Private Robert Watkins


Robert Watkins was born around 1887 at Castletown, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. It appears that his parents died when he was young, because by 1905 he gave his next of kin as his uncle John Watkins of Lough View, Lough Road, County Cork. He may have been the Robert Watkins, aged 12, who in 1901 was living with his aunt Ellen Watkins at Lettermoney, Irvinestown. (Ellen died soon after.)

Watkins enlisted in the King's Liverpool Regiment at Cork on 28 March 1905 (No.9291). He gave his age as 18 years, and his occupation as clerk. He joined the regiment at Warrington a week later. On 18 March 1907 he purchased his discharged (at a cost of £18).

Watkins enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 10 December 1910 (No.561). He embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for A and C Squadrons on 9 February 1915.

When his term of service ended, Watkins chose to leave the army. He returned to Ireland and on 9 December 1915 was discharged as 'time expired'.

Watkins may have lived in England after his discharge. In March 1916 he was called-up and was posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery (No.70806). He served with No.341 Siege Battery, though no further details are known at present.