Diamond War Memorial Project

Sergeant Robert Arbuckle

2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Regimental Number 7789
Born: ---- Died: 1918-01-31 Aged: -- Enlisted: ------

Interred in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium. Name commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Husband of Mrs Tillie Arbuckle, 34, Ivy Terrace, Londonderry. Brother of John Arbuckle, 7, Ivy Terrace, Londonderry.

Robert Arbuckle was a member of Ebrington Presbyterian Church, Londonderry.

He joined the 1st Battalion Inniskillings at Londonderry in 1903, and went out in a draft to the 2nd Battalion, with whom he served in Egypt and Cyprus, being transferred to the 1st Battalion at Malta in 1908, and served there up to September 1909, when he accompanied the 1st Battalion to North China, serving at Tientsin and Shan-hai-kuan. He came home on the Army Reserve at the end of 1911. At the outbreak of the Great War he rejoined the colours at Omagh and was posted to the 2nd Battalion Inniskillings at Dover. He embarked for Le Havre on H.M.T. 'Corsican.' He served with the 2nd Battalion on the retreat from Mons and the advance across the Marne and the Aisne. He was also present at the fighting in Belgium from Hazebrouck, through Meteran, Bailleul, Ploegsteert, to Le Gheer, where he was severely wounded on October 21, 1914, and invalided.

Joining the Reserve Battalion at Londonderry in January 1915, he was employed as Drill Instructor, before proceeding again to join the Expeditionary Force. Shortly after rejoining his old battalion he was slightly wounded in the face, and was for a short time in hospital at the Base. He met his death a few days after rejoining from hospital.

Sergeant Arbuckle was also an instructor to the Ulster Volunteer Force, and a member of the Royal Black Preceptory and Churchhill Loyal Orange Lodge 871. Soon after his death the secretary of the latter wrote 'with regret to the death from wounds received in action of Bro. Sergt. Robert Arbuckle, who had always during his connection with the lodge, been ever willing and able to assist.' Also, shortly after the death of Robert Arbuckle, his sorrowing wife, Tillie, had the following lines inserted in a Londonderry newspaper:

'Oh, could I hear his voice once more,

And see his loving smile,

The one that would my heart still cheer,

But I must wait awhile.

A sudden change, at God's command he fell;

He had no chance to bid his friends farewell.

Affliction came, without warning given,

And bid him haste to meet his God in Heaven.

He died that we might live.'

One year later, on the first anniversary of his death, Sergeant Arbuckle's wife had the following tribute placed in a Londonderry newspaper:

'He fought, but not for love of strife;

He struck but to defend;

He stood for liberty and truth,

A soldier to the end.'

Also, on the first anniversary of the death of Robert Arbuckle, his sister, Mrs M. M. Harvey, 24, Ivy Terrace, Londonderry, inserted the following lines in a Derry newspaper:

'Sleep on, beloved sleep, and take thy rest;

Lay down thy head upon thy Saviour's breast:

We love thee well, but Jesus loves thee best ?

Good-night!'