Bridge of Weir

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10/1922 Private Robert Milroy

Wellington Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force

killed in action 8th August 1915

aged 26

Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial
St Machar's Church Memorial, Bridge of Weir

Son of Robert Milroy and Mary McCormick
Burnbrae Cottage, Bridge of Weir

His Life

Robert Milroy was born on 18th November 1888 at Bridge of Weir, the sixth of a family of eight born to Robert Milroy, a journeyman mason and Mary McCormick, both from Kirkinner, Wigtownshire who had married in Kirkinner on 1st September 1876.

In 1881 Robert (28), Mary (26), and their first two children William and Andrew were living in Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire. Robert was a mason building clerk.

In 1891 the Milroy family of nine was living in Burnbrae Cottage, Bridge of Weir. Robert senior was a mason, and the family members were either at school or below school age.

In 1901 the family was still living in Burnbrae Cottage. Robert (48) had a new wife Helen (43), William was no longer in the family home, Andrew was an apprentice stonemason, Marion a calico printworker, and Jeanie was a Post Office Telegraph Messenger.

Robert junior was employed in the William Shanks thread mill in Bridge of Weir and later emigrated to New Zealand. There is a passenger record of a Mr R Milroy, porter (Scotch) departing London for Wellington, New Zealand on the Rotorua on 17th March 1911. This is at least consistent with the Census entry for Powburn Cottage, Bridge of Weir, on the night of 2nd April 1911 when the head of the household was Helen Milroy, now a widow and working as a sick nurse, living with stepdaughter Mary Elizabeth and stepson John James, a message boy for a provision merchant, and an 11 month old grand-daughter, Mary Helen.

Robert volunteered at the Rutland Hotel, Wanganui, New Zealand and on 13th March 1915 enlisted into the Wellington Infantry Battalion, 4th Reinforcements which embarked for Suez on 17th April 1915, and later to Gallipoli.

Chunuk Bair was one of the main objectives in the Battle of Sari Bair, fought between 6th and 10th August 1915. The attack was to be carried out by two columns of the New Zealand Infantry Brigade, starting from the outposts on the shore and proceeding up the Sazli Belt Dere and the Chailak Dere. The Infantry reached Rhododendron Spur, where they were reinforced. The Wellington Infantry and some of the Gloucesters and Welsh reached the summit, and were later joined by men of the Auckland Infantry and Mounted Rifles. Robert was killed on 8th August.

But it came to nothing. On the morning of the 10th, the position was re-taken by a determined and overwhelming counter-attack by a Turkish Army Corps led by Mustapha Kemal Pasha. The loss of Chunuk Bair marked the end of the effort to reach the central foothills of the peninsula and on this sector of the front, the line remained unaltered until the evacuation in December 1915.

Robert Milroy's name is recorded on the Chunuk Bair Memorial (Panel 22) alongside 850 of his comrades. The memorial is one of four erected to commemorate New Zealand soldiers who died on the Gallipoli peninsula and whose graves are not known.


1881 Census 1891 Census 1901 Census 1911 Census Birthplace
Name Age Name Age Name Age Name Age
William2 William12Houston, Renfrewshire
Andrew2 mo Andrew 10Andrew20 Bridge of Weir
Marion8Marion18 Bridge of Weir
Jane6Jeanie16 Bridge of Weir
Mary4Mary14Mary Elizabeth24 Bridge of Weir
Robert2Robert12 Bridge of Weir
Euphemia6 moEuphemia10 Bridge of Weir
John J8John James18 Bridge of Weir


TO CITE THIS PAGE: MLA style: "Bridge of Weir Memorial". Date of viewing. http://www.bridgeofweirmemorial.co.uk/profile-milroy.html