Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1915, Captain Robert Edward Michael Pakenham, Reserve of Officers, attached to 2nd Battalion, the Royal Munster Fusiliers, died of wounds received in action on the Western Front.
The eldest of four sons of Major Charles Pakenham of the Royal Bengal Fusiliers, he was educated at Lausanne House School in Worthing and the United Service College in Westward Ho! He received his commission in March of 1897 and served in the South African Wars, notably the advance on Kimberley and the action at Belmont as well as operations in the Orange Free State and the Orange River Colony.
Captain Pakenham had retired from military service in March of 1912, but at the outbreak of the Great War he rejoined from the Reserve of Officers. He saw action in Flanders and France, and on the 22nd of December in 1914 he was grievously wounded as he led his men into action near Bethune in France. Captain Pakenham was taken to the military hospital at Boulogne before being sent home in the hope that he would recuperate. His condition deteriorated and he died from the effects of his wounds the following month. He lies buried in Kensal Green (All Souls’) Cemetery in London, and is commemorated on the war memorials at Totland Christ Church and Carisbrooke Castle.
Robert, from Armagh, was 40 years old and married with two young children.