Captain (Temporary Commission) Robert Lamb

Biography of Captain (Temporary Commission) Robert Lamb

Robert Lamb was born on 5th August 1889 at West End, Queensferry. His father James was a joiner, who had married Jane Cook on 9th November 1877 at North Woodside Flint Mill where the Cook family had worked as carters for many years. Robert’s parents moved to Queensferry when James found work on the construction of the Forth Railway Bridge. He became a foreman but moved back to Glasgow after the building of the bridge was completed. At first the family lived at 244 Broad Street. They were there at the time of the 1891 census.

Later they moved to 442 Baltic Street, and it was here that Robert lived when he first matriculated at the University of Glasgow in 1908. Robert’s father was still alive, and worked as a template maker. Robert was twenty when he began his studies in the Faculty of Arts.

In his first year he took classes in Latin and Mathematics. In his second year he took Intermediate Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. In the academic session 1910–1911 he studied Logic and English. Had all gone smoothly he would have finished his degree that summer, but he was plainly struggling, failing his Mathematics and Natural Philosophy four years running and never obtaining a pass. He enrolled for a fourth year, and made an attempt at Roman Law, just as unsuccessfully. He left University in the summer of 1913 without a degree and trained as a teacher

Perhaps Robert was a young man who excelled at life outside the University classroom more than within it. He was a member of the OTC and joined the 8th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He saw some very active service and proved himself a very gallant soldier indeed. Promoted from Lieutenant to Temporary Captain, Robert Lamb was awarded both the Croix de Guerre and the Military Cross (MC). The citation for his Military Cross reads,

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the attack on the Tongue, in Salonika, on September 19th, 1918. Though wounded three times he continued to lead his company, cheering on his men and directing operations and reorganising them behind enemy lines. He set a splendid example of courage and determination."

Not a lot is known about his private life. He married Lily Georgina Wren (born in 1896 in Merthyr Tydfil) at Warminster in 1915. They had a child, born in Greenwich in 1914, but the marriage was probably short–lived and they were never part of the Lamb family circle. Robert returned to Glasgow after the war and became a schoolteacher. He lived at 262 Crofthill Road. He died of acute appendicitis and peritonitis on 30th December 1946 at the Victoria Infirmary.



Captain (Temporary Commission) Robert Lamb
Rank: Captain (Temporary Commission)
Regiment: 8th Royal Scots Fusiliers
Degree: N/A
Awards: Croix de Guerre, Military Cross
Comments: Member of University of Glasgow OTC
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A


University of Glasgow Registry and Faculty Records

Biography: Biographical information contributed by Richard Keltie, a family member

Photograph: Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Mrs Agnes Dowie, née Keltie, whose mother Mary Cook was a first cousin of Robert Lamb

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