Robert (Bob) Hinton Irvine was born on 7th September, 1891 at John Street, Llanrwst, Denbighshire. He was the only child of Christopher Irvine and Mary Ann (Twyning).
Christopher was born in Ireland and Mary Ann in South Hamlet, Gloucester, Gloucestershire. They married 29th September, 1890 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Llanrwst and lived at John Street in that town.
By the 1891 census they had moved to 20, Wian Street, Holyhead.
Mary Ann, who was a self employed dressmaker, died of Pulmonary Phthisis (Tuberculosis) and cardiac failure at 5, Samuel Place, Holyhead on 9th November, 1906 aged 48. Christopher was present at the death.
Christopher died of pneumonia at the Valley Workhouse, Llanynghenedl, Anglesey on 29th May, 1907 aged about 53, his last residence being 53, King’s Road, Holyhead. He was employed as a watchmaker (journeyman).
The 1911 census showed Robert to be lodging at Stanley House, Mumforth Street, Flint with 23 year old John Edward Roberts. Both were employed as assistants to pawnbroker Mr Robert Williams whose business was conducted at 2 & 4 Mumforth Street.
Robert did not marry but was engaged to his employer’s daughter, Miss Mildred (Millie) Anna Williams, who resided at Church Villa, Flint.
Prior to his enlistment in the Army Robert was employed as an ironworker at the Hawarden Bridge Ironworks, Shotton and living at 1, Reece Terrace, Bagillt.
He enlisted at Eccleston Camp, Lancashire on 1st September, 1914 with the Denbighshire (Hussars) Yeomanry, No 656. His medical inspection report revealed he was 5ft 8ins, weighed 8st 6lbs, chest 35ins and his physical development and vision were good.
He served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force from 3rd March, 1916 to 28th April, 1918, during which time the Denbighshire Yeomanry were absorbed into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, to which he transferred on the 16th December, 1916. He had fourteen days leave in the UK from 22nd July, 1918.
He was serving in France on the 31st October, 1918 when he received a gunshot wound in the back and taken to the 55th General Hospital, Boulogne, France, where he died on the 8th November after catching pneumonia.
He was buried in the Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France (Plot VII, Row D, Grave 25).
He is remembered on four war memorials – Flint Town, Bagillt Village, St Mary’s Parish Church, Bagillt and Holyhead Town. He is also remembered in the Holyhead Book of Honour and the Holyhead Panel of the North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch in Bangor.
He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Because Private Irvine’s parents were both deceased Millie became his next of kin, and in January, 1920, when she was living at Glen Haven, Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay, she received his personal belongings from the Army which were “photos, pipe, 4 books, pouch, pencils, wrist watch and strap.”
In late 1920 Mildred married Percy William Pumphrey (1887-1956) who was the proprietor of an ironmonger’s shop and garage at 1, Holywell Street, Flint. She died in Ware, Hertfordshire in 1967 aged 77.
A life for his country,
A soul for his God.
Millie Williams (fiancé), Church Villa, Flint.
(County Herald 15th November, 1918)