9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth:
30/05/1918 (Killed in Action)
Robert Mitchell was born in Coagh. Before the war Robert was employed by Duff Brothers in Coagh. News of his death was first conveyed to Robert’s mother by his cousin, Sergeant Joseph Mitchell, who was also his Platoon sergeant, and who stated in a letter that Robert was killed instantly by a shell in a rest camp where they were just settling down to a period of rest after getting out of the trenches.
Robert Mitchell and Ellen McFlinn were married on 9th December 1895 in Belfast.
Robert James Mitchell was born in Coagh on 27th November 1896.
The 1901 census lists Robert as age 4 living with the family at house 8 in Urbal, Coagh, County Tyrone. His father was a sawyer, which is someone that saws wood. His mother was a woolen weaver.
The 1911 census lists Robert James as age 14 living with the family at house 10 in Urbal, Coagh. Robert had left school and was working as a mill worker, like his mother.
Family: Robert Mitchell, Ellen Mitchell, Robert James Mitchell (born 27th November 1896), Thomas George Mitchell (born 16th June 1898), Alice Mitchell (born 13th October 1899), Bella Mitchell (born 23rd June 1901), William Mitchell (born 11th July 1903), Mary Mitchell (born 27th December 1904), Alexander Mitchell (born 24th August 1906), John Mitchell (born 8th August 1910).
Before the war Robert was employed by Duff Brothers in Coagh. The Duff Brothers were spinners and had a corn mill.
Robert Mitchell enlisted in Omagh.
Private Robert Mitchell was serving with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action in France and Flanders on 30th May 1918. He was 21 years old.
At the time of Robert’s death, his father and his younger brother were on active service as well as three cousins.
MITCHELL – Killed in action in France on 30th May 1918, Private Robert Mitchell, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, son of Private Mitchell (now on active service) and Mrs Mitchell, Coagh, aged 21 years.
MITCHELL – Killed in action in France on 30th May 1918, Private Robert Mitchell, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, son of Private Mitchell (on active service) and Mrs Mitchell, Coagh, aged 21 years.
‘The price of victory and peace
By blood and life is paid;
But God knows what a mother feels
Whose son is lowly laid.
He died for his country, what more could he do?
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th June 1918: Private Robert Mitchell
Private Robert Mitchell, Royal Inniskillings, who was killed in action on 30th May. He is a native of Urbal, Coagh, and previous to joining the Ulster Division was an employee of Messrs Duff Bros, Coagh. He was just 21 years of age at the time of his death. His father and a younger brother are also on active service as well as three cousins. The sad news was first conveyed to his mother by his cousin, Sergeant Joseph Mitchell, who was also his platoon sergeant, who states that he was killed instantly by a shell in a rest camp where they were just settling down for a spell after getting out of the trenches. A letter has also arrived from his Chaplain, Rev Edwin Fleming, conveying the sympathy of the officers and men of the battalion and adding that he buried on the 1st June in a British cemetery, and according to the rites of the Church of Ireland. The deceased was respected by all who knew him and his death has caused much regret.
Private Robert Mitchell is buried in Canada Farm Cemetery, Belgium.
Private Mitchell was the only casualty in his battalion that day.