PRIVATE ROBERT T INGLIS
28TH OCTOBER 1918 AGE 19
BURIED: NIEDERZWEHREN CEMETERY, KASSEL, GERMANY
Robert Inglis was taken prisoner, unwounded, at Ploegsteert on 11 April 1918. The information comes from his file in the Red Cross Prisoners of the First World War ICRC Historical Archives. Inglis served with the 10th Battalion Cheshire Regiment, not the 19th as it says on his War Grave Commission record, and was captured when the Germans overran the catacombs at Hill 63 near Ploegsteert Wood as they drove all before them during their Spring Offensive.
Six months later, Inglis, who had been held at Friedrichsfeld bei Wesel prisoner of war camp, died of unrecorded causes - most probably influenza - on 28 October 1918. He was 19 and ten months.
Alexander Inglis, Robert's father, chose his inscription. It comes from the last lines of a poem written by the English-born Canadian poet Robert Service, Young Fellow My Lad, which was published in Rhymes of a Red Cross Man, 1916. In the poem, the son tells the father that he's going to join up despite the father's protestations that he's only a boy: "I'm seventeen and a quarter, Dad, and ever so strong you know". The son goes off to fight and after some time the father receives no letters from him. He's very afraid:
I hear them tell that we've gained new ground,
But a terrible price we've paid:
God grant, my boy, that you're safe and sound;
But oh I'm afraid, afraid.
The son has been killed: "They've told me the truth, young fellow my lad: You'll never come back again". But he is able to comfort himself with the thought that his son will live on:
In the gleam of the evening star,
In the wood-note wild and the laugh of the child,
In all sweet things that are.
And you'll never die, my wonderful boy,
While life is noble and true;
For all our beauty and hope and joy
We will owe to lads like you.
Robert Inglis was the son of Alexander Inglis, a stableman, and his wife, Margaret, of Newlands, Glasgow.