Norwich – Earlham Cemetery (Robin Henry Hubert le Brasseur)

This is the war grave of Robin Henry Hubert le Brasseur, located at Earlham Cemetery, but not in the main Commonwealth War Graves section. Robin was born in 1884 in Hampstead, London, the son of Robert and Agnes le Brasseur.

Robert le Brasseur was clearly a wealthy man, he had founded the law company Le Brasseur and Oakley in 1881, which still exists today in the large legal business now named RLB Law. In 1891, the family were living at 63, Belsize Avenue, with three servants supporting them. They’re also listed on something new to me, which is the 1893 Westminster Roman Catholic Census. The family were living at the same location in 1901, although things must have been going well, as they now have five servants to serve their every need and whim.

The family then moved to Carey Street in London, which by chance I visited a few weeks ago in the hunt of the Victorian Star Yard toilets. I would say that the le Brasseurs might have used these toilets, but I suspect they probably didn’t, not given the huge property which they owned.

But, back from this decadence to Robin. He was educated at Wimbledon College and although I can’t find his war records on-line, he joined the RAF and soon became a Lieutenant. By 1916, he was part of the No. 16 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps, a dangerous unit to be in as flight technology was hardly developed at that point.

Despite the dangers of his job, Robin didn’t die in a plane crash, but during a period when he was off-duty following service in France. Robin was travelling from Cromer to Norwich, but the tyre burst on his car near to the Plough & Shuttle public house in Marsham (that pub is still there, it changed name to the Flags in 1985 and then to the Plough Inn in 1999) which led to his car crashing into a house. The local press reported that Dr. Morton and Dr. Little came from Aylsham to assist, with Robin being taken by “a motor ambulance” to the Norfolk War Hospital (which later became known as St. Andrew’s Hospital in Norwich, which closed in 1998). Robin died at 7am the following morning, 24 May 1916, aged 31.