An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

Robert Wilson GEDDES

No. 899809 Sergeant, 124th Field Regiment,
Royal Regiment of Artillery.

Died 13 May 1942, aged 23 years.

Commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt,
Column 31.

124th Field Regiment RA was a Northumbria-based gunner regiment of the Territorial Army. It fought in North Africa as part of the Eighth Army. Sergeant Geddes died during the heavy desert fighting between the Allied and Axis forces.

The Land Forces Panels of the Alamein Memorial record the names of over 8,500 British and Commonwealth soldiers, Sergeant Geddes among them, who died during the North African campaign and who have no known grave.

Robert Wilson Geddes, born in 1919, was the son of David Duncan Geddes and Marion Geddes from Newcastle, where his father was an electrical engineer in a power station. In October 1932 both his parents died, in their mid-40s and within a week of each other, and so Robert would have been in the guardianship of his brother John Duncan Geddes, who was eight years his senior. Robert came to Coatham School as a boarder in April 1933, aged fourteen, joining School House. In July 1934 he won the form prize for Form IVB. In July 1935, in Form VA, he passed his School Certificate examination. He left school that same year. The school magazine of June 1944 had a report from another Old Boy, Gunner E. Brown, R.A., mentioning Robert’s “death in action”. He was first listed on the School’s Roll of Honour in December 1944.