Robin Rochester Jaques


About Robin

  • Name
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    9 January 1897
  • Birth town
    Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Resided town
    Chelsea, London
  • Commemorated
    Grantham Cemetery
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
    Newton, Lincolnshire
  • Date of death
    8 August 1923
  • Married
  • Occupation

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Middlesex Regiment


Robin Jaques was born on 9 January 1897 in Heaton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne to parents Joseph, a billiard room manager, and Florence (nee King). Robin was the eldest of eight children and in the 1911 census, the family was living at 11 Cheltenham Terrace, Heaton, Newcastle and his father’s occupation was a brewer’s traveller.

Robin’s service record has not survived but we do know that he served as a Private in the Middlesex Regiment and was posted to France on 18 June 1917. He was later commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Scots Fusiliers prior to joining the newly formed Royal Air Force.  He was awarded the British War and Allied Victory Medals.

In 1923, aged 26, he was appointed as Flying Officer with the RAF and started training with 100 Squadron at RAF Spittlegate, Grantham.  On 23 August 1923, whilst flying solo in an Avro 504 bi-plane at a height of 1,000ft, he appeared to be trying to execute a left-hand turn, when the plane went into a vertical dive and crashed into a barley field, killing Robin instantly.  The Coroner returned a verdict of “accidental death”.

Robin was a keen sportsman and became a semi-professional footballer. He signed to Clapton Orient and Fulham Football Club but his career was cut short when he died young.

Robin had married 20-year-old nurse Mary Adelaide Thorne less than three years earlier at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea. Their son Robin was three years old and daughter Josephine was just 18 months when their father was killed. They lived at Newton, Lincolnshire.  Mary had been left just £180 to bring up her two children and went to live with her parents in Chelsea.

Josephine, whose nickname was Hattie, went on to become one of Britain’s best loved actresses featuring in many stage, radio and screen productions including the “Carry On” films.

Robin was buried in an unmarked grave in a Grantham Cemetery only two days after the accident.  The Lincolnshire Family History Society raised funds for a permanent memorial and in 2015, a headstone memorial for Robin Jaques was unveiled in Grantham, 92 years after his death.

Headstone photograph used with grateful thanks to Peter Reichelt.  Additional photographs kindly provided by family members.

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