Category: Military
Rank: Deck Hand 17210 D.A. (Po)
Regiment or Ship: Royal Naval Reserve HM Minesweeping Trawler Balfour
Service Number(s): 17210 D.A. (Po)
Date of Birth: 01.08.1899
Place of Birth: West Wickham, Kent.
Date of Death: 28.11.1917
Place of Death: Off Newhaven - explosion. Place of Burial / Memorials:

1.    Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

2.    Town Memorial, Bexhill.

3.    St. Stephen’s Church Memorial, Bexhill.

Address: 53, Cornwall Road, Bexhill

Photos and newspaper articles

Family Information

Information taken from the 1891/1901/1911 Census’ and the Birth and Marriage Records.


Albert  b. 1859 in Bishops Stortford and d. 1943 Bexhill.    Martha Alice (nee PREST)  b. 1860 in Eat Ruston, Norfolk and d. 1935 Bexhill.


Albert  b. 1882

William  b. 1883

Margaret  b. 1885

Frank  b. 1887,  d. 1917

Edith  b. 1888

Agnes  b. 1890

Ernest  b. 1891, d. 1916

Edward  b. 1893

Ethel  b. 1896

All the above were born in Clapham.

Mabel  b. 1901

Arthur  b. 1905, d. 1979

Mabel and Arthur were born in West Wickham – as was Robert.

Ernest Gayler

Frank Gayler




First World War Experience

Robert served in the Royal Naval Reserve – the Dover Patrol – on the H.M. mine-sweeping Trawler, ‘Balfour’ which was eventually lost on 13.05.1918.

Additional Information

On the marriage certificate and census’ of 1891/1901/1911 father was described as a Domestic Coachman.  By the time of Robert’s death two of his brothers had also died in WW1 (Chronicle 1917).  Ernest 15.9.1916 and Frank 15.08.1917.

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