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Robert Woodside was born in August 1897 in West Derby, Liverpool. His father Hugh Reid Woodside was a police constable. His mother was Elizabeth (nee Terry). Robert was the youngest of five children, all males. His brothers were James Terry, William, Hugh Reid and John. On both the 1901 and 1911 census they were living at 23 Smollett Street, Liverpool.

Robert’s mother died in 1912, and his father in 1913.

Robert enlisted in the Army at Liverpool on 11th September 1914. He was 17 years 20 days old and had been working as a porter, he had no previous military experience.

At his enlistment medical he was described as being 5ft 8.5in tall and weighed 120 lbs. He was of fresh complexion with grey eyes and brown hair. He was considered fit for service and was given the service number 15614. Later that month he joined the 9th (Service) Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

Prior to enlisting Robert had been living at 7 Thomas Road, Kensington, Liverpool with his brother James.

On 24th September 1915 Robert sailed from Folkestone as part of the initial deployment of the 9th Battalion to France. Robert was part of ‘B’ Company.

Private Robert Woodside was wounded in action on 27th January 1916. He had sustained a gun shot wound to his head. The Army immediately informed his next of kin, his eldest brother James.

On 5th February 1916, Robert died of his wounds at 2nd Casualty Clearing Station. James wrote to the Army three days later (8th Feb) asking for more information about his brother’s wounds, where he was and if he could see him. Official notification of his death then followed. The following article appeared in the Liverpool Echo on 22nd February 1916:


James took receipt of Robert’s possessions and the medals, memorial plaque and scroll to which he was entitled. The possessions sent back from France were:

  • 1 x Disc
  • 1 x Diary
  • 1 x Purse
  • 1 x Penknife
  • 1 x Pct of Photos

Robert Woodside served a total of 1 year 147 days in the Army and is buried at Bailleul Community Cemetery, France.

Rank: Private
Service No: 15614
Date of Death: 05/02/1916
Age: 18
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, “B” Coy. 9th Bn.

The following year another brother, Hugh Reid Woodside (named after his father) was killed in action with the Kings Liverpool Regiment.

Rank: Private
Service No: 356153
Date of Death: 29/06/1917
Regiment/Service: The King’s (Liverpool Regiment), 2nd/10th Bn.

Paul McCormick
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