Every Name A Story Content

Fletcher, R.U., Pte., 1914-18
Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

Robert Usson Fletcher, one of 12 children of whom only 7 survived and eight are known by name, of his known siblings was the 3rd born of 7 sons and had an elder sister. His father George Fletcher was born in 1850 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, his mother Martha Ann Usson in 1849 at Gateshead, County Durham, where they were married in the parish of St Edmund, April 3rd 1871. They settled at Sodhouse Bank, Gateshead Fell, (now known as Sheriff Hill, Gateshead), birthplace of daughter Elizabeth in 1874, John 1875, William Hall 1876, Robert Usson 1879, sadly their son William Hall Fletcher died, only 4 years old, in 1880. In 1881 their son Michael Forster Fletcher was born at Bywell, Northumberland (census 1881), but his birth was registered at Gateshead, where they were living at 42, Sodhouse Bank, George was employed as a potter at Sheriff Hill Pottery owned by Paul Jackson, also in the household was Pricilla Usson, his mother in law. George Jnr was born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in 1882, but the family returned to Wrekenton, Gateshead, where Alexander and William were born in 1884 and 1887 respectively. George had moved his family to Ouse Burn Road, Heaton, a suburb of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland by 1891, both he and son John (16) were employed as potters, the younger children with the exception of George Jnr were scholars. Ten years later they and their unmarried children were living at 10, St. Lawrence Street, Byker, George and Alexander (16) were pottery labourers, Robert (21) a mason’s labourer, by 1911 John. Alexander and George were still unmarried and living at home with their parents and a nephew, William Brugden (14), their sister Elizabeth’s child. They and their father were employed as labourers at the chemical works and were living in 2 rooms at 77, Shipley Street, Lemington, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland.

After the declaration of war Robert Usson Fletcher, who was 34 years and 10 months of age, left his employment as a labourer and was one of almost 500,000 men who came forward, between August 4th 1914 and the middle of September, in answer to Kitchener’s call to Arms. He enlisted by making his mark, September 2nd 1914 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland. As Private 19606 he was posted to the 10th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. The 10th (Service) Battalion, part of Kitchener’s Third New Army, was assigned to the 68th Brigade, 23rd Division.

Private Robert Usson Fletcher was discharged during his training period, October 15th 1914, having been considered medically unfit, free to return to his family home at 39, Shipley Street, Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

His brothers Private Michael Forster Fletcher and Private Alexander Fletcher were both casualties of war, his brother William also served with the Northumberland Fusiliers however no record has been found.

It should be noted that Robert Usson Fletcher and William Fletcher are included in error with their brothers in the list of those who gave their lives during the Great War on the memorial crucifix originally unveiled St Lawrence’s Churchyard and now within St. Silas Churchyard, Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland.

If Robert remained in Northumberland he may have died aged 78 years in 1958.

His father George Fletcher died in 1925 aged 74 years, details as regards Martha Ann Fletcher nee Usson, unknown.

In God’s safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

Robert Usson Fletcher is remembered at Byker on B95.09 and B95.11

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk