5 feet 9 inches tall, with brown eyes. He joined the RNR in 1905 and seems to have been a fisherman, serving in the fishing boat Guerdon FY283 in 1910 and 1911 before joining HM Dredger St Lawrence, HM Dockyard, Rosyth until the beginning of the war.
He undertook training in the cruiser HMS Sappho in 1905 and the “pre-Dreadnought” battleship HMS Irresistible for 28 days in 1911/12, and the battleship HMS Bulwark in the early part of 1914.
He appears to have been called for regular service at the outbreak of war, initially serving in HMS Pembroke (Chatham Barracks), then aboard the Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Kinfauns Castle from 8 August 1914 until 30 August 1915. During this period she was engaged in support of operations against German South West Africa (Namibia), including the capture of the enemy steamer Heinz. Subsequently she operated similarly against Tanganyika (Tanzania), before cruising to India and returning by the same route to Devonport.
He was in HMS Victory from 30 August until 22 October 1915 before being promoted to Leading Seaman and joined HMS Armadale Castle which was a similar Armed Merchant Cruiser on 29 November 1915
She operated from Simonstown, South Africa for a time, carrying troops and stores to East Africa. She then became a convoy escort from Sierra Leone to Devonport for a time, before switching to convoy escort in the North Atlantic.
The ship’s logs for the last few months of the war are not readily accessible, but Robert died in RN Hospital, Plymouth of bronco-pneumonia, which might have been caused by the flu epidemic.
His wife Margaret (Maggie) lived at 10 Pier Place (Pierhead Buildings), North Queensferry. They had daughters Nan in 1914 and Betty in 1915. After his death, Margaret moved to Fraserburgh.