Stannage, Robert Moore (Robert)
No. 6226, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Monday 16 November 1914 (aged 33)
Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery, France (Grave VIII. D. 6)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
Robert Moore Stannage was born on 20 April 1881 in John Street, Newtownards and he was a son of William John and Jane Stannage (nee Brown) who were married on 30 January 1877 in Newtownards Reformed Presbyterian Church.
William John Stannage worked as a weaver and he and Jane had at least three children:
John (born 24 October 1877 in John Street, Newtownards)
Francis Magee (born 25 October 1878 in John Street, Newtownards)
Robert Moore (born 20 April 1881 in John Street, Newtownards)
The Stannage family lived in John Street, Newtownards.
After his mother died, Robert’s father, William John Stannage, moved to Bootle, Liverpool and Robert lived with his grandmother Sarah Stannage at 43 John Street, Newtownards.
Robert’s uncle, Alex Ferguson, also lived in John Street, Newtownards.
Robert Stannage was a career soldier with more than twelve years of service when he died. For a time, he was a bugler in the 6th Militia Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (the Louth Rifles) and he was also attached to the staff of the Royal North Downs. He served in the South African War and for seven years in India.
Robert Stannage and Bridget Conlon were married on 26 December 1905 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Church, Belfast. Robert Stannage (aged 23) was a Bugler in the RIR and his address was 10 Vicarage Street, Ballymacarrett, Belfast. Bridget Conlon (aged 23) was a servant and her address was Gloucester Villas, Antrim Road, Belfast. She was a daughter of Thomas Conlon, a stone cutter.
Robert and Bridget Stannage (nee Conlon) had at least two children:
Kathleen Violet (born 21 October 1907 in the Military Barracks, Dundalk)
Robert (died of whooping cough on 21 January 1915 at Casey’s Place, Dundalk, aged 1 year)
After the outbreak of the Great War Robert Stannage was attached to the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and he was 33 when he was killed in the firing line on 16 November 1914.
Lance Corporal Robert Stannage (No. 6226) was buried in Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery, France.
After Robert died, different family members placed Killed in Action notices in the Newtownards Chronicle. The one from his uncle and aunt, Thomas and Sarah Stannage of Ballyharry, Newtownards contained the verse:
Though our hearts may break with sorrow
By the grief so hard to bear,
We shall meet him some bright morning
In our Father’s mansion fair.
The one from his uncle and aunt, Alex and M Ferguson of 16 John Street, Newtownards contained the verse:
We do not know what pain he bore,
We did not see him die;
We only know he passed away,
And did not say good-bye.
On each anniversary of Robert’s death, his father placed an Our Heroes – in Memoriam notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and the one in 1915 contained the verse:
One long, sad, dreary year has passed
Since this great sorrow fell;
The shock that I received that day
I still remember well.
I do not know what pain he bore,
I did not see him die;
I only know he passed away,
And could not say good-bye.
The one in 1916 contained the verse:
He sleeps in death, far, far from home,
He owns a soldier’s grave;
Proud Erin’s sons o’er ocean foam
Have shown that he was brave
Place the old flag o’er his breast
Blackened, bloodstained in the fray
Leave him to his endless rest
Here in his cold bed of clay.
Lance Corporal Robert Stannage (No. 6226) and his wife lived at 76 Brookmount Street, Belfast. When he died his widow and daughter (named Selina in the Belfast Book of Honour) were living at 86 Mountjoy Street, Belfast.
Lance Corporal Robert Stannage (No. 6226) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial; in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s) and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 605).