to the 60th (London) Division whose commanding officer said of them after the war, "They were a hard-bitten, thirsty lot of Lancashire miners, but what they could do with a spade was a perfect revelation.....I attribute our comparatively low casualty returns to the rapidity with which these pioneers......managed to lower the depth of the trenches (at Vimy Ridge) by eighteen inches in record time".

Pte. Bacon remained in the UK training until 21st June 1916 when the battalion left Southampton on board the s.s. "Cesarea" and the H.M.T. "Dundalk" en route for Le Havre, where they joined the British Expeditionary Force on 22nd June.

The battalion was split up on pioneer duties of all kinds, repairing front line and communication trenches and also working on the light railway. This work continued throughout the first part of the year as preparations for the forthcoming Somme battle progressed.

It was August before the battalion suffered its first fatality, with one man being killed and another dying of wounds. The War Diaries for this period record vast amounts of work done by the battalion in repairing and strengthening trenches.

In November of 1916 it was decided that the 60th Division, including the 12th Battalion, was selected to proceed to Salonika. However before they moved, the Loyals were detached from the 60th Division and attached to the 32nd Division. They remained in the area of Beaumont Hamel in the Somme sector until early 1917, when they were instructed to rejoin the 60th Division in Salonika.

Private Bacon's service record shows that he remained in France until January 1917, when the battalion was moved to Marseilles then shipped to Salonika on board the s.s. "Menominee", where they arrived on 23rd January 1917.

They remained in Salonika until 6th February when the battalion marched out to Snevce Camp, where they were based while they worked on repairing the Snevce-Karamudli road.

It is recorded that Pte. Bacon was in hospital for 3 days early in April 1917 suffering from Pyrexia, then again in May 1917, suffering from Trench Fever.

He was sent to the Convalescent Depot on 30th May, and rejoined the battalion on 12th June. A week later, on 19th June, the battalion left Salonika for Egypt, arriving in Alexandria on the 22nd.

The next entry in Private Bacon's service record shows that on the 18th July 1917, he accidentally drowned whilst bathing at Kantara. He was buried at Kantara Cemetery the next day, with the Rev. A. J. Bennett officiating.

The extract from Pte. Bacon's service record which records his death.

The Register of Soldiers Effects shows that Joint Legatees were Robert's mother Elizabeth, and a Miss Mary Jackman

Robert Bacon's Medal Index Card, listing the British War Medal and the Victory Medal as his entitlement

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