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11193 Company Quarter Master Serjeant

Robert Arnott

14th Company 2nd Battalion 

New Zealand Otago Regiment

12th December 1917 

pw37company quartermaster serjeant rober

Born at 1am on 02/04/1878 at 22 Westbury Street, Glasgow, Scotland. 

His parents were James Arnott(02/02/1844-12/07/1917) and Isabella Blackwood(02/09/1843-14/05/1918). They were married on 29/06/1869.

Robert had 5 brothers, John(born on 10/06/1870),James Blackwood(22/10/1871-02/11/19420,Thomas(born in 1876),William(born in 1884) and David(born in 1886).   

He also had a sister, Agnes(born in 1880).

In the 1881(Scottish) census, the family were recorded as living at 46 Dick Street, Glasgow. James snr was employed as a bakers van man.

The 1891(Scottish) census, recorded that the family had moved to a new address, 727 New City Road , Glasgow. James snr was still working in the same job.

The family were still living at the same address when it came time to complete the 1901(Scottish) census. James snr still employed in the same job and now Robert was also working as a grocers assistant.

At some point in the next few years, Robert emigrated to New Zealand, probably alongside his older brother James, who also made the move to New Zealand.

Robert appears in both 1911 & 1914 editions of the NZ Electoral Roll, as living at 84 Walker Street, Dunedin and working as a grocer.

He enlisted on 13/01/1916 at Trentham Camp, having previously had a medical on in Dunedin on 26/10/1915, details of it as as follows;

Declared  Age - 34 Years, Trade or Occupation Grocers Assistant( his last employer was McFarlane & Peden in Dunedin), Height - 5ft 4 inches, Weight - 104lbs, Chest Measurement - Minimum - 34 inches, Maximum - 38 inches, Complexion - Fair, Colour of Eyes -Blue, Colour of Hair - Fair, Religious Profession - Presbyterian.

5 days before he embarked for Egypt from Wellington, Robert married Helen Bell Glendinning Riddell(06/03/1879-27/09/1969)on 26/04/1916. Once he set sail, he was never to see his new wife again.

It was just over a month later on 09/06/1916, when Robert dis-embarked in Suez. the next 2 months will have been spent training ,before he embarked for England from Alexandria on 26/07/1916.

Following 2 weeks at sea, Robert dis-embarked in Southampton on 07/08/1916. He then joined  the 3rd reserve battalion at Sling Camp, Wiltshire, the next day.

Nearly all of August was spent at Sling, before proceeding to France on 20/08/1916 and marching into Etaples Camp the following day.

The start of the next year saw Robert being appointed temporary Company Quarter Master Serjeant on the 16/01/1916, which led to him being promoted to Vice Company Quarter Mast Serjeant on 20/06/1917.

Robert returned to the UK on leave on 15/07/1917,not re-joining his battalion until 26/07/1917.

He was killed in action on 12/12/1917.

Robert was awarded the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.


Evening Star(New Zealand) - 28 December 1917 

"Arnott - On December 12, killed while in action somewhere in France, Quarter Master - Sergeant Robert Arnott(12th Reinforcements), beloved husband of Helen Riddell Arnott, 205 York Place(Dunedin)

Until the day dawns and the shadows flee away".


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