Robert John Cardwell was the son of Alexander & Mary Cardwell, Gortfad, Sandholes, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. Prior to service with the Royal Engineers Robert Cardwell worked at home at Gortfad Glebe, Sandholes, Cookstown as a farmer. Robert John Cardwell was killed in action on 9th December 1941 at El Alamein.
Alamein is a village, bypassed by the main coast road, approximately 130 kilometres west of Alexandria on the road to Mersa Matruh. The first Commission road direction sign is located just beyond the Alamein police checkpoint and all cemetery visitors should turn off from the main road onto the parallel old coast road. The cemetery lies off the road beyond the ridge, and road direction signs are in place approximately 25 metres before the low metal gates and stone wing walls which are situated centrally at the road edge at the head of the access path into the cemetery. The Cross of Sacrifice feature may be seen from the road.