Name: Robert Abram
DoB: September 21 1891
Regt: Captain 3rd Border Regiment
DoD: October 26 1917
Academic Career: 1904-11
Other: CC Minor Scholar Tutor in Private Choir School
Family Background: Robert’s family history shows evidence of social mobility in the C19th and early C20th. Robert was a Grammar School boy who became a captain in the Border Regiment. His father, Thomas, was a locomotive engine driver. The railways were an organisation that rewarded the hard work and dedication of sober and responsible men. Thomas had begun as a labourer on the railways and had risen to being a stoker and then a driver. His own father, also Robert, is recorded as being in Brampton Union Workhouse, aged five, in 1841. His mother (we presume) Ann Abrams (sic), aged 25, and brother John (aged two) were also in the workhouse. Robert and John may have been together in the infants room (at least until Robert turned seven) but they would have been separated from their mother. Workhouses, after the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, had been made deliberately harsh to ensure only the most destitute applied, so families were split up. We can only imagine what young Robert endured. At least by the age of 16 he was working as a servant for a farmer of 160 acres and later he became a railway guard. He died in 1895, without seeing the success of his son. Thomas and his wife Mary Jane Hamilton had seven children: Robert was the second child and only he and younger brother Henry attended the Grammar School.
The Cumberland News reported that at the time of Robert’s death three brothers were also on active service and his youngest brother and sisters were engaged in war work.