Lieutenant Robert Hamilton Poynder

South Staffordshire Regiment

Died: 24 March 1918

Age: 22

Robert Hamilton Poynder, son of the Reverend A Poynder, Incumbent of St. Paul’s, Jersey, was born at South Lyncombe, Bath, 23rd October, 1895. He was educated at Glengarth and Dean Close, Schools at Cheltenham until his parents came to Jersey, when he entered College, remaining for two years, 1910-1912. After a year’s private tuition his father, wishing him to learn business methods, sent him to a friend at Hove in whose Library he was at work until he volunteered for service in June 1915. One who knew him there wrote: “Everyone will miss his sweet influence. Many here in Hove will long remember his sojourn among us…”

Having been gazetted to the RMIJ, and thence to The South Staffordshire Regiment, he was trained at St. Peter’s Barracks, Jersey, and subsequently was for many months Lewis Gun Instructor, until he was ordered overseas in November 1916, and attached to the 2nd Battalion, The South Staffordshire Regiment, in due course becoming Lieutenant. In December 1917, he was in action at Cambrai, and his Division was complimented by Sir Douglas Haig for saving a critical situation.

On 21st March 1918, the Battalion had just come out for a much needed “rest”, when they received orders to proceed again up the line in consequence of the great German attack.

Poynder was in command of his Company, and on Palm Sunday, 24th March, whilst leading his men, was shot through the chest and killed instantaneously.

His Company Commander wrote: “I think it will help you to know how very popular he was amongst us and what a splendid officer he was. His men admired him greatly, and many have come to me to express personally how much they feel his loss. For myself I have lost a good ‘pal’. He often acted for me as Company Commander, and. “right well he did it.””

A tablet to his memory has been placed in St. Paul’s Church by the congregation, among whom he had many friends.

The above text appeared in the Victoria College Book of Remembrance which was published in 1920.

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