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robert isherwood 2Robert Isherwood was born in Preston in 1899. By 1911 his mother had died, leaving his father (also named Robert) to raise him and his three brothers. Robert was the eldest child, then came Marmaduke and James (both born 1901), and finally Samuel (born 1903).  They lived at 161 Fletcher Street, Preston.

On 17th April 1915, aged only 16, Robert joined the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment at Preston.  He stated he was 19 years 2 months old and had been working as a cotton operative. He stated he lived at 126 Ribbleton Lane, when in fact he was actually living next door at 125 with his aunt and uncle.

Robert was given the number 18632, but just 21 days later he was discharged due to being ‘considered unfit for service’. During his enlistment medical the Officer had discovered a valvular disease of his heart.

Undeterred, Robert Isherwood then enlisted in the Territorial Force on 31st August 1915, joining the 3/4th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 4364. On the same day, he signed the declaration that he would serve outside of the United Kingdom in the case of a National Emergency. It appears he withheld the information about his previous enlistment, he stated he had never served before.

At the time of this enlistment Robert now stated he was 18 years 6 months old (he was still 16) and that he was living with his aunt, Margaret Bleasdale at 125 Ribbleton Lane, Preston. Hegave his occupation as being a fitters apprentice.

Private Robert Isherwood qualified as a Signaller, first class and sailed for France on 17th March 1916. He joined the 1/4th Battalion in the field.

On 8th August 1916 following an action on the Somme, Robert was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. When his aunt and uncle discovered he was missing they placed an advert in the local newspaper – this advert revealed that his true age was still only 17.


In 1917, whilst still in captivity  he was allocated the new style Territorial number 201686.

On 30th April 1918 Private Robert Isherwood died in captivity at Friedrichsfeld Prisoner of War Camp, Germany. His parents received the notification of his death and placed the following notice in the paper;


 The body of Private Robert Isherwood was buried at Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany.


Photograph of CWGC headstone courtesy of Phil Child

None of his personal effects were returned to his family.

Rank: Private
Service No: 201686
Date of Death: 30/04/1918
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.

Paul McCormick
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One Response to 201686 PTE. R. ISHERWOOD. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Mgt. Stockdale nee Isherwood says:

    Pte. Robert Isherwood was my Uncle. I am the daughter of one of the twins, James , born October 1900. Their mother died in 1905 and all 4 boys continued to live with their father, Robert, and his maiden sister, Sarah. The twins, Marmaduke (Army)and James (Navy)joined up to find their brother. They continued throughout their lives to find his grave. With the advent of the internet, I found his grave within days and have visited Cologne Southern Cemetery several times. I have not found Friedrichsfeld POW Camp.
    May his soul rest in peace.

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