Pam's Family HistoryGrave

Robert Silvester Deans 1891-1916.

Robert was the eldest son of Robert Sylvester Deans and Johanna Vanstone and a grandson of Robert Deans.  He was born on May 11th 1891 and lived with his family at 109 Clive Street, Cardiff. He was enrolled at Grangetown Elementary and Junior School(boys) in 1897.

On August 24th 1911 Robert applied for permission to enter Canada in Vancouver, British Columbia.   He states his occupation as a seaman and his nationality as English and his father's name as R. S. Deans living in Cardiff, Wales. The document also shows that he should be travelling onwards to San Francisco. 

On November 12th 1915 he signed attestion papers for Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in Victoria, British Columbia, joining 88th Battalion Victoria Fusiliers as a Private.  He stated his father as next of kin and gave the address as 109 Clive Street, Cardiff.  He stated his occupation as "seaman".  A Pay document shows that he was transferred to this unit in November 1916 and was promoted to Lance Corporal.  It also shows that the unit sailed on May 31st 1916.  Other papers show his Next-of-Kin details, quite clearly naming his parents and their address in Cardiff, although on one of the papers someone transcribed his address as "Chine Street".  One of the papers also shows that he sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia on board the SS Olympic on 31st May 1916.

The SS Olympic took him from Halifax to Liverpool, he disembarked there on June 8th 1916 and then joined a Canadian Training Unit before being sent over to France on August 27th 1916. On August 23rd Robert made a will, in the event of his death on active service. He bequeathed £5 to his "sweetheart" in Ashford,Kent: Miss Daisy L. Sprotford. The rest of  his effects and money were to go to his mother, Johanna Deans.

Robert was attached to the 3rd Canadian Pioneer Battalion and on 26th September was with the O.C. Unit.  This Battalion was involved in the Battle of Thiepval, 26th-28th September and again in the Battle of Transloy 1st-28th October.

Robert was Killed in Action on September 29th 1916.

His parent's received notification of his death on October 6th 1916 and his pay owing was calculated and sent to his mother.

Robert was buried in Baupame Post Military Cemetery, Albert, France. Grave Reference I.H.18

His name appears on page 76 of the Canadian veterans Book of Remembrance and on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

A heartwarming postscript about Robert Silvester Deans . Ms Gwyneth Jones' Visit to his Grave.           Top of the page

On Armistice Day 2019 an article was published on the BBC Wales News Website..  The previous year to commemorate the Centenary of the End of World War I Grangetown Local Histort Society had sent a postcard to the last known address  of 400 men from Grangetown who had died during the conflict.  One of these postcards was delivered to 109 Clive Street where Robert had lived. The postcard landed on Ms Gwyneth Jones' mat and inspired her to go and visit his grave in Bapaume. Ms Jones took several photographs of Robert's Grave and the Cemetery and has kindly shared them with us. She also took some historical notes and information about the cemetery itself. Mrs Jones laid a wreath of poppies on Robert's grave and a left a letter explaining her visit which happened to take place on the anniversary of Roberts death.  Ms Jones said

"It was very emotional to stand by his grave. It made it all very real and most of us were in tears, I left a note to say how eternally grateful we are for his service."

"Those soldiers must never be forgotten and remembering just one young man means we remember them all."

Gallery - pictures coutesy of Ms Gwyneth Jones           Top of the page

bapaumeCemetery Bapaume Cemetery RSDGrave Robert's grave at Bapaume RSDGrave2 Robert's grave amongst others at Bapaume
GwynethGrave2 Gwyneth placing her letter. GwynethGrave Gwyneth at Robert's grave with her wreth and letter. GwynethLetter Gwyneth's letter.
(c) 2018-2019 Pamela Deans