Robert Walker by SHS
Born and bred in Sutton, Robert was, according to the 1911 census, a 20 year-old colliery hewer, who was still living with his parents. He also played rugby and was signed on by the St. Helens club as a forward, making his senior debut in a 5-5 draw with Runcorn at Knowsley Road on 11th September 1909. These were exciting times for the Saints, with over 10,000 packing the famous enclosure, although they disappointed the large crowd, who, quite naturally had expected a convincing victory. Robert played in a forward pack with such luminaries as England international Frank Lee; Billy Briers and Butcher Prescott.
Robert made 11 appearances in the first Team from 1909-10 to 1910-11, although he did not score any tries. His last match, at home against Warrington, on 29th October 1910 was memorable in its own right. The Saints lost 9-17, with Australian Rupert Upton, who had been the cricket professional for St. Helens Recreation CC scoring a try in his one and only appearance for the club. Robert also played many matches for the A Team during his playing career at Knowsley Road.
At full-back in the Warrington game was New Zealand full-back Hubert Sydney Turtill and flying winger Jimmy Flanagan. How tragic to report that they, like Robert, were to lose their lives fighting for their country in the Great War. In fact, Bombardier Robert Walker of the Royal Field Artillery died at the age of 25 in India, on 26th August 1916, after having previously served in Egypt. He is buried in Karachi and his name can be seen on the war memorial at All Saints in Sutton. He is also remembered on the Delhi Memorial,INDIA GATE.
The SHS is grateful to Dave Dooley for researching this information and also to the archive of the Old Mersey Times, who first initially broke the news of his passing.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|11th Sep 1909||
|18th Sep 1909||
|25th Sep 1909||
|2nd Oct 1909||
|9th Oct 1909||
|16th Oct 1909||
|6th Nov 1909||
|8th Oct 1910||
|15th Oct 1910||
|22nd Oct 1910||
|29th Oct 1910||
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|
|WINS : 5 | LOSSES : 5 | DRAWS : 1|
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