Warrant Engineer 

Robert William Crossman 


Royal Navy

Died On:
10 September 1939


Robert Robertson was born in Berwick, Northumberland on 9 March 1906, the son of Matthew and Annie Robertson.  He joined the Royal Navy as an Artificer Apprentice at HMS FISGARD on 11 February 1922.  On completion of his apprenticeship he first served in HMS CYCLOPS and then in the battleship HMS MARLBOROUGH from 15 January 1927 to 16 October 1929 and then in the cruiser HMS CALYPSO from 5 November 1929 to 15 May 1932.

Having volunteered and been accepted for submarine service in September 1928 he was drafted to HMS DOLPHIN ‘for Submarines’ on 22 June 1932.  He joined the Submarine Depot Ship HMS TITANIA ‘for Submarine H34’ on 1 April 1933.  Robert Robertson returned to HMS DOLPHIN on 5 September 1934 and then joined HMS TITANIA ‘for Submarine HMS STURGEON’ on 20 September 1934 – serving in that submarine until 27 July 1936.  He was then sent to the Far East to join the Submarine Depot Ship HMS MEDWAY at Hong Kong and served in HMS PANDORA from 1 January 1937 to 19 October 1937.

Acting Chief Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class Robert Robertson then returned home to HMS DOLPHIN where he was promoted to Acting Warrant Engineer on 1 April 1938.  Following post promotion courses he returned to submarine duties in September 1938.  He was appointed to Submarine HMS OXLEY as Engineer on 14 April 1939.

After the outbreak of WWII HMS OXLEY was torpedoed and sunk whilst on patrol on 10 September 1939 by HMS TRITON after OXLEY strayed out of her area and failed to respond to challenges from TRITON.

Robert Robertson was the husband of Ivy Minnie Robertson (née Morrice) of Green Street Green, Kent.  They had been married in Bromley, Kent in 1929.  He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial on Panel No. 33 Column No. 1.


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