World War 1

Search the known records to date of those lost from the wider Alnwick area in World War 1

Generally showing where they are commemorated, when they died and some basic facts about each person. There are gaps, however, so if you can fill in any missing details do please contact us.

Robert Wood McLaren

Robert Wood



Service Number:


East Yorkshire Regiment, 1st Battalion


Soissons Memorial

Service History:
Enlisted at Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland.

It appears likely McLaren would have undergone training in one of the two reserve battalions of the East Yorkshire Regiment based at Seaton Delaval.

He shipped out to France on Easter Monday 1918 (10 March) to join the 1st Battalion, which suffered greatly during the German spring offensive. After re-organisation, on 4-5 May the battalion moved by train to St. Omer to join the French 6th Army. From a camp at Romigny, for the next week the battalion formed working parties & went on route marches to keep the men fit. By 22 May it had moved into support trenches at Cauroy-lès-Hermonville where two relatively quiet days were spent repairing trenches overlooking the Aisne-Marne Canal.

'The Fallen of Embleton 1914-1919' records that nobody had anticipated a renewed German advance but on 26 May the battalion noticed a great deal of enemy activity to the front of their area & were warned to expect an attack.

At 01:00 hours on 27 May there was a heavy gas attack along the front & orders were given to demolish the Aisne-Marne Canal Bridge. The expected attack followed at 03:00 hours. Parts of the battalion were enveloped & the rest made a gradual withdrawal to Hermonville. A further enemy advance in force on 28 May over-ran several out-posts, which caused the battalion to withdraw southwards until they met up with a French machine-gun company & made a stand at St. Joseph's Farm. Further withdrawals followed until the German advance eventually lost momentum.

Between 27-30 May the battalion lost six other ranks killed, 55 wounded, & 314 missing. McLaren was one of those men killed in action.
(Source: 'The Fallen of Embleton, 1914-1919' written & researched by Terry Howells; Mary Kibble; & Monica Cornall; 2014; pp. 60-62)

Born at Embleton, Northumberland on 14 December 1898, & named after his father, Robert Wood McLaren.

His mother was Jane Ann McLaren (née Johnson) who died in 1901, after which McLaren was brought up in the homes of his maternal & paternal grandparents. In 1911 he lived in his grandfather's house at Woodstead.

In 1913 he & his father emigrated to Canada, only to return home in 1915, at which point McLaren went to work for Armstrong Whitworth at Scotswood, Newcastle, for a year until he was 18.

Resident at 32, Fifth Avenue, Heaton, Newcastle.
(Source: 'The Fallen of Embleton, 1914-1919' written & researched by Terry Howells; Mary Kibble; & Monica Cornall; 2014; pp. 60-62)

Local Memorial:
Embleton, Memorial Obelisk in Spitalford Cemetery Embleton, Church of England School Memorial Plaque