Young, Robert Neville Desmond (No. 137409)

Young, Robert Neville Desmond (Desmond)

Mentioned in Despatches


No. 137409, 1st Battalion, Irish Guards

Killed in action on Wednesday 23 February 1944 (aged 27)


Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio, Italy (Grave XX. C. 1)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Culdaff Church of Ireland Church, Co Donegal

Rockport School, Craigavad


Robert Neville Desmond Young was born on 16 August 1916 in Castle Street, Ballymena, and he was a son of Robert Chichester Young from Culdaff, Co. Donegal, and Amy Isabel Young (nee Stuart) who lived for a time at Millmount, Randalstown, Co. Antrim.  Successive generations of the Young family lived in Culdaff House from about 1608.  Robert Chichester Young was a Barrister-at-Law and he and Amy Isabel Stuart were married on 30 September 1913 in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Church Ballymena.  Robert Chichester Young from Millmount, Randalstown, Co. Antrim was a son of George Lawrence Young, a land agent.  Amy Isabel Stuart from Mountearl, Ballymena, Co Antrim was a daughter of William Stuart.

Robert Chichester Young and Amy Isabel Young (nee Stuart) had at least four children:

George Stuart (born 23 September 1914 in Dartmouth Square, Dublin while his father was working as a Barrister-at-law; died 1971)

Robert Neville Desmond (twin, born at 8.10 am 16 August 1916 in Castle Street, Ballymena while his father was serving as a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve)

Olive Marguerite (Margaret) Lawrence (twin, born at 9.25 am 16 August 1916; died 1982)

Mary Vivien Barbara (known as Kinna, born 31 January 1922; died 1990)

Amy Isabel Young was the author of Three Hundred Years in Inishowen.  Robert Chichester Young died on 25 December 1941 (aged 54) and Amy Isabel Young died on 17 October 1949 (aged 64).

Desmond’s twin sister, Olive Margaret Young, and Thomas Stanley Winton were married on 2 December 1942 and their home address was Culdaff, Co. Donegal.  During the Second World War Lieutenant Winton served with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve aboard HMS Harvester and was killed in action on 11 March 1943.

During the Second World War Vivien Young served with the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS).

Robert Neville Desmond Young was educated at Rockport School, Craigavad and Tonbridge School in Kent before he went to London to train to be a solicitor.  When war broke out, he joined the Army and was gazetted Second Lieutenant in the Irish Guards in 1940.  He and Mary Cunningham were married on 19 February 1941, he was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1943 and their home address was Sanderstead in Surrey.

Desmond and Mary Young had one child, a daughter named Jane.

From March 1943 the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards fought in North Africa where they suffered heavy casualties.  Early in 1944 the Battalion moved to Italy and again suffered heavy losses in the bitter fighting at Anzio.

Captain Robert Neville Desmond Young (No. 137409) was killed by machine-gun fire on 23 February 1944, and he was buried in the Beach Head War Cemetery at Anzio.  In the 11 January 1945 Supplement to the London Gazette, it is recorded that Captain Young had been Mentioned in Despatches.  He is commemorated on a memorial window in Culdaff Church of Ireland Church, Co Donegal, and in Rockport School, Craigavad.