North Street, Newry, County Down

North Street, Newry, County Down
North Street, Newry, County Down

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Robert Assheton Biddulph [1891-1916]

  Robert [Bertie] Assheton Biddulph was the fifth child and only son of Assheton Biddulph of Moneyguyneen, Birr, County Offaly, and his wife Florence Caroline Boothby. He was educated at Harrow, and Exeter College, Oxford. He married Derreen Ussher Holt, youngest daughter of W S Holt, of Ball Copse Hall, Brent Knoll, Somerset, in March 1916.
Robert Biddulph was a Lieutenant in the 2nd Dragoon Guards, Queen’s Bays. He served in WW1 and suffered from deafness, caused by the explosion of a shell close by. He later died of rheumatic fever in Aldershot on the 19th of November 1916, and is buried in Killoughey Church of Ireland graveyard.
Captain Grant, of the Queen's Bays, wrote, "It is too sad to think that such a good sportsman and man in every way should have had such a short life. He was most popular out here and everywhere, and I have lost a great friend."[1]
The local newspapers reported his death.
Lieut. R. Biddulph. Much regret over his death. Very great regret was felt in Kinnitty and district on Monday when it was known that Lieut. Robert A. Biddulph had passed away in an hospital in England. Deceased was only son of the late Assheton Biddulph, M. F. H., and much sympathy is felt with the family at his early demise. It was only in January of the present year the sad news was published of the death of Mr Assheton Biddulph, of Moneyguineen, Kinnitty, aged 65 years. We hope in our next issue to publish further particulars of the sad demise of Second-Lieutenant, Robert A. Biddulph. [King's County Chronicle, 1916.]
Lieutenant R A Biddulph. The death from heart failure has occurred at Wellesley House Hospital, Aldershot, of Lieutenant Robert Assheton Biddulph, Dragoon Guards, the only son of the late Mr Assheton Biddulph, and of Mrs Biddulph, of Moneyguyneen, King's County. Lieutenant Biddulph was 25 years of age [Westmeath Independent, November, 1916.]

Robert’s father, Assheton, had died earlier that year, in January. His first cousin, Assheton Biddulph Caddell, died in Belgium in February. His brother-in-law Jack Goold Adams, Ierne’s husband, died at Ypres in May of the previous year. It is hard to imagine how much the grief the family suffered.
Robert had inherited Moneyguyneen on the death of his father. As a result of the death of Robert, everything was inherited by his widow Derreen. His mother, Florence, and his sisters, Ethne, Ierne and Norah found themselves in changed circumstances and were forced to leave Ireland and begin a new life. They moved to Pan’s Garden, Warnham, Sussex.
Derreen married again, to Eric FitzGerald Wharton, and died in Weymouth, Dorset, England in 1979.

Robert Assheton Biddulph’s name is inscribed on the  National Roll of Honour at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens, Dublin.


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