Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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8016   Lance Corporal Robert Lawless
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 18/11/2017
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Died: 16/05/1915 (Killed in Action)
Age: 30
Summary      
Robert Lawless was the son of John and Margaret Lawless. He was one of four children from his fatherís first marriage. Robertís mother died when he was six. His father remarried. The family lived in Church Street, Cookstown. Robert was a butler for a time. His father was a mechanic. Lance Corporal Robert Lawless was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on Sunday 16th May 1915 on the first night of the Battle of Festubert.
Further Information
Robert Lawless was the second son of John and Margaret Lawless. John Lawless married Margaret Sloan on 15th July 1883 in the district of Cookstown.
Robert Lawless was born in Cookstown about 1886. He was one of four children from his fatherís first marriage.
Family 1: John Lawless, Margaret Lawless, John Lawless (born 11th May 1884), Robert Lawless (born about 1886), Bridget Lawless (born 21st October 1887), George Lawless (born 19th March 1890, died 15th March 1891).
Robertís mother, Margaret Lawless, died on 30th October 1892 in Cookstown, age 30. Robert was about six years old.
Robertís father remarried. John Lawless married Mary Swinerton / Livingston on 7th January 1893 in the district of Cookstown. They went on to have four more children.
Family 2: John Lawless, Mary Lawless, Joseph Lawless (born 20th January 1894), Mary Elizabeth Lawless (born 10th January 1896), Alice Maud Lawless (born 10th February 1897), Patrick Lawless (born 24th June 1900).
The 1901 census lists Robert as age 15, living with the family at 48 Church Street, Cookstown. Robert was working as a carder in a mill. His father was a factory engineer.
Church Street, Cookstown
The 1911 census lists Robert as age 25, living with the family at 78 Church Street. Robert was a butler. His father was a mechanic.
Robert was working and living in Belfast and enlisted in Cookstown at the outbreak of war.
Robert Lawless was a close friend of Private John McCaffrey and was often referred to in Private McCaffreyís letters.
Lance Corporal Robert Lawless was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on Sunday 16th May 1915 on the first night of the Battle of Festubert.
Private George Shields, who took part in the attack, was home on leave soon after and told Robertís family that he had seen him fall in action but had not seen or heard from him since.
Lance Corporal Robert Lawless has no known grave and is commemorated on Le Touret Memorial in France.
Lance Corporal Robert Lawless is also commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph.
The CWGC record Lance Corporal Robert Lawless as the son of John Lawless of Church Street, Cookstown, County Tyrone.
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Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Church Street Cookstown South Census listing in Church Street 54.636708 -6.743427
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Lawless family 1901 census lists Robert as age 15, living with the family at 48 Church Street, Cookstown
2 1911 Census lists Lawless family 1911 census lists Robert as age 25, living with the family at 78 Church Street
3 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
4 Private George Shields Private George Shields seen Lance Corporal Robert Lawless fall
5 Private John McCaffrey Friend of Lance Corporal Robert Lawless
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2018