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Robert William Moakes

Private 956 - Sherwood Foresters
1/8th Notts & Derbys Regiment

Enlisted: Sutton 21st August 1910

Killed in Action 15th June 1915 : Aged 24

Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery D. 69

Huthwaite Online WW1 Remembrance

Private 956 Robert William Moakes was born Q1 1891 in Hucknall Huthwaite. Parents were both Hucknall Huthwaite natives. Their Q4 1890 marriage between coal miner Mr William Moakes and Miss Florence Ashley raised on Main Street, can only be identified by 1911 Huthwaite census further managing to trace back that young mothers 1907 registered death.

Mrs Florence Moakes had mothered five children at 30 Newcastle Street, before a Widowed Mr William Moakes 44, was left fathering Robert 20, Florry 18, Dudless 16, Charles 14 and Eliza 10. Elder daughter Florry may well have inherited role of housekeeper, while all three sons followed father underground working New Hucknall Colliery, until each chose to enlist.

Private 956 Robert William Moakes chose to enter a military career signing attestation at Sutton 21st August 1910. Four years service with the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Sherwood Foresters dates experience through four training camps ended with the call for active service into The Great War. Place in the Territorial 1st/8th Battalion became part of an Expeditionary Force deployed to France 2nd March 1915, where Pte R W Moakes was killed in action in the Western Front 15th June 1915, aged 24.

Father was named next of kin. Lacking a living mother needed to additionally note blood relations offering a married aunt Mrs Fanny Clarke on Main Street. Mr William Moakes would not just lose his eldest son. Two years later he'd receive news of his youngest sons fate, also receiving effects at later registered address 124 Sutton Road, Huthwaite. The whereabouts of third serving son Private D Moakes then remained uncertain, but his name was not ultimately added to the Huthwaite cenotaph roll of honour when it did list both brothers R W Moakes alongside C H Moakes, coincidentally dating next day deaths two years apart.

Notts. Free Press – July 1915

The photograph is of Private Robert William Moakes, of the 8th Battalion Notts. and Derbys. (S.F.). He was killed in the disaster which recently befell the battalion when their trenches were mined. He was 24 years of age, and had been a member of the Sutton "Terriers" for three years. He was unmarried, and was employed at New Hucknall Colliery, and his family live in Newcastle Street. The photograph was taken at Luton. A letter has been received by his family from the chaplain of the regiment describing his funeral. It states that the men are buried in separate graves, which are planted with shrubs, etc. A Huthwaite man, writing home, mentions that he has seen the grave. He says it was in nice order, with a wooden cross at the head. At the Parish Church on Sunday morning the Rev. F.N. Beswick made reference to the death of Private Moakes. He preached from the text "The Lord is my refuge and strength," and the hymn "Sun of my soul" was sung to his memory, while the Union Jack flew at half-mast on the tower during the service.

Death Penny
Mansfield Advertiser – 2nd July 1915


A Huthwaite man, Private Robert Wm. Moakes, has been killed in action. He was a member of the 8th. Notts and Derby (T.F.) and his home was in Newcastle Street, Huthwaite. He was 24 years of age and was previously employed at New Hucknall Colliery. At the Parish Church. On Sunday morning the Union Jack was hoisted to half-mast, and a service held to his memory, conducted by the Rev. F.N. Beswick, his text being “God is our refuge and strength” and the hymn “Sun of my soul”, which was sung by Pte. Moakes’s comrades over his grave, was sung.

A letter has been received by his family from the chaplain of the regiment to the effect that his grave is well cared for and planted with shrubs. A Huthwaite soldier writing home also says that he has seen it, and states that the dead are laid in separate graves, each with a wooden cross and flowers. Pte. Moakes met his end when the trenches were mined, the casualties including a large number from this locality.

At New Hucknall Colliery, where a number of the Sutton Company of Territorials were employed, the Union Jack was flying at half-mast for several days on the colliery headstocks.

Notts Free Press 16 June 1916

In affectionate memory of Private Robert William Moakes, 8th Sherwood Foresters, who was killed in France, June 15th 1915. Sweet sleep the brave who sink to rest, By all their country's wishes blest.

From Uncle Richard, Aunt Fanny and cousins.

24 Jul 06     by Gary Elliott       Updated 04 Feb 14