Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
Robert was born in Birmingham. His birth was registered in the first quarter of 1876 so it is possible that he was born late 1875. He was the son of Robert Bannister, a shopman, and his wife Catherine. In 1881 the family were living with Catherine's parents, James and Emma Scriven at Cook's Cross, Alveley. James was a labourer in a stone quarry. In 1891, aged 15, Robert James was staying with his uncle Frederick Bannister, a cabinet maker, in Kington, Herefordshire.
Robert James joined the army. He served with the 16th (Queen's) Lancers during the Boer War. In 1907 he married Agnes Louisa France (the younger sister of James France - who is also commemorated on the Alveley War Memorials). In 1911 they were living in Alveley with their two children, John and Dorothy. Robert was now working as a quarryman in a stone quarry.
With the coming of war, Robert rejoined his old regiment, retaining his previous service number. He went to France with the regiment in May 1915. He was killed in action on 2nd May, 1915 during the Battle of St. Julien (part of Second Ypres). He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
Private Robert James Bannister, 4165, 16th (Queen's) Lancers, was awarded the Victory and British War Medals and the 1915 Star. His death was reported in the Bridgnorth Journal on 5th June, 1915:
Trooper Robert Bannister, of Alveley, near Bridgnorth, was Killed in Action in Flanders on May 2nd. Being a reservist of the 16th Lancers he was at once called up when the war broke out in August and had been with his regiment since, except for a short visit home in January. His death, by a shell, was instantaneous.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.