Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
14 Nov 1916
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Robert Charles Morsley, 3804, C Company, 1st Battalion Honourable Artillery Company, was killed in action on the Ancre, Somme, on November 14th, 1916. He was just short of his 18th birthday.
Robert was the second son of iron foundry foreman Charles and Martha Morsley, of 21 Park Street West [now Strathmore Avenue], Luton. He was educated at Luton Modern School, where he was a school games captain.
On leaving school in March 1915 he joined the Army as a private in the infantry section of the Honourable Artillery Company and, after training, was sent to France in September 1915.
Writing to Mr Morsley, Pte J. Wing, a school friend living at 18 Stockwood Crescent, said: "We were at school together and were both in the same company, at home and out here, and we have always been great pals. Bob was shot in the chest when the battalion went over the top and was killed instantaneously, so it is a little comfort to know that he suffered no pain.
"I was not near him when he fell, but I was told that he was very cool and brave right up to the time he was hit. We buried him with some others of our battalion who were killed, and the Padre held a nice little service over the grave." The service had been conducted with shells bursting around.
 The date of death was reported in the Luton News as November 14th. Military records place death between November 13th and 15th, and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives a date of November 15th.