1885 - 1916
CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916
Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916
Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Pte 16593 Robert Harley McElnea
- Age: 30
- From: Bootle
- Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 18th Btn
- D.O.W Sunday 23rd September 1917
- Commemorated at: Outtersteene Cc Ext, Bailleul
Panel Ref: I.B.11
In 1881 and 1891 his father is shown as a grocer. The 1891 Census shows the family were living at Gonville Road, Bootle.
Robert was educated at Bedford Road school and Bootle Secondary school.
Prior to the outbreak of the war he had been employed by Messrs. Lamb Bros and previously for some years had been on the Borough Library staff.
Robert enlisted at St George's Hall in Liverpool on 01st September 1914 as Private 16593 joining the 18th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment. His papers show his age on enlistinment to be 27 years and 3 months. He is described as 5" 7, weighing 130 lbs. He is of fresh complexion with dark grey eyes and brown hair. He enlisted alogside his brother William, Private 16594, in the same battalion.
From the 23rd September 1914 he was billeted at Hooton Park Race Course and remained there until 03rd December 1914 when they moved into the hutted accommodation at Lord Derby’s estate at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 18th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. He arrived in France on 7th November 1915.
His mother died in 1915, aged 67.
“September 23, at the 2nd Casualty Clearing Station, France, from wounds received in action, Private Robert H. McElnea, K.L.R., the dearly-loved and youngest son of John and the late Esther McElnea, 20, Oriel Road.”
A report on his death also appeared in the Bootle Times dated 26th October 1917:
SECONDARY SCHOOL "OLD BOY."
PRIVATE R.H. McELNEA DIES OF WOUNDS.
Private R.H. McEnea, K.L.R., youngest son of Mr. and the late Mrs. John McElnea, 20, Oriel-road, Bootle, was severely wounded in action on September 22 and died the following day at a casualty clearing station in France.
His death is deplored by the many friends that a lovable, generous, and warm-hearted disposition had gained for him. He was an "old boy" of Bedford-road Council school and of Bootle Secondary School, from whence he joined the staff of the Bootle Library, remaining there for some years. At the outbreak of war he was an esteemed member of the staff of Messrs. Lamb Brothers timber merchants. He joined September, 1914, the 2nd Liverpool Pals (with his brother, to whom he was very deeply attached). He went to France on November 1st, 1915, and had only obtained his first leave two months ago. He is buried at a military cemetery in France.His personal effects were returned to the family in February 1918 and included letters, photographs, a reliigious book, steel mirror, wallet, pocket lamp and artificial dentures. His medals were sent to his father at 20 Oriel Road, Bootle in July 1919.
Robert now rests at Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Ballieul where his headstone bears the poignant epitaph:
"TO THE HONOURED MEMORY OF OUR BELOVED YOUNGEST SON AND BROTHER (BOB).
Robert is also commemorated on the following Memorials:
Bedford Road school
Bootle Secondary school
Bootle Civic Memorial
Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bootle.
Probate of his estate was obtained at Liverpool on the 9th February 1918 by John McElnea, city missionary . His effects were valued at £116, 7s 8d.