Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Second Lieutenant Robert Hutchinson Andrews




Robert Hutchinson Andrews was born in the parish of Ballybrick, near Banbridge, Co. Down, on 4 June 1888, son of farmer David Henry Andrews and his wife Essie (nee Hutchinson).

He was one of the first to enlist after the war began, joining the North Irish Horse on 10 August 1914 (No.994). His profession at the time was civil engineer, and was living with his family at Fernhill House, Annaclone, Banbridge. He embarked for France on 20 August 1914 with C Squadron, taking part in the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

On 9 January 1915 he was appointed to the rank of trumpeter, and on 28 July 1915 was sent to the officer cadet school at St Omer for a course of instruction. He was commissioned a month later and posted to the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.

Andrews joined the regiment as it prepared to make a small-scale attack on the German trenches at Bois Grenier. The purpose was to pin down enemy reserves while the main attack took place at Loos that day, 25 September. The officer was killed when a German shell ignited a load of smoke candles brought forward for use in the attack. The Battalion diary for the day includes the following:

C & D Corps were heavily shelled from 4.30am to 3.30pm, but suffered comparatively slight casualties. 2nd Lieut Andrews was killed.

Apart from Andrews, the Battalion lost two officers wounded, 11 other ranks killed, 76 wounded and 15 missing in the day's action.

2nd Lieutenant Andrews is buried in Bois Grenier Communal Cemetery, Nord, France, grave F.1. His gravestone inscription reads:





Following news of his death, Andrews' father wrote to the War Office:

I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of 5th inst. announcing to me the sad news of the death of my son ... and I wish you to convey to Lord Kitchener my sincere thanks for his message of sympathy.

I would thank you to let me know if my son's kit & belongings will be forwarded to me or have I to apply for them & to what Department. I would also be pleased for any information you can give me concerning his banking account.

I would like to know the circumstances under which he met his death and you might kindly say if this can be obtained and where I should apply to.

Any information you can give me regarding his death will be gratefully received by his sorrowing mother & myself & family.

Andrews' sister wrote:


On 5th inst. we had a wire from the war office to say my brother 2nd Lieut. R.H. Andrews was killed 25-26th Sept. I am writing to you for my mother to know if you could give us any further details how he was found & how he was buried, and if we will be able to get any of his personal belongings, he was wearing a wristlet watch & gold ring.

I would also like to know if I could write to any of his brother soldiers who was with him about the time he was killed would it be possible to let me have their address.

I am sorry to have to ask such a lot of questions but we are so anxious to hear anything we can.

Trusting you will be able to tell us even a little -

Yours respectfully

Mrs Carson


Image of gravestone Copyright © Phillip Tardif with all rights reserved as set out in this Use of Material policy. Image of 2nd Lieutenant Andrews sourced from the South Dublin Library Service's Our Heroes site http://ourheroes.southdublinlibraries.ie/. Newspaper clipping from the Banbridge Chronicle of October 1915 kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (www.greatwarbelfastclippings.com).