Byers, Robert James (Robert)
No. 5335137, 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment
Died as a result of an accident on Wednesday 4 March 1942 (aged 27)
Kirkee War Cemetery, India (Grave 7. B. 8)
Robert Byers was born on 17 June 1914 in the townland of Ballywallon, Portaferry and he was a son of Andrew and Agnes Byers (nee Murdock) who were married on 23 February 1909 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office. Andrew Byers from Ballyphilip, Portaferry was a son of Andrew Byers, a labourer. Agnes Murdock from Portavoe was a daughter of Joseph Murdock, a labourer.
The Byers family lived in the townlands of Thomastown and Ballywallon, Portaferry and later in the townland of Drumhirk, Newtownards.
Andrew Byers worked as a labourer and he and Agnes Byers (nee Murdock) had at least five children:
Isabella (born 28 June 1910 in Thomastown, Portaferry)
Agnes Jane (born 14 April 1912 in Portavoe)
Robert James (born 17 June 1914 in Ballywallon, Portaferry)
Unnamed female (born 27 February 1916 in Bishopmills, Portaferry)
Sarah (born 14 November 1917 in Ballywadden, Portaferry)
Robert Byers was a career soldier and he was 27 when he died in India on 4 March 1942 as a result of an accident. His father, mother, brother and sisters placed a Died on Active Service notice in the 6 March edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and In Memoriam notices in subsequent years.
The notice in 1943 contained the verse:
We little thought when he left home
That he would ne’er return,
That he so soon in death would sleep
And leave us here to mourn.
The notice in 1944 contained the verse:
A face that is always before us,
A voice we shall never forget,
A smile that will linger for ever
In memory, we still see him yet.
Private Robert Byers (No. 5335137) was buried in Kirkee War Cemetery, India and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
SLEEP ON, DEAR SON, THY TOIL IS DONE