Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Sapper Robert William Nesbitt

 

 

 

Robert William Nesbitt was born on 25 May 1894 at 43 Athol Street, Belfast, the fourth of seven children of Royal Irish Constabulary sergeant Joseph Nesbitt and his wife Charlotte (nee Courtney). By 1911 he was living at Athol Street with his family and working as a railway engine cleaner.

Nesbitt enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 11 and 23 February 1916 (No.2118). However at the end of May he transferred to the Royal Engineers (No.201658). Later in the war he was posted to the Railway Operation Troops Depot of the Royal Engineers (No. WR/260378). He embarked for France between 1916 and 1918.

Nesbitt was discharged on 7 April 1919 due to illness (Para 392 xvi King's Regulations). He died at home at 6 Athol Street on 11 November 1919. The cause of death was recorded as pulmonary tuberculosis, although newspaper reports stated his death was due to "gas poisoning". He was buried in the Belfast City Cemetery, grave P.136. The gravestone inscription reads:

WR/260378 SAPPER
R. W. NESBITT
ROYAL ENGINEERS
11TH NOVEMBER 1919 AGE 25

AT THE GOING DOWN
OF THE SUN
AND IN THE MORNING
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

 

Sapper Nesbitt's older brother Joseph Thomas Courtney Nesbitt served as a police constable at Newcastle-on-Tyne until May 1918, when he joined the Grenadier Guards.

 

Image of Sapper Nesbitt from the Belfast Evening Telegraph, late 1919, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (www.greatwarbelfastclippings.com). Gravestone image kindly provided by Mick McCann, through his British War Graves website www.britishwargraves.co.uk.