Information about birth

Date of birth:
21/09/1891
Place of birth:
Carlisle, Cumberland, England, United Kingdom

General information

Profession:
Teacher

Army information

Country:
England, United Kingdom
Force:
British Expeditionary Force
Rank:
Captain
Service number:
/
Enlistment place:
Carlisle, Cumberland, England, United Kingdom
Units:
 —  Border Regiment, 3rd Bn. attd. 2nd Bn.  (Attached)

Information about death

Date of death:
26/10/1917
Place of death:
Gheluvelt Wood, England, United Kingdom
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
26

Memorial

Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: 85.A

Additional information

Robert Abram was born in 1891 in Carlisle, Cumberland. He was the second son of Thomas and Mary Jane Abram. He attended the Bishop Goodwin and Carlisle Grammar School and studied at the University of London. After his studies Robert worked as teacher till he enlisted. In November 1916 he obtained his commission in the Border Regiment. Robert crossed over to France in January 1917, but first married his girlfriend, Edith Bushby. He served as a Captain in 2nd Battalion Border Regiment, part of the 20th Brigade, of the 7th Division.

From September 1917 onward the 7th Division participated in the Battle of Passchendaele. On 26 October the Division was to attack through Gheluvelt Wood, astride the Menin Road, towards the village of Geluveld. The main goal of the attack was to prevent the Germans from thinning the Geluveld sector and sending reinforcements further north towards Passchendaele. The 2nd Border Regiment advanced south of the Menin Road. They left their positions at 5.40 a.m. and as soon as they moved forward machine-gun fire was opened from Lewis House on the right and from four pillboxes along the Menin Road. On top of the relentless machine-gun fire the Battalion had to cross marshy ground. “C” Company on the right got stuck in a marsh. Many men were waist deep in mud, making them an easy target. Consequently “C” Company was almost entirely wiped out in a couple of moments.

The situation on the left was equally dire. “D” Company made a disastrous attempt to silence the machine-guns along the Menin Road, but almost the whole Company quickly became casualty. Further attempts of both “B” and “D” Companies proved fruitless. “A” Company was sent up to try and make some headway on the left. Though they managed to take one of the pillboxes, the remaining three were covered by Lewis House and “A” Company was soon pinned down. By 10 a.m. it became clear that no objectives could be reached and the survivors retired to the original line. The whole attack, though it a diversion, had been an utter failure. The 2nd border Regiment suffered a total of 314 casualties. 11 men were killed, 176 men were wounded and 127 men were missing. Captain Robert Abram was one of the men who went missing during the attack on Geluveld. He was later declared killed in action. Because his Battalion had been forced to retreat the dead and wounded were left behind in no man’s land. Therefore Robert has no known grave. The barely 26-year old Captain is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Files 1

Sources 7

"The Border Regiment in the Great War ", Wylly H.C., Aldershot, Gale & Polden Ltd., 1924, pg. 147 - 150.
Sources used
"The Seventh Division. 1914 - 1918 ", Atkinson C.T., The Naval & Military Press, 1926, pg. 423 - 433.
Sources used
"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 125.
Sources used
Ancestry
http://www.ancestry.co.uk/
Further reference
CWGC
http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/845640/ABRAM,%20ROBERT
Sources used
The Long Long Trail
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/
Further reference
Trinity School War Memorial
https://www.trinity.cumbria.sch.uk/warmemorials/old-boys/abram/
Sources used