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Robert Middleton

Date of birth: 26.12.1924
Date of death: 3.8.1944
Area: Wakefield
Regiment: Coldstream Guards (5th Battalion)
Family information: Son of Arthur and Lily Middleton of Old Royston
Rank: Guardsman
Service number: 2658429

Robert was born on 26th December 1926. He and his older sister Eileen were especially close to one another because their parents divorced and their father re-married. Auntie Elsie Fox (their father’s sister) was very fond of Robert and it was through her sense of loss that she requested his name be put on the Crofton War Memorial. Eileen had been born in the parish but Robert was born at Long Row, Sharlston. Robert loved the outdoors and sport of all kinds – he was game for anything. He was a member of the church choir and the Boys Brigade in Crofton.
After leaving school Robert went down the mine but after cutting his finger in a pit accident he asked his father to sign his papers to enable him to become a boy soldier at fourteen and a half years of age. Robert was very tall, dark haired and brown eyed so it was not surprising that the boy soldier became a guardsman. He was a quiet, smiling young man.
Robert served at Perbright Barracks after his training and then went to France. It was in Normandy that Robert was a member of a mortar team with his friend Robert Chapman and a Sergeant. On 3rd August 1944 they were ambushed in an orchard and buried on the farm where they were killed. Subsequently they were moved to the Military Cemetery at Berni Bacage, known as the St Charles de Percy Cemetery, where they were laid side by side. 1,000 men are buried there.

Rows of white crosses between mown grass with the white Cross of Sacrifice in the background. Trees can be seen in the distance St Charles de Percy Cemetery

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