Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 2 C.
Born: Hemel Hempstead
Robert Alfred Quartermass was born in Hemel Hempstead, but lived on Berkhamsted High Street at No.56. His parents were John and Henrietta Quartermass and he had five siblings. In 1913, he married Mary Louisa Foskett.
Quartermass was part of the 7th Bedfordshires in the 18th Division and in September 1916 he took part in the Battle of Thiepval Ridge. The division was to attack the Schwaben Redoubt (a roughly triangular set of trench systems which had all-round defences, medical facilities and a maze of subterranean tunnels) at 1:00pm on the 28th of September.
From this day, until the 6th of October, the Schwaben Redoubt was repeatedly attacked by the 18th Division units and their systematic uphill advance met with early success, however this was halted by enemy machine gun fire. The Division occupied the southern and western sides of the Redoubt and by the end of the battle had taken most of the ridge line, but failed to take the northwest side.
However, success came on the 14th of October 1916 when the Cambridge Regiment managed to capture the redoubt by 11:00pm. Quatermass was killed in action during the initial attack on the 28th of September 1916. He was only married for 3 years.
Quartermass's name on the Thiepval Memorial
(Photo: Richard Grayson, 27th March 2012.)
By Tara Hancock & Bryn Holmes
24th June 2016