Men of Worth - Robert never reached Front

Robert Eric Scarborough

Robert Eric Scarborough

First published in News
Last updated

Tragedy struck many Keighley families as their menfolk were killed during fighting in the First World War.

At least they had the consolation of knowing their husbands and sons died bravely fighting for a cause.

But for Haworth couple Benjamin and Mary Scarborough, there was no such consolation – their son Robert never reached the Front.

Private Robert Eric Scarborough had fallen ill after an epidemic of cerebro-spinal fever ravaged the Cannock camp.

He was treated by lumbar puncture and injection of serum, but died at the age of 18 in a military hospital.

Robert, above, was born in 1898 in Haworth, where his family had been blacksmiths for more than 200 years. His mother was a confectioner and baker.

Robert was educated at Keighley Trade and Grammar School – where he is remembered in the Keighlian Roll of Honour – and he enlisted into the 15th Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment) in the town.

After his death in May 1917, Robert’s family was issued with a memorial plaque and a scroll, and he is buried in St Michael and All Angels churchyard.

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