Oliver, Robert Neill (No. 11210)

Oliver, Robert Neill (Robert)


No. 11210, ‘D’ Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Died of wounds on Tuesday 17 August 1915 (aged 26)

No known grave (buried at sea)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey (Panel 177 and 178)

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour


Robert Neill Oliver was born on 22 September 1888 in Main Street, Bangor and he was the youngest son of Captain Gilbert Oliver and Mary Eliza (Minnie) Oliver (nee Neill) who lived in Main Street; in Primrose Road and at 44 Victoria Road, Bangor.

Gilbert Oliver was a master mariner and he and Mary had at least five children, all of whom were baptised in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Comgall’s):

Hannah Lily Scott (born 20 January 1881 in Main Street, Bangor)

Gilbert (born 3 April 1884 in Main Street, Bangor)

Florence Louisa (born 23 October 1886 in Main Street, Bangor)

Robert Neill (born 22 September 1888 in Main Street, Bangor)

Margaret (born 4 July 1892 in Primrose Road, Bangor)

Hannah Lily Scott Oliver and John Carlisle, a labourer from Welland Street, Belfast were married on 6 August 1904 in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Church, Ballymacarrett, Belfast.

Gilbert Oliver died of chronic bronchitis and heart failure in hospital at 5 Lisburn Road, Belfast on 9 February 1909 (aged 54).  His home address at the time was 58 Witham Street, Belfast – the home of his daughter Hannah Lily Scott Carlisle (nee Oliver) who was with him when he died.

In 1911 the widowed Mary Eliza Oliver was living in Tamar Street, Belfast with her daughter, Hannah Lily Scott Carlisle (nee Oliver) and her family.

Robert Neill Oliver and Margaret Louisa Willerton were married on 28 February 1914 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Cathedral Belfast.  At the time, Robert Neill Oliver, a 25-year-old bachelor of 155 Upper Meadow Street, Belfast was working as a labourer.  Margaret Louisa Willerton, a 23-year-old spinster of 20 Earl Street, Belfast was a daughter of Thomas Willerton, a soldier.

Robert Neill Oliver held the post of Squadron Leader in the East Belfast Volunteers and on 31 August 1914 he enlisted in Belfast.

Margaret Oliver (nee Willerton) was living with Robert’s sister, Hannah Carlisle (nee Oliver) and her family in Tamar Street, Belfast when her daughter, Mary Elizabeth Neill Oliver, was born on 17 October 1914.

During the Great War Robert Neill Oliver served with the 6th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 29th Brigade of the 10th (Irish) Division.

On 17 August 1915 Rifleman Robert Oliver died aboard the Hospital Ship Aquitania from wounds he had sustained at the Dardanelles and he was buried at sea.

The Oliver family placed a death notice in the 3 September 1915 edition of the County Down Spectator.

Rifleman Robert Oliver is commemorated in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 519) and, at the time of his death, his wife Margaret was living at 9 Chater Street, Belfast.