|Date of Birth||June 12, 1888|
|Place of Birth||Hamilton, Lanarkshire|
|Trade / Calling||Blacksmith|
|Service Record||see images below|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Chatham, England|
|Age at Enlistment||32|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||March 22, 1960|
|Age at Death||76|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Robert Lockie Halliday was born on 12 June 1883 in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He was the first born child of William Halliday who was from Kirkfieldbank and Margaret Lockie who was from Newmains. The couple had married earlier that year in nearby Cambusnethan. Other children born in Hamilton were Marion, Elizabeth, William, Grace, and John. By 1900 and the birth of daughter Maggie, the family had moved to Whiteinch in the registration district of Partick in Glasgow. Over the years William worked as a coal miner, a commission agent, and a labourer in a saw mill in Whiteinch in the latter years.
On 12 February 1904, in the home of his bride-to-be in nearby Partick, Robert married Jeannie (Jane) Downie. Born on 16 May 1883 in Partick, birth date confirmed by her birth registration, Jeannie was the daughter of James Downie and Margaret Simpson. At the time of the marriage Robert was living in Whiteinch and working as a hammerman (blacksmith) and Jeannie was living in Partick and working as a laundry worker. The couple lived with Jeannie’s parents and family for the first couple of years, giving birth to daughters Margaret in 1904 and Gracie in 1906. By the time of the 1911 census, in the parish of St Bride’s in Partick, Robert was working as a carter for a mill. Living with Robert, Jeannie, and their two daughters were Jeannie’s brothers James, John, and Robert.
Robert signed his attestation papers with the Royal Navy on 14 August 1915 in Chatham, occupation given as blacksmith. He was short for the day, standing 5 feet, 2.5 inches. He had black hair, blue eyes, and had a tattoo on his right arm of crossed hands over a heart bearing the inscription ‘True Love, J Downie’.
Robert first served as a Stoker 2 on the Pembroke 2, a harbour service base ship in Chatham. In August of 1915 he was transferred to the Diligence, a depot ship that acted as post box and accounting, pay centre, etc for the destroyers equipment, munitions, and men serving aboard her attached destroyers. In March of 1916 he was promoted to Stoker 1 and the following April of 1917 started serving on the attached destroyer the Mary Rose. The Mary Rose was sunk off the coast of Norway on 17 October, with only ten survivors. At the time of the attack Robert was on the depot ship. A few days after the sinking Robert was transferred back to the Pembroke 2 until May of 1918. He was to serve for the duration of the war on the newly built Admiralty V Class destroyer Velox, designed and built as a flotilla leader. The Velox was first attached to the Attentive 2 and then to the Greenwich. With the end of the war, Robert was discharged from service on 18 March 1919. On demobilization his character was described as very good and his ability as satisfactory.
Robert immigrated to Canada in August of 1923, arriving in Quebec aboard the Canada on the 30th. With former occupation given as cattle checker, he was on his way to Winnipeg to work as a harvester. By the time Jeannie arrived in Canada in March of 1924 aboard the Marburn, Robert was living in Kenora, Ontario. Daughters Margaret and Grace were also passengers on the ship, headed to Toronto to work as domestics, with their passage paid for by the Ontario Government.
Robert and Jeannie were to make Kenora their home, living on Third Street South. Jeannie’s brother Robert also immigrated to Kenora, with both Roberts listed as millhands on Voters lists. Robert died at home on 22 March 1960. Jeannie, brother Robert, and widowed daughter Margaret Armstrong were living together in the family home for a 1965 Voters list. Jeannie died on 22 May 1968 in St Joseph’s Hospital in Kenora. At the time of her death she was survived by daughters Margaret Armstrong of Kenora and Grace (Oscar) Johnson of Toronto and brothers Robert Downie of Kenora and Mathew Downie of Toronto. Robert and Jeannie are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. Jeannie’s forename is given as Jane and her year of birth as 1885 on their gravemarker.
by Judy Stockham