Monday, July 9, 2012

Private Robert Campbell Revera 202309

The CWGC has one entry for Robert C Revera which shows the middle name to be Campbell. This name is unusual enough that I am certain the records are all for the correct man.

It turned out that there was an interesting family story behind Robert Revera and I admit I did get a bit sidetracked so there is more information on this post about his family than is really necessary.


Robert Campbell Revera was born in Liverpool on 24th August 1888 and baptised in St James Church on June 20th 1897 along with his brother Thomas William John Revera. Their parents were William John (and engine fitter) and Sarah Arabella Revera of 16 Court 1 House Hampton Street.  The church record (below) shows that he was born in 1885 but the BMD record and later census returns all show 1888.

baptism record source:

A copy of the marriage certificate for William John Revera and Sarah Arabella John shows that William's father was called Campbell Revera (and he was from Mexico) so that explains Robert's middle name.

William had several siblings and his parents all living in Liverpool.

At the time of the 1891 census the Revera family were living in 4 court 2 house, Hampton Street. The form shows that this family of 2 adults and 3 children were living in 4 rooms, this was quite spacious by the standards of court housing at the time.
The census returns below show John on the bottom of the first page with the rest of the family (wife Sarah, children Mary, Charley and Robert) continued on the second page.

1891 census image source
Baptism and birth records show that they had at least 7 children, Mary Ellen (b 1884) Charles (b 1886) Robert Campbell (b 1888) Ada (1892) Rosalia (1894) Thomas William John (b 1897) and Campbell (b 1899) It is possible that Sarah's death was related to childbirth as she died in 1899, the same year Campbell was born.

At the time of the 1901 census William Revera was a widower and was still employed as an engine fitter. He was a boarder at the house of Mr and Mrs Larkham, 11 Dolling Street, Toxteth. Robert (aged 13) and Thomas (aged 4) were living with him.Once again the Reveras are spread over 2 pages of the census.
1901 census image source
A search for the rest of the children shows that Ada and Rose were at a Girl's Industrial School at 24 Dingle Lane. Mary Ellen was enumerated as a visitor at someone's house, Charles was a boarder, aged 15, and working as a kitchen boy. Campbell was living with his grandparents.

In 1904 Robert's grandfather, Campbell Revera, died. I think that the young Campbell (aged 4 at the time) was then adopted by his aunt and uncle and became Campbell Revera Foster.

At the time of the 1911 census, Robert was aged 22 and living with his father and his brother William at 20a Yates St. This street still exists, it runs between Mill St and Beaufort Street in Toxteth and one side of the street is elevated, with steps up to the pavement and the terraced houses.
The Reveras probably only had the upstairs or the downstairs as their census return shows they lived in 20a and only had 2 rooms. Robert was 22 years old and working as a Dock Labourer.

Census returns show that Charles was still in boarding lodgings and worked as a leather porter. Ada was working as a domestic maid, Rosalia was a kitchen maid, Mary Ellen was a servant and Campbell was living with his adoptive family.

In 1913 Charles married Elizabeth Agnes Collingwood, they had a daughter Mary Agnes born 19th April 1914.

In 1914 Mary Ellen married Harry Cornwell.
On 22nd August 1915 Robert was married to Ellen Burgess in St Gabriel's Church (which was on the corner of Beaufort St and Yates St) They lived at Clive St, which was just around the corner.

*****Military history********

Robert Campbell Revera was a Private in The King's (Liverpool Regiment) with the regimental number 202309. As you can see, other than the fact that he was awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal, the card does not tell us anything else.

His entry in UK Soldiers Died in the Great War has the following information:

Name: Robert Campbell Revera
Residence: Liverpool
Death Date: 24 Mar 1918
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Liverpool
Rank: Private
Regiment: King's (Liverpool Regiment)
Battalion: 12th Battalion
Number: 202309
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

The 'other information' on his CWGC entry says Son of the late William John and Sarah Revera; husband of Ellen Revera, of 341, Mill St., Liverpool.

Two of Robert's brothers were also killed in WW1, but they do not appear on the memorial so I assume they weren't parishioners of St James.

Some of Charles Revera's service papers still exist, they show a bit of a family rift between his widow (who remarried 10 months after his death) and his sister.

The third brother, Thomas, served and  survived the war.

I have been informed that Robert Revera was related to one of the other names on the memorial, George James Harker.

CWGC Archives information:
The CWGC have recently added images of documents from their archives to their online database. The entry for Robert Campbell Revera shows that his body was exhumed and reburied after the war. He was found buried with a group of soldiers, many of the others were unidentified and were reburied under the standard wording "A SOLDIER OF THE GREAT WAR, KNOWN UNTO GOD" 4 of these unknown soldiers could be identified as the Royal Irish Rifles from their buttons. One was identified only as 'unknown major' but Robert Campbell Revera's entry was amended from 'unknown' to identified, the form shows that he was identified by 'disc' presumably his identity disc.
The forms also show that his wife had the following words added to his headstone:

There is an interesting article here on the Western Front Association website about WW1 identification tags.

No comments: