Private 46653 23rd Royal Fusiliers
Robert Pinkney was born in Aldershot in 1883, the son of James and Ann.
The censuses record that in 1891 and 1901 Robertís family lived in Halimote Road, Aldershot, and that in 1911 Robert was an assistant teacher living with his father in the The Grove, Aldershot.
Robert married Leila Channon Abbott 1 September 1910 at St Michaelís Church Aldershot, and they had one daughter, Shelagh Mary. They lived in 2 Amberley Villas, Wharf Road, Ash.
Robert enlisted at Guildford 24 June 1916. He was 5 feet 7Ĺ inches tall and his chest when fully expanded measured 37 inches. He had blue eyes and brown hair. He went to France with the BEF 12 November 1916 to 1 March 1917, where he was wounded in action on 7 February. He was discharged as he was physically unfit and deaf as a result of service during the War and due the cold and gunfire.
The Aldershot News of 4 and 11 October 1918 reported the death and funeral of Robert Pinkney. He lived in Amberley Villas in Ash Vale, and had died at Margate. He was a native of Aldershot, and had been a pupil at East End Schools, then a pupil teacher, and then having passed his exams a certificated teacher at the same school. Robert Pinkney was a keen sportsman, for a time playing for the Aldershot Excelsior Football Club. He had founded the 5th Aldershot (East End Boys School) Troop of Boy Scouts and was their scoutmaster until he joined up. He was the Hon Sec of the Aldershot Institute and a member of the Aldershot Operatic Society.
He had joined the Royal Fusiliers in June 1916 and had seen service in France where in February 1917 he had been severely wounded in the back and lungs. He had been in hospital for 4 months and then discharged in August 1917. His hearing had suffered as a result of the war, and he was in Margate learning to lip read to help him with his work, when he was taken ill with influenza and recovered only to become ill with bronchitis and pneumonia due, it is thought, to a piece of shrapnel in his back.
Bob Pinkney was described as always cheerful and never complaining, a real good sort. He left a widow and young child, and his aged parents lived in The Grove, Aldershot. The funeral was at St Maryís Church, where he was a chorister, and from there made its way via Shawfield to Aldershot Cemetery. A Union Jack was draped on the coffin and Boy Scouts of 4th, 5th and 7th Aldershot and 3rd Farnham, their poles draped in crepe, marched in front. The Boy Scouts formed a circle around the grave.
Image courtesy of the Aldershot News