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Robert Castling

Servicenumber : 300173
Rank : Sergeant
Regiment : Durham Light Infantry
Unit : 2nd Battalion
Date of Death : 13-04-1918
Age :
Grave : Row H. Grave 3.
Robert Castling was bon in Stanley. He was a son of Albert and Mary Castling. He lived with his parents in Annfield Plain nd worked as a coal miner when he enlisted as a Territorial soldier in the 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI) in 1913, aged 17 years. When WW1 began his battalion, together with the other 4 DLI Territorial Force battalions, was embodied and began training for service overseas.
In april 1915 Castling went to France with his battalion. In november 1915 he was court martialled for disobeying an order and received 14 days Field Punishment No. 1, which involved his being shackeled in irons in the open to the wheel of a gun or wagon for two hours a day. This, however, did not prevent Robert Castling being promoted to Lance Corporal and then Corporal in March 1917. That same month he was wounded in the shoulder and evacuated to a hospital in England. 
When he returned to active service in France in July 1917 he was posted to the 2nd Battalion DLI and was promoted to Sergeant in december. On 21 March 1918 during a German attack in Picardy, 2 DLI was almost destroyed in action at Marchies, near Bapaume. During the fighting Sergeant Castling "after being driven out or his post by overwhelming odd...reformed his section and retook it, driving the enemy well back". For his "fine courage and determination" he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Before he could be presented with his medal, he was killed in action.
 Picture: 01-07-2017
 
Sources: Website CWGC and website www.Durhamatwar.org.uk 

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