Robert Lee

Nov 27, 1888

Born in Durham City, England to George and Jane “Jennie” Lee


Mar 3, 1911

Embarked the SS Virginian in Liverpool



Mar 11, 1911

Disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Aug 30, 1915

Attested into the 70th Battalion in London, Ontario

Ø  Number 123028

Ø  Next of kin given as Mrs. Jennie Lee, mother, 47 North Bailey Rd., Durham City, England

Ø  Previous occupation given as Painter

Ø  Previous military experience given as 4 years in the Durham Light Infantry

Ø  Religion given as Church of England

Ø  Assigned to “D” Company


Sep 14, 1915

Appointed to the provisional rank of Corporal


Nov 8, 1915

Appointed to the provisional rank of Sergeant


Apr 26, 1916

Embarked the SS Lapland in Halifax, Nova Scotia



May 5, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and proceeded to Shorncliffe


May 18, 1916

Granted 14 days leave


Jul 6, 1916

Transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion at West Sandling


Dec 9, 1916

While in command of the battalion’s Quarter Guard, a prisoner in his charge escaped custody from the guard room cells.  Acting Sergeant Lee was placed under arrest pending trial by District Court Martial


Dec 22, 1916

Sentenced to 56 days detention and reduction in rank to Private by District Court Martial for negligently allowing a prisoner in his charge, Private David Ollen, to escape custody

 The sentence of detention was reduced on review to 28 days.  In view of the following entries, it would appear that the 28 day sentence was considered to have begun the date of his arrest.


Jan 4, 1917

Upon release from detention he was transferred to the newly formed 6th Reserve Battalion in West.  Shortly after the formation of the battalion, it moved to Seaford to continue training men for the front


Jan 5, 1917

Appointed to the rank of Acting Corporal


Mar 17, 1917

Appointed to the rank of Acting Sergeant


Nov 13, 1917

Reverted to the rank of Private in order to proceed to the front


Nov 14, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion

Arrived at the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France as part of a draft of 12 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Nov 17, 1917

After leaving the base depot, he joined the CC Rein C (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp) in Calonne Ricouart


Nov 20, 1917

Private David Ollen, the prisoner that escaped from custody that was the cause of Robert Lee’s Court Martial, joined the 21st Battalion at the front


Nov 24, 1917

After leaving the reinforcement camp, Private Lee joined the 21st Battalion in the support trenches near Passchendaele and assigned to “D” Company

A firsthand account states that when Private Lee joined the battalion at the front, he met up with Private Ollen and an altercation took place.


Dec 1, 1917

Attached to the 182nd Company Royal Engineers for duty


Dec 21, 1917

Rejoined the battalion from duty with the engineers


Mar 15, 1918

Appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal to replace L/Cpl Johnson 59515, who had been promoted


Aug 8, 1918

During the 21st Battalion’s liberation of the town of Marcelcave, France, L/Cpl Lee received shrapnel wounds to his right shoulder and chest and was evacuated to the nearby field ambulance for first aid.  He was transferred the same day to the No. 47 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for further treatment


Aug 9, 1918

Boarded the No. 5 Ambulance Train for evacuation to hospital


Aug 10, 1918

Admitted to the No. 6 General Hospital in Rouen, France


Aug 23, 1918

Reported to be seriously ill


Sep 10, 1918

Reported to be dangerously ill


Sep 24, 1918

L/Cpl Lee died of his wounds while in the No. 6 General Hospital and was buried in the nearby St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France


Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Jane Lee, 47 North Bailey Rd., Durham, England

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