Lieutenant Robert Evelyn Orlebar

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Robert Evelyn Orlebar

Birthplace: Kent, England (United Kingdom)
Death: January 09, 1915 (20)
France (Killed in action)
Place of Burial: I. C. 14., Laventie, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Colonel Evelyn Henry Orlebar and Mary Louisa Orlebar

Military Service: 2nd Batt., Middlesex Regiment
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Lieutenant Robert Evelyn Orlebar
On 9 January, Robert was shot and killed by a German sniper whilst in the trenches at Neuve Chapelle, he was just 20 years old.

Lt Robert Evelyn Orlebar was born at Walmer, Kent on 16 June 1894, the only child of Lt-Col Evelyn Henry Orlebar and his wife Mary. After being educated at the Plymouth and Mannamead School and the Cathedral School, he went on to Cheltenham College, where he was a corporal in the Officer Training Corps and good at all sports. After school, he passed through the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and was gazetted to the 2nd Battalion, the Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) in September 1913. He joined the battalion in Malta in January 1914, where he had his first polo season. When war broke out, they returned to England as soon as a territorial unit could arrive to take over the garrison at Malta, and joined 23rd Brigade, 8th Division at Hursley Park. The battalion was sent to France, landing at Le Havre on November 7th 1914, a much-needed reinforcement for the British Expeditionary Force, and came under fire for the first time at Merville on 12th November.

Robert was promoted lieutenant on November 15th.
On January 9th, 1915, he was shot and killed by a sniper in the trenches at Rue de Bassiere near
Neuve Chapelle, whilst off-duty. Private Ryder, a man under his command, saw it happen: “I was
making up my fire for the night in the trench, and Lt Orlebar said to his servant: “I think I will put my nightcap on now”. While waiting there for his servant to get his cap he was shot through the head, and when his servant came back he found him lying down. I saw him fall the moment he was hit, and I went to him at once and helped his servant to bind up his wound. He lived exactly 20 minutes after the bullet struck him at the back of his head. He was quite unconscious during that time and he said nothing. All of us chaps loved Lt. Orlebar and we all said “We shall never get another officer like him”.
He was 20 years old, and was buried in an orchard behind the battalion’s headquarters; he is now
buried in Rue du Bacquerot No.1 Military Cemetery at Laventie.

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Lieutenant Robert Evelyn Orlebar's Timeline

June 16, 1894
Kent, England (United Kingdom)
January 9, 1915
Age 20
Plymouth and Mannamead College; Cheltenham College; Royal Military College, Sandhurst.
Rue-du-Bacquerot No. 1 Military Cemetery, I. C. 14., Laventie, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France