Cromie, Robert (No. 1476595)

Cromie, Robert (Bobby)

Gunner

No. 1476595, 5 Battery 2 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery

Died of wounds on Saturday 20 June 1942 (aged 33)

Buried:

Tobruk War Cemetery, Libya (Grave 10. D. 6)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ballywalter and District War Memorial

Ballywalter Presbyterian Church

BIOGRAPHY

Robert (Bobby) Cromie was born on 2 March 1908 in Ballywalter and he was the only son of Robert and Martha Cromie (nee Semple) of 24 Well Road, Ballywalter and before that they lived in the townland of Ballaghbeg, Kilcoo, Newcastle, Co. Down.  Robert Cromie Senior worked as a labourer and he and Martha Semple were married on 13 February 1903 in Ballycopeland Presbyterian Church, Millisle.  Robert Cromie from Ballywalter was a son of Alexander Cromie, a labourer.  Martha Semple from Ballywalter was a daughter of Alexander Semple, a labourer.

Robert (Bobby) Cromie was baptised in Ballywalter Presbyterian Church.

Robert (Bobby) Cromie and Edith A. Gibson of Ballywalter Park, Ballywalter were married on 15 April 1936 in Glastry Presbyterian Church and they had a daughter named Sylvia (born 2 July 1937).

During the Second World War Gunner Robert (Bobby) Cromie (No. 1476595) served with the Royal Artillery and he died on 20 June 1942 at Tobruk when Axis forces led by Erwin Rommel attacked and captured the garrison.  Afterwards, the Chaplain who was with him when he died said that Bobby’s final words were:

In peace let me resign my breath and Thy salvation see

I was a guilty sinner, but Jesus died for me

Gunner Robert (Bobby) Cromie’s second cousins Stoker 1st Class David Cromie (No. D/KX 152720) and Lance Corporal Harry Cromie (No. 1888355) also died during the war.

Gunner Robert (Bobby) Cromie (No. 1476595) was buried in Tobruk War Cemetery, Libya and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

HE IS NOT DEAD,

HE ONLY SLEEPETH

Gunner Robert (Bobby) Cromie (No. 1476595) is commemorated on Ballywalter and District War Memorial and in Ballywalter Presbyterian Church.

After the war, Edith and Sylvia Cromie both moved to Canada.  Sylvia was a comptometer operator and on 14 August 1957 she travelled from Liverpool to Montreal on board the Cunard steamship Carinthia.