Second Lieutenant Robert Leonard Garner

Date of Birth c. 1889
Age at Death 29
Date of Death 24 August 1918
Service Number
Military Service 1/11 Battalion Finsbury Rifles
Merton Address 51 Pepys Road, Raynes Park
Local Memorial Raynes Park Methodist Church

Additional Information

Robert was born in 1889 in the West Midlands town of Smethwick. He was the son of Walter and Maria Garner. The couple also had an older son, Frederick and a younger daughter, Constance.

The family initially lived in Worcester but moved to Wimbledon during the early 1900s, where Walter became a Glass cutter. By 1911 they were living at 51 Pepys Road, Raynes Park.

Robert was educated at Goldsmiths College, London and like his older brother, he became a school teacher. He married Maud Wollacott and the couple moved to Chestnut Grove, New Malden.

When war broke out Robert initially joined the 16th Training Reserve battalion as a private, before transferring to the Kings Royal Rifle Corps. He was later commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the London Regiment. He was killed during fighting near Albert in Northern France. The Battalion war diary describes the events leading up to his death:

“On the 23rd August 1918 the Battalion was at an assembly position behind the Bois des Tailles (near Morlancourt). They then moved up to places held by the London Irish behind the Bray to Albert road. At zero hour (1am on the 24th), the battalion captured and consolidated enemy trenches North East of Happy Valley. The division on their left flank failed to capture the enemy strongpoint, so the battalion suffered heavy casualties all day, including 2nd Lt. Garner.”

Robert is one of many casualties commemorated on the Vis en Artois memorial, Pas de Calais, France. His name also appears on a memorial at Raynes Park Methodist Church.


* Required field