Commonwealth War Grave - Sergeant Robert Devon, (1880-1915)
Robert Devon IV was born in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland, on January 18, 1880 to Robert (Devine) Devon III (week #13) and Charlotte Whiteside. He was the fourth child, but first son born into the family. His older sister, Catherine
Devon (week #11) later became my maternal great-grandmother.
Very little is known about Robert's childhood; he appears with his family in the Scottish Census every 10 years from 1881-1901 living in Motherwell; his father worked for the local railway.
On Januray 2, 1905 at almost 25 years of age, Robert married Caroline Hyde Swift, also from Motherwell. Between 1907 and 1914, they had three sons, Robert (aka Roddy), Edward (aka Eddy) and John (aka Jack). The census (1901 & 1911)
and the marriage certificate (1905) list Robert's occupation as a Bridge Slater.
Early in World War I, Robert enlisted in the Cameronians - Scottish Rifles, 6th Battalion; by 1915 he was a Sergeant and was sent to the front lines of battle in France
and Flanders. Sadly, at the young age of 35, Robert was killed in action on June 17, 1915, 99 years ago this past week. He left behind a young widow and three small sons aged 8, 4, and 1 year. Robert Devon is buried in a war grave
at Lillers Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
from the www.cwgc:
Lillers is a small town about 15 kilometres west-north-west of Bethune. The Communal Cemetery and Extension lie to the north of the town. Within
the Communal Cemetery the Commonwealth war graves are situated on the right hand side half way up the cemetery central path, and the Extension is at the far right end of the Communal Cemetery. Both cemeteries are signposted.
Lillers was used for billets
and headquarter offices from the autumn of 1914 to April 1918. At that time it was a hospital centre with the 6th, 9th, 18th, 32nd, 49th and 58th Casualty Clearing Stations in the town at one time or another. These units buried their dead on the right of the
central path of the communal cemetery, working back from Plot I. In April 1918, the Germans advanced as far as Robecq; Lillers came under shell-fire, and the units holding this front continued to bury beyond the cemetery boundary, in the extension. The Communal
Cemetery contains 894 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 67 of which are unidentified.