Lytle, Robert McCalla

Lytle, Robert McCalla (Bertie)


No. 16689, ‘A’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, transferred to

No. 4087, Army Cyclist Corps, 36th (Ulster) Division

Died of disease on Saturday 8 September 1917 (aged 25)


Fairhaven Memorial Park, Santa Ana, Orange County, California


Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

Trinity Presbyterian Church Bangor

Bangor Grammar School


In some records, his surname is spelt Lyttle.

Robert McCalla (Bertie) Lytle was born on 22 August 1892 in Limebrook Cottage, Bangor and he was the only child of William and Isabella Lytle (nee McCalla, sometimes McCallan) who lived in Bingham Street.  William Lytle was a baker and grocer and he and Isabella McCalla were married on 14 October 1891 in St John’s Church of Ireland Church, Laganbank, Belfast.  William Lytle from Bangor was a son of John Lytle, a farmer.

Isabella’s widowed father Robert McCalla was a retired carpenter and in 1901 he was living with the Lytle family.

Bertie Lytle attended Bangor Grammar School from 1906 until 1908 and, after leaving school, he joined his uncle’s firm Messrs W. McCalla and Company, Shipping Agents, Belfast where he worked as a clerk.  Bertie Lytle played rugby, he was a member of the Orange Order and he was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force.  He enlisted in Belfast on 18 September 1914 and served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.  Whilst undergoing training at Clandeboye Camp he contracted a disease of the kidneys.

Rifleman Bertie Lytle was transferred to the Cyclist Corps of the 36th (Ulster) Division and on 10 May 1915 he was discharged from the Army at Enniskillen because he was deemed to be no longer physically fit for war service.

In November 1916 Bertie Lytle moved from Bangor to the town of Orange in California for the benefit of his health and, during a musical evening before his departure, he was presented with a travelling case together with a case of smoking pipes.  Some ten months later his health deteriorated and he died in California on 8 September 1917.  He was 25.  Bertie Lytle was buried in Fairhaven Memorial Park, Santa Ana, Orange County, California and, at the time of his death, his parents were living at 56 Seacliff Road, Bangor.

Bertie Lytle is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum (Page 52) and on the Memorial Plaques in RBL Bangor Branch, Trinity Presbyterian Church Bangor and Bangor Grammar School.