Harrison, Robert Lyttle (Bertie)
No. PLY/X 3783, HMS Neptune, Royal Marines
Killed in action on Friday 19 December 1941 (aged 19)
No known grave
Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England (Panel 59 Column 3)
Bangor and District War Memorial
Robert Lyttle Harrison was the only son of David and Florence Irene Harrison (nee Campbell) of 13 Arras Park, Bangor. Both of his parents were originally from Jordanstown in County Antrim. David Harrison worked as a rigger/diver and he and Florence Irene Campbell were married on 13 July 1920 in Whiteabbey Presbyterian Church. David Harrison was a son of William John Harrison, a tailor’s cutter. Florence Irene Campbell was a daughter of Thomas Campbell, a clerk.
During the Second World War Marine Robert Lyttle Harrison (No. PLY/X 3783) served with the Royal Navy aboard the light cruiser HMS Neptune. In the early hours of 19 December 1941 HMS Neptune entered an unmarked minefield in the Mediterranean Sea and sank after hitting a total of four mines. Marine Robert Lyttle Harrison (aged 19) was one of more than 760 men who died. His body was never recovered, and it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have died.
Seaman Norman Walton from Gateshead was the only survivor and he spent some 15 months in various Prisoner-of-War camps before being repatriated in 1943.
Marine Robert Lyttle Harrison’s sisters lived at 40 Gransha Road, Bangor and in the Roll of Honour notice that his family placed in the 22 December 1945 edition of the County Down Spectator they included the text:
Time cannot dim the face we loved
Marine Robert Lyttle Harrison (No. PLY/X 3783) is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial in Devon and on Bangor and District War Memorial.