Robert was born in Folkestone in July 1890. His parents were Charles and Kate Wickenden. He had many brothers and sisters. His grand-daughter Fiona was only nine years old when he died in 1964 but has very fond memories of him, and his memory always lived on through her grandmother, mother and uncle.
Robert served in the 1st Battalion of the Buffs, the East Kent Regiment from 1914, having originally enlisted in February 1910, and was transferred to the army reserve in March 1919. He hardly ever spoke about the war to his family but they knew that he had suffered shrapnel injuries and had ongoing health issues due to several gas attacks in the trenches.
Robert married Charlotte Eliza Anne Drake in Folkestone in 1921. Fiona’s mother Phyllis and her uncle Bob were born in Folkestone in 1922 and 1924. The family moved to Ramsgate in the 1920s as Robert worked as a platelayer for the railways. He was transferred to Ramsgate when the new railway lines, the viaduct and the new Ramsgate Railway Station were constructed. The family lived in Coleman Crescent.
Fiona still lives in Ramsgate and still has her grandfather’s medals, which will be handed down to her son Louis.