Niblock, Robert Douglas
No. 421, 8th Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade, AIF
Died of wounds Sunday 25 April / Monday 3 May 1915 (aged 39)
Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt (Grave E. 94)
Australian War Memorial
Comber and District War Memorial
Comber Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
Robert Douglas Niblock was born on 1 September 1875 in Bridge Street, Comber (he declared March 1883 at attestation) and he was the fourth son of James and Agnes Niblock (nee Douglas, sometimes Douglass) who were married on 27 July 1870 in Ballycarry Presbyterian Church, Templecorran, Co Antrim.
James Niblock from Ballystockard, Co Down was a son of John Niblock, a farmer. Agnes Douglas from Broadisland, Ballycarry was a daughter of John Douglas, a farmer.
James Niblock worked as a farmer and then as an innkeeper in Comber.
James and Agnes Niblock (nee Douglas) lived in Comber and they had seven children:
Samuel (born 22 September 1871 in Ballystockart, Comber; worked as a druggist)
John (born 14 December 1872 in Bridge Street, Comber; worked as a publican)
James (born 18 April 1874 in Bridge Street, Comber)
Robert Douglas (born 1 September 1875 in Bridge Street, Comber)
William (born 13 February 1877 in Bridge Street, Comber; worked as a druggist in The Square, Comber)
Hugh Douglas (born 24 May 1878 in Bridge Street, Comber)
Unnamed female (born prematurely 19 June 1879 in Bridge Street, Comber; died of debility 19 June 1879 aged five hours)
Agnes Niblock died of congestion of the lungs in Bridge Street, Comber on 23 June 1879 (aged 29).
Robert Douglas Niblock moved to Australia around 1901 and he worked there as a bricklayer. He enlisted on 24 August 1914 at Broadmeadows in the state of Victoria and he joined the Australian Imperial Force. In his attestation papers it was noted that Robert Douglas Niblock was 5 feet 7 inches tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He cited his brother John Niblock of Bridge Street, Comber as his next-of-kin. Robert’s papers provide an example of how confusion concerning place-names can arise. In his papers it is recorded that Robert Douglas Niblock was born ‘in the parish of Cumber near the town of Belfast in the county of Antram’.
Private Robert Douglas Niblock (No. 421) was wounded during the landings at Gallipoli and the date of his death is not known precisely. In his records it is stated that he died of wounds sometime between 25 April and 3 May 1915.
At the time of Robert’s death his wife, Louisa Elizabeth Dickson Niblock (nee Marriner), lived at 275 Hyde Street, Yarraville, Victoria, Australia. They had one son – Ronald Stanley James Niblock. Robert’s brother John lived in Bridge Street, Comber and after he was notified about Robert’s death John placed a death notice in the Newtownards Chronicle. It was noted that Robert was a brother of ‘James Niblock, the well-known North Down cricketer and hockey player’.
Robert’s widow was granted a war pension of £52 per annum and his son Ronald Stanley James Niblock was granted a war pension of £15 per annum, both with effect from 10 July 1915. The inventory of his effects shows that he had an identity disc, a notebook, a wrist-watch and a Testament. These belongings were sent to his widow in ‘a brown paper parcel’. On 22 August 1922 Louisa E.D. Crookshanks (previously Niblock) acknowledged receipt of Robert’s Victory Medal.
Private Robert Douglas Niblock (No. 421) was 39 when he died, and he was buried in Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
Private Robert Douglas Niblock (No. 421) is commemorated on Comber and District War Memorial; in Comber Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 506).