Private Robert John Linton


Robert John Linton was born on 21 February 1900 at Artnacrea, Clogh, County Antrim, the tenth of sixteen children of farmer Robert John Linton and his wife Mary (née Gregg). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Artnacrea with his parents and six of his seven surviving siblings.

Linton enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Ballymoney on 28 August 1916, reporting for duty at Antrim the following day. He gave his age as 19, although he was only 16 at the time. He was issued regimental number 2253.

Soon after, however, Linton's true age was discovered. He was discharged at Antrim on 9 September 1916, 'having made a mis-statement as to his age on enlistment' (paragraph 392(vi), King's Regulations).

In November 1917 Linton re-enlisted, this time in the Royal Garrison Artillery (No.178765). He was posted to Base Details, but at some point in the war served overseas.


Two of Linton's brothers also served in the war. Samuel Linton, in the Royal Field Artillery, was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Medal; David Linton, in the Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the Somme on 1 July 1916. On 8 March 1918 the Ballymena Observer reported that:

... Corporal Samuel Linton, Royal Field Artillery, has been presented with the Military Medal and Distinguished Conduct Medal at a special parade in Victoria Barracks, Belfast, on Wednesday, 20th February. Corporal Linton is a son of Mr. R. J. Linton, who is an extensive farmer in Artnacrea, Clough, and was awarded the D.C.M. "for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He has shown great coolness and bravery under fire, and has set a splendid example to the men," this being announced in a supplement to the London Gazette on 9th July 1917. He won the M.M. for bravery on the field. Corporal Linton's brother David, killed in action, was in the Royal Irish Rifles, and another brother, John [sic], is serving with the Royal Garrison Artillery.