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1914 - 1918 Remembrance

R Slack

Robert Slack

Private 31389 - Prince of Wale's Volunteers
South Lancashire Regiment 7th Battalion

Enlisted: Sutton-in-Ashfield May 1916

Killed in Action Flanders 18th November 1916 : Aged 24

Thiepval Memorial - Pier and Face 7 A and 7 B

Huthwaite Online WW1 Remembrance

Private 31389 Robert Slack was born 1892 in Huthwaite. Parents 1875 Q4 Chesterfield registered marriage between Mr Robert Slack from Haveley Derbyshire, and Miss Sarah Cockayne from Kirkby presents several house moves, although Hucknall-under-Huthwaite is birth place for five of their seven children surviving infant mortality.

Father Robert gained Huthwaite employment as Engine Stoker at New Hucknall Colliery, moving into Peacock Yard cottages with wife Sarah already mothering George bn 1876 and Elizabeth 1879, before 1881 census named Hucknall-under-Huthwaite addition of William 1 month before. Bainbridge Terrace next ties colliery housing with promotion to Locomotive Engine Driver. Mrs Sarah Slack extends family with Joseph 1884, Ernest 1886, Dallas B S 1889, still finding room for a boarder Fred Wood 19.

Robert junior and youngest Ada born 1895 completes 1901 Slack family on Sutton Road. Preciser 1911 Huthwaite addressing lists remaining household at 12 Windmill Cottages headed by Robert aged 58, Sarah 58, William 30, Joseph 27, Robert 18 and Ada 16. Young Robert had been employed as a Clothiers Shop Assistant. Reportage claims later employment as Blacksmith to join father and elder brothers at New Hucknall Colliery before enlisted at Sutton for army service May 1916.

Private 25915 Robert Slack of the 3rd Battalion, South Staffardshire Regiment reportedly enjoyed home leave having completed soldier training meriting a first class marksman. Transferal to the Prince of Wale's Volunteers ultimately identified active service. Private 31389 Robert Slack was posted to the 7th Battalion, South Lancaster Regiment. He was killed in action just weeks after landing in France. Carrying bombs under shellfire must account for no known grave, and delay confirming date aged 24.

Huthwaite cenotaph Roll of Honour given R. Slack extended to the Methodist Church plaque fully naming Robert Slack.

Notts Free Press 18th August 1916.

Private R. Slack of the 3rd. Battalion, South Staffs., has been on a few days’ leave, and bore on his arm the crossed guns, which show the possessor of them to be a first class marksman.
  Private Slack states that he scored 134 out of a possible 170, which left him nine to spare over and above the qualifying total. His success is all the more meritorious because he has only been in the Army a short time. A Sutton man named Coupe got a higher place than him in the same test, and Private Bird, of Huthwaite, was only one short of the qualifying score.
  Private Slack is at Earsdon Camp, Northumberland, and out of 29 Notts and Derby natives who went in for the test only two failed.

Mansfield Reporter and Sutton Times, 8 Feb 1917


A Huthwaite soldier, officially reported as “missing” is Private Robert Slack, 31389, D Company, 7th. Battalion Lancashire Regt. One of his friends has sent word to Private Slack's parents who live at 118, Windmill Cottages, that he took part in the “five mile push”, about the middle of November, as a bomb carrier, and that he saw him wounded in a shell-hole. Nothing has been seen or heard of him since, neither as a prisoner in Germany, nor through the medical units, all efforts to trace him having proved unsuccessful. He wrote home last on the 12th. November. He joined up in May last and went to France in August. He was previously employed as a blacksmith at New Hucknall Colliery. He was 24 years of age.

Notts Free Press 23rd November 1918
- In Memorium -

Slack.- In Loving Memory of our dear Son and Brother, Private R. Slack, who was reported killed in Action, November 18th.,1916. A loving son, a brother kind, He was to us in heart and mind; He always strove to do his best, God grant him eternal rest. But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow, None but aching hearts can know.-From his sorrowing Mother and Father, Brothers and sisters.

23 Jul 06     by Gary Elliott       Updated 09 Feb 09