Hoey, Robert (Bobbie)
No. 7012466, Army Catering Corps attached Royal Ulster Rifles
Died of wounds on Sunday 9 July 1944 (aged 28)
Ranville War Cemetery, Calvados, France (Grave IVA. C. 19)
Bangor and District War Memorial
Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church
Robert Hoey was born on 5 June 1916 in Crawfordsburn and when he died on 9 July 1944 it was reported in the press that he was the eldest surviving son of Robert and Elizabeth Hoey (nee Nelson) who lived at 28 Station Road, Carnalea. Before that, the Hoey family lived for a short time in the townland of Craigdunloof, Newtown Crommelin, Co. Antrim. Robert Hoey Senior was a coachman, groom and gardener and he and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Nelson were married on 18 May 1910 in Groomsport Presbyterian Church. Robert Hoey, a groom from Crawfordsburn, was a son of Robert Hoey, a gardener. Lizzie Nelson from Craigavad was a daughter of Alexander Nelson, a byreman.
During the First World War Robert Hoey Senior served with the Royal Irish Rifles.
Robert and Elizabeth Hoey (nee Nelson) had at least eleven children:
Ellen (Nellie, born 23 July 1910 in Craigavad)
William James (born prematurely 11 July 1911 in Craigavad; died 12 July 1911 in Craigavad)
Kathleen (born 7 July 1912 in Ballyrushboy, Castlereagh, Belfast)
Sarah Bothwell (Sadie, born 27 July 1913 in Crawfordsburn)
Molly Carver (born 27 November 1914 in Crawfordsburn)
Robert (born 5 June 1916 in Crawfordsburn while his father was stationed at Clandeboye serving with the 18th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles)
Eveline Doris (born 13 August 1917 in Crawfordsburn while her father was stationed at Clandeboye serving with the 18th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles)
Frederick (Fred, born 5 September 1923)
Pauline Gwynne Ruddell (born 24 December 1924)
Margaret (born 5 January 1926)
Desmond (born 9 June 1927)
Robert Hoey Junior operated a coal business in the Bangor area before he joined the Army in 1932 and he served in various parts of the world including India. Robert Hoey and Elizabeth Telford were married on 20 March 1943 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church and it is recorded that, for a time, Elizabeth lived in Inverness, Scotland. During the Second World War Robert Hoey served with the Army Catering Corps attached to the Royal Ulster Rifles and on 9 July 1944 he died of wounds sustained during the Allied advance in Europe. He was buried in Ranville War Cemetery, Calvados, France and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
BY HIS LOVING WIFE ELIZABETH
AND TWIN SONS
ROBERT AND JOHN
In the 29 July 1944 edition of the County Down Spectator there were Killed in Action notices from his wife and mother-in-law, his parents, his sister and brother-in-law Nellie and Bertie Robinson of 22 Bingham Street, Bangor; his sister and brother-in-law Sadie and William Clarke of 94 High Street, Bangor; his sister and brother-in-law Kathleen and Jim Jackson of 83 Elmwood Drive, Bangor; his sister and brother-in-law Molly and Hugh Boal of 5 Downhill Avenue, Carnalea.
Robert’s brother Fred was serving with the RAF and his brother Desmond was engaged in ‘war work’. In one of the Roll of Honour notices published in 1946 there was the text:
No morning dawns,
No night returns,
But we’ll remember.
Private Robert Hoey (No. 7012466) was 28 when he died, and he is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial and in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.
Robert Hoey’s twin sons, John and Robert, were born on 17 September 1944 – some two months after their father died – and they were baptised in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.