- 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
- 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
- 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.