King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Trimble, Robert Maxwell

Second Lieutenant ▪ 2/5th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment

Robert Maxwell Trimble, born on 21st December 1895, was admitted to King Edward’s School in January 1906. He was one of four children, living with his mother, Lilly, his father, Robert, a surgeon, and two of his three siblings at ‘Fernleigh’, 16, New Street, West Bromwich. His brother, Claude, also an Old Edwardian, served with the Army in the war and survived, rising to the rank of Captain and fighting in the Battle of Cambrai in 1917.

Robert was in the Modern School, studying a primarily scientific, rather than classical, curriculum. In this respect he showed initial promise, coming 4th out of 21 in his class for science in 1911. However his performances tailed off as he progressed through the school, generally fluctuating around average. However, Robert was a strong gymnast, coming 1st in his class in 1912, and 3rd in the School in October 1913 with “a good all-round performance”. In the summer of 1913 he was also part of the winning 6-man team in the School’s annual swimming competition.

At the outbreak of war in 1914, Robert enlisted as a Private Soldier with the 14th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, becoming a Transport Officer with the Royal Army Medical Corps at some point in 1915. He received his commission in January 1916 as a Second Lieutenant with the 3/5th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment, Territorial Force. The School’s Service Record states that his work in Dublin resulted in him being mentioned for Distinguished Services; however, neither the nature of his actions nor the reasons for him being there are recorded. Robert was posted to France in February 1917 with the 2/5th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment. On 21st March 1918, he was reported missing, believed to have been killed, near Bullecourt. His body was never recovered but his is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. Robert left his estate of £158 to his father.