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The following article was researched, written and submitted for inclusion by Linda Allsop, the Gt Granddaughter of Robert Sanderson.

robert sanderson
Robert Sanderson was born 8 April 1879 in Ousby Street, Preston.  He was baptised on the 29 June 1879 at St John’s Church.  After leaving school he worked as a spinner in the cotton mill.  He enlisted in the Loyal N Lancs on 25 August 1898 with the number 5661.  He served in the Boer War and was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal.  He was a regular soldier and in 1903 he married Emma Potts on 11 April at St Thomas’ Church, Preston.  They had 3 children Maria born 1905, Beatrice born 1912 and Alfred born 1916.

When the war broke out in 1914 Robert was still serving in Section D of the Reserve (number 6766) and was recalled to the Colours. He was posted into the 1st Battalion and sailed to France in August 1914. He was injured in Ypres (Belgium) on the 23 October having received a gun-shot wound to the thigh.  He was sent home on the hospital ship, The St David.

The following article appeared in the Burnley News on 5th December 1914.

sanderson-robert

The events mentioned in the article regarding Major Powell and his chair are also discussed HERE.

He returned to France on the 2nd March 1915 and was appointed Lance Corporal on 15th July 1915. In May 1917 he had been on leave in the UK and had returned to France on the 23rd May he was by now serving with the 10th (Service) Battalion.  Sadly his wife Emma died of TB the same day, but Robert was only allowed to return to the UK on special leave, on the 31st May until 10th June.

Robert Sanderson during WW1

Photo of Robert Sanderson possibly during some sort of theatrical production during the War

Their 3 children had to be separated and brought up by different family members.  This must have proved a difficult time for Robert as he asked to revert back to being a Private on 21 September 1917.

He continued to fight in the war, returning to France once again. He transferred to the Suffolk Regiment with the number 35453.  In 1918 he transferred to the Royal Engineers with the number WR/127115 meaning he was working on the waterways and railways. After the war was over he continued in the Army reserves until 1920. When he left, a Disability Army Pension was awarded to Pioneer Robert Sanderson, his was address 93 Gordon Street, Preston.

For his service in the war, he was awarded 3 medals.  The 1914/15 star, The British War medal and The Victory Medal. All of his medals are on display at the Museum of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment in Fulwood Barracks in Preston.

Robert Sanderson's medals

Although he survived two wars, Robert died at the age of 46 on the 13 March 1926 of pneumonia.  He was buried at Padiham Parish Church on 17 March 1926. His son Alfred also followed in his father’s footsteps joined the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) in 1935.  He went to Shangai with the 2nd Batt in 1936 and then onto Singapore in 1938.  He was taken as a Prisoner of war in 1942 and sent to help build the Thai-Burma railway, but sadly died of dysentery on 27 August 1943 in  Kami Sonkrai number 3 camp, Thailand.

Paul McCormick
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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul McCormick
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