This soldier is quite elusive but according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, Robert’s wife was Effie. She was living at 26, High Steet, Connah’s Quay when the Commission recorded his details.
County Herald 3rd August 1917 gave a list of the Casualties and among them was – “Died” – Army Service Corps. Steadman, M 1/05438. R. (Connah’s Quay). I now think that this is the right man as can be seen by the notice in the County Herald above. There is the connection to Connah’s Quay as well as Effie’s address.
Robert Douglas Steadman & Effie Amer were married in 1905 at Toxteth Park (Vol 8b Page 314).
The 1911 census tells us that, Effie Steadman was living as a boarder at 82, Liverpool Road, Kidsgrove, Staffordshire with the family of Arthur & Annie Amor and their two little girls (Was Amor a misspelling of Amer – Effie’s maiden name?) Effie, 23 was recorded as married and her occupation was ‘domestic actor’. Her place of birth was Seacombe Cheshire. Also there as a boarder was Laura (?) Lawrence23. Where was Robert Douglas Steadman?
The 1901 census gives us a definite link to Deeside in Flintshire. Effie was recorded as a 13 year old who had been born in born Seacombe, Cheshire. She was living at Railway Inn, Powell’s Terrace, Bagillt, Flintshire with her family which comprised of her mother Euphenia R. Amer, 44, a widow and an Inn Keeper who had been born in Scotland. There too, were Effie’s two sisters Jessie J. Amer 18 (born in Scotland) and married sister Mary James. Mary’s husband was William J. James, 25, a ‘sailor seas’ who had been born in Connah’s Quay. William and Mary had a son Stephen who was 1 and had been born in Shotton, Flintshire.
Robert’s medal card also accessible on ancestry, records his medal details and also tells us that his first theatre of war was the Asiatic Theatre, and that he entered it on 21st October 1914.
UK soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 -19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental information above and adds that he was resident in Connah’s Quay and enlisted in Chester.
There were two x Robert Douglas Steadman in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 , they tell us that the sole Legatee was his widow Effie who was paid £11. 19s 6d on the 16th April 1918 and his War Gratuity of £18 on the 24th November 1919. There was a recharge of £1. 1s 6d to the Regimental Paymaster on the 20th November 1917. Another £4. 16s 3d was also written down but to whom or for what it doesn’t say. This however is disclosed on the 2nd entry, the sole Legatee again, was widow Effie who was paid £4. 16s 3d on the 16th April 1918 and also 8/5d on the 7th October 1918. “Inadjustment of charge of £4. 18s 0d, no date.
There is no Index card for Robert in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden.
Speculation about the mystery of the whereabouts of Robert Steadman. There is a possibility that he was already in the army earlier in the century. In January 1901, A Robert Steadman 28, who had been born in Dumfries enlisted in The Royal Engineers in Wrexham where he was given the number 7641. This man was a skilled engine driver. His records include a reference from a Mr Savage of Sunderland who knew him as a ‘foreman engine driver’. He named his brother Mr W Steadman of Sunderland and his sister Mrs J Wilson of South Shields as his next of kin. Shortly after enlistment he got into big trouble with the army by deserting for 24 days. He was eventually arrested by the police and was court martialed for desertion and for the loss of every little bit of his kit. His punishment included loss of pay. The Army Service Records for this soldier include a list of where he served. It covered the period from August 1902 until December 1909. There were periods spent in Aldershot but he was in Somaliland (probably – page is ripped) from January 1903 until August 1904 and was in Hong Kong from November 1905 until December 1909. In the County Herald dated 10th August 1917 a List of Casualties was published and Robert was among the men who were named as having “Died” – Army Service Corps. – Steadman – M/1/05438 R. (Connah’s Quay)