Robert Cruse (1878-1917)


Robert Cruse (1878-1917)

(North Somerset Council and Somerset County Council, 2014)


Robert Cruse fought with A Company, ‘Bristol’s Own’, 12th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment


On Land and Sea

Robert William Cruse was born in Banwell on 1 August 1878. He was an adventurous man and led a varied life before the First World War.

Robert went to sea when very young, travelling around the world several times in the Merchant Navy. He was in port inSouth Africa when the Boer War began in 1901 and left his ship to join up and fight.

After the Boer War ended Robert returned to Weston-super-Mare and worked first as a baker and then for the local Post Office. He married Emily Rose Wall on 27 April 1905. They had one daughter named Hilda.


Fighting the War

When the war broke out, Robert quickly volunteered to fight. He joined ‘Bristol’s Own’ in December 1914 and was assigned to A Company. As an experienced soldier, he soon attained the rank of Sergeant-Major.

After nearly a year of training in Bristol, he travelled to France with the Battalion on 21 November 1915 to fight on the Western Front. He fought in the trenches during major battles including the Somme.

Robert was badly injured during the Battle of Fresnoy on 8 May 1917. He died of his wounds eleven days later on 19 May 1917. He was 38 years old.



Robert was buried in Etaples Military Cemetery in France. His headstone is marked with a cross and the words ‘Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for a friend’.

His widow Emily and daughter Hilda received an official telegram notifying them of his death. The local papers reported his death.

After the war ended in 1918, Emily and Hilda were sent Robert’s medals, a roll of honour and a commemorative plaque. His name was listed on the war memorial in Grove Park and the memorial at the Weston-super-Mare Postal Delivery Office.

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Published 3 years ago by Amal Khreisheh

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