Appendix_3 to 'The LANE/LAIN(E)s of Ulster, Ireland'

The "LANE Family" section of this site is divided into 8 chapters and 8 appendices. Please read in sequence by following the links at the bottom of each page or use the "Quick Nav" at top right. Please note the companion photo galleries which show the LANE family house ruins in Co. Tyrone, Ireland; the LANEs' Parish church in Lissan; the homes and graves of the LANEs in Jarrow, Newcastle-upon-Tyne & Joseph LANE's employment and death at Palmers Engineering Works. Note the styles: links to individual images: …#35 ; citation of sources: …ix) If you wish to select individual chapters, please click on the top left link to the Sitemap page.

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Appendix 8: Robert Strong LANE

Under construction

Personal aside…

The following man was my first cousin, 2X removed. His name showed me that his branch of my family knew who they were… descended from my great grandfather Robert STRONG. His mother Jane LANE (née STRONG) was a daughter from Robert's first marriage, which made Jane my half great aunt. His father Joseph was my great great uncle, the sister of my great grandmother Jane LANE. Joseph's father James LANE was my great great grandfather! Does all this sound complicated? You're right! I spent years looking for Jane LANE (née STRONG) and her family, and pursued red herrings in New Zealand The old people said she married a Captain Joseph Lane with 2 daughters and could be related to Lane family with Timber Yards up north in the North Island NZ. By 2002 we found that she was living in Jarrow all this time! At least the story of the two daughters was correct, and Joseph was close to being a captain. The moral of the story? Never give in!

Back to the story

Robert Strong (Bob) LANE was the son of Joseph LANE (c1848-15 Jun 1915) & Jane STRONG (23 Sep 1854-21 Jul 1927). He was born on 6 Oct 1880 in 8 Edgar St, Jarrow, Durham, England …r/i) and died in the St Mary's Rest Home, Whitley Bay, Northumberland South, England, on 15 Dec 1967 at the age of 87.…r/ii) His parents' family home was at 8 Edgar Rd Jarrow (1881) and then at 25 Bede Burn Rd, Jarrow (1901),…r/ix) where he lived until he was married 6 Nov 1909 in the Wesleyan Chapel Brighton St Seacorube to Mary Wilhilamina Armstrong (Willa) PLAYFAIR.…r/v)

Image of Robert Strong LANE Uni gown.Robert Strong LANE attended Armstrong College Durham University. Photo: Courtesy of Pat Rooney.

Willa was the daughter of David PLAYFAIR (1852-) & Dorothy ARMSTRONG (1855-).…r/ix) She was born c1884…r/iii) and died in 1960 at the age of 76…r/iv). In 1891 she lived at 108 Albert Rd Jarrow Durham England…r/ix) and at the time of her marriage to Robert in 1909 she lived at 28 Clarcudon Road Seacorube, Co. Cheshire.…r/v)

Robert and Willa's family home was 12 Wansbeck Rd, Jarrow (see photo below), and they were recorded living there from 1911 …r/ix) at least until 1956 when Bob's sister Josephine (Cissie) died with a bequest to Robert Strong LANE retired schoolmaster.…fb/i)


The 1901 Census recorded Robert as a school teacher at age 20 in 1901.…r/ix) Pat Rooney said he attended Armstrong College Durham University and sent me a photo of him in his academic gown (see left).…fb/ii) Someone might advise me if this gown and mortar board meant he graduated and in what faculty? When he married in 1909, his rank or profession was elementary school master (assistant).…r/v)

In 1920 he registered as a teacher with the Teachers Registration Council,…fb/vi) with the professional address of New Town Council School, Hebburn-on-Tyne. He listed his attainments as the Board of Education Certificate, and his training in teaching at Armstrong College, Newcastle-on-Tyne. There was no mention of a degree from Armstrong College, but this did not necessarily rule out a graduate status. His experience was described as Assistant Master: New Town Council School, Hebburn-on-Tyne. 1902→ …r/xii)

Photos were found…fb/iv) of Robert in Norman Dunn's photographic site "Old Hebburn, Jarrow, South Shields".…w/vi) This showed Robert (named) as a teacher/football coach with the New Town School (Hebburn) football team in 1927-8 Season. and also with a group of boys from the same school. Please click on the separate thumbnail images below, for the full images in the LANE photogallery..

Image of Robert Strong LANE with football team.Image of blank.Image of Robert Strong LANE with boys.

What happened in his later career? Pat Rooney said Robert S. was a head teacher (around) the outbreak of WWII…fb/iv) I have kept looking for a later photo of him in a Hebburn school as a headmaster or at least a mention in a newspaper?

In 1939 he hadn't achieved his promotion. The National Register…fb/vi) recorded him merely as a schoolmaster, living at 12 Wansbeck road Jarrow with his wife Mary W., daughter Dorothy (school teacher) and son Robert P. (clerk constructional stocktaker).…r/xiii)

At last… on 4 Dec 1940 it was announced:

HEBBURN SCHOOL HEAD RESIGNS The Education Committee has received the resignation of Mr. E. P. Watson, headmaster of the Newtown School, which will take effect at the end of the year. Mr. Watson has completed 40 years’ service under the authority. Mr. R. S. Lane, senior assistant, has been appointed temporary headmaster at the school. …n/iii)

He was aged 60 when he received the promotion to temporary headmaster. I wonder if his appointment was confirmed? He may have had 5 years before he retired, since in the UK in the 1940’s the state pension age was 65. Could not find any further mention of Robert S. Lane in the newspapers.

Military Service

While Robert was a teacher, the Jarrow Absent Voters October 1918 showed he did military service with the Tyne Electrical Engineers, Royal Engineers. He was clearly identified with his full name and residential address.…r/viii) Unfortunately this list did not show his service number, which might prove that military service medal and award records for a Robert S. LANE, in the Royal Engineers (service # R.E. (T) 1762, sapper in the Royal Engineers 466293),…r/vi), r/vii might relate to our Robert Strong LANE. 40% of WWI personnel records were lost due to bombing in 1940 in WWII., and the Royal Engineers were particularly affected. Usually the British War Medal and Victory Medal were only awarded for overseas service…w/ii) and if Robert S LANE is the same as ours then the following scenario is possible.

Image of Wilhilamina  LANE with daughter Dorothy (Doreen).Wilhilamina LANE with daughter Dorothy (Doreen).
Photo: Courtesy of Pat Rooney.

Robert's motivation for military service could have been the death of his father Joseph on 15 Jun 1915 in a Zeppelin raid on Palmers Works Jarrow. These circumstances are described in detail in Chapter 8. Morris described local and national feeling:

The raid… on the Tyne demonstrated the defencelessness of the industrial establishments of England. It was represented by prominent citizens that Zeppelins apparently could come when they liked and go when they felt inclined without let or hindrance from anyone on our side.…b/iii)…p39

On the other hand, at that time teachers were not usually exempt from military duty:

A meeting of the Hebburn Military Tribunal was held last night (23 May 1916). The Hebburn Education Committee appealed for exemption for the headmaster of St Oswald’s School and it was stated that that was the only teacher they were appealing for. Exemption was granted. …n/i)

Short’s History of the Tyne Electrical Engineers, Royal Engineers (TEE)…b/ii)tells us that the TEE were responsible for anti aircraft defence, and the first A.A. searchlight was erected on Tyneside in Feb 1915.…b/ii)…p47 Robert may have been a member of the TEE at the time he lost his father and friends in the Jun 15 raid. He would have keenly felt anger at the ineffectual effors of TEE in defence and communications. Perhaps he then volunteered for overseas service the next month in Jul 1915, even though he was aged 35 at the time.

Late in July, volunteers were called for service with oxy-acetylene searchlights a the Front and on August 20th a draft of 60 corporals, second corporals and sappers left Haslar Barracks… The detachment reached Rouen the following day. The lights were intended for the detection of raiding parties crossing “no man's land” during the hours of darkness. So dangerous indeed was this work regarded, that these detachments of the Tyne and London Electrical Engineers earned the universal sobriquet of the “suicide brigade”.…b/ii)…p81

Image of Robert Strong LANE and his wife Wilhilamina.Robert Strong LANE and his wife Wilhilamina.
Photo: Courtesy of Pat Rooney.

Regrettably, the account of the TEE mentions names of officers but not the sappers which may have included our Robert!…b/ii) I was disappointed in the book National Union of Teachers war record 1914-1919… no serial numbers. All it gave was confirmation that Robert enlisted as a member of the Hebburn teachers association. …b/i…p152, w/iv)


If the RS LANE in the Royal Engineers is ours, then he had a varied and distinguished military career. On 5 Jan 1917 Serjeant RS LANE (service # 65630) Royal Engineers was gazetted receiving the Military Medal for bravery in the Field. This military decoration was awarded to R S LANE for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire or for individual or associated acts of bravery. See here. …w/v), n/ii) He (the same soldier?) was commissioned as a "Temporary 2nd Lieutenant with the seniority date of 15 Dec 1917.…w/v) He was then in the Middle East theatre, attached to the Canadian Royal Engineers in Aleppo, Syria. Finally in 1919 he was evacuated from Riyaq (Arabic: رياق ), in English… Rayak. Rayak was Lebanon's most important railway centre on the Beirut–Damascus line built in 1891. He was recorded with Benign Tertian Malaria (Primary), and received 3 days treatment in the No. 31 Casualty Clearing Station, located at (?). … r/x), w/v)





The National Union of Teachers (NUT) War Record 1914-1919 did not include a RS LANE in its lists of the Military Medal awards. …b/i…p87 However, our Robert could still have received this award. NUT explains the incompleteness of their "gallant services" lists:

one of the greatest difficulties in compiling (these lists) has been of ascertaining which teachers were honoured for gallant services, and if in the records any names are omitted it is, we believe, due not to any lack of inquiry and research, but to reluctance on the part of those honoured to give any details unless actually confronted with a definite request.…b/i…p206

Note: Service numbers were not standardised until 1921, thus many records did not include a service number and many were duplicated.…w/v This makes our WWI research a little harder!

Robert Strong LANE's descendants are our last chance in giving us certainty in knowing if we have the right RS LANE of the Royal Engineers… can you help?

Image of Robert Playfair LANE liberated in Venice.Robert Playfair LANE (centre)
Photo: Courtesy of Pat Rooney.

Robert Playfair (Roy) LANE

Robert Strong LANE's son Robert Playfair (Roy) LANE followed the family tradition, both in having his mother's maiden name as his second name, and also in receiving a military commission. In WWII on 15 Feb 1941 Robert Playfair was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery (service # 170811).…w/v) Next year on 17 Dec 1943 he was reported missing in the Middle East – Aegean location from an action on 16 Nov 1943.…w/v) He had served in the heavy anti-aircraft artillery. Next year on 7 Jan 1944 he was reported a prisoner of war in German hands. Further details followed that he was in the camp Oflag 9a/Z at Rotenburg an der Fulda Germany (120km S of Hannover), service# 170811.…w/v) Oflag is an abbreviation of the German word "Offizierslager" and was the label for camps that housed officers. On 3 May 1945 it was reported that he was liberated,…w/v) which was just prior to the German surrender on 7 May 1945 (VE Day). See the photo of Robert Playfair in uniform, when he was liberated in Venice in May 1945.…fb/ii)



Image of Robert’s home at 12 Wansbeck road.Robert Strong LANE’s home at 12 Wansbeck road, Jarrow (centre). He lived there at least from 1911 to 1956. He then spent his final years in St Mary's Rest Home, South Parade, Whitley Bay… a seaside holiday resort.
We hope he had a good view of the sea front from South Parade until his death on 15 Dec 1967.…r/ii)
His son Robert Playfair STRONG lived at 12 Wansbeck road until he died in 30 Jan 1981. …fb/i)

Descendancy Report:

An earlier chapter has a LANE descendancy report, commencing with James LAIN b. 1817. See here.
See below for an alternate report which commences from Robert Strong LANE's wife Willa's ARMSTRONG maternal ancestors. This is done to give an opportunity to share material from an ARMSTRONG Bible which gave exact DoB of each of Willa's mother's siblings. This Bible was kindly posted to me by Gladys LANE and Tony APPLETON.…fb/iv) The ARMSTRONG data was verified and augmented by christening records and the various censuses.…r/ix), r/xi)


Appendix 8: All Sources Cited.

      Newspapers and Periodicals.
n/i)The Tribunals: Hebburn. Shields Daily Gazette and Shipping Telegraph; 24 May 1916.
n/ii)  Award of the Military Medal. Supplement to the London Gazette; 5 Jan 1917: 346.
     See here, then use pull-down menu to go to page 346.
n/iii)   Hebburn school head resigns. Newcastle Evening Chronicle; 4 Dec 1940: 3.
      Archives, Registrations and Lists:
r/i) Birth of Robert Strong LANE. Year & quarter: Dec 1880. District: South Shields. County: Durham. Volume: 10A. Page: 687.
r/ii) Death of Robert S Lane. Death Registration Month/Year: Oct-Nov-Dec 1967. Age at death: 87. Registration district: Northumberland South. Inferred County: Northumberland. Volume: 1b. Page: 447.
r/iii) Birth of Mary Wilhelmina A Playfair. Year & quarter: Apr-May-Jun 1884. District: South Shields. County: Durham. Volume: 10A. Page: 841.
r/iv) Death of Mary W A Lane. Death Registration Month/Year: Jul-Aug-Sept 1960. Age at death: 76. Registration district: Durham North Eastern. Inferred County: Durham. Volume: 1a. Page: 380.
r/v) Marriage of Robert Strong LANE & Mary Wilhilamina Armstrong PLAYFAIR. Month/Year: Oct-Nov-Dec 1909. Registration district: Birkenhead. Inferred County: Cheshire. Volume: 8a. Page: 949.
r/vi) AncestryCom. British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920. 2008.
r/vii) AncestryCom. UK, WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920. 2014.
r/viii)  Jarrow Absent Voters October 1918: Jarrow Polling District F (Grange Ward). Durham County Record Office; CC/Cl 1/203: page 56.
r/ix) UK Census… 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911.
r/x) First World War Representative Medical Records of Servicemen from No. 31 Casualty Clearing Station. The National Archives in Kew. MH106/597. Transcribed by Forces War Records.
r/xi) AncestryCom. England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906
r/xii) Findmypast. Teachers' Registration Council Registers 1914-1948 See here.
r/xiii) Findmypast. National Register: National Registration Act. (National Registration Day 29 Sept 1930). See here.
      Wills & papers, Correspondence:
fb/i)   England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations),1861-1941.
fb/ii)   Pers. Comm: Pat Rooney, of Co. Durham, a direct descendant of Robert Strong LANE. 2003.
fb/iii)   Pers.comm: Vin Mullen of Co. Durham, UK. 2009-2018.
fb/iv)   Pers.comm: Tony Appleton of Co. Durham, UK. 2002-2018.
fb/v)   Pers.comm: Norman Dunn of Co. Durham, UK. 2002-2018.
fb/vi)   Pers.comm: Vera of Co. Durham, UK. 2018.
m/i)1917 OS Survey map of Jarrow etc. Durham Sheet III. 12.
b/i)  National Union of Teachers. National Union of Teachers war record 1914-1919 : a short account of duty and work accomplished during the war. Naval & Military Press; Uckfield, East Sussex: 1920.
b/ii)  (Major) O.M. Short. The History of the Tyne Electrical Engineers, Royal Engineers : from the formation of the Submarine Mining Company of the 1st Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Durham (Volunteers) Royal Engineers in 1884 to 1933. R. Ward & ​Sons; Newcastle-upon-Tyne: 1935.
b/iii)  (Captain) Joseph Morris. German Air Raids on Britain 1914 to 1918. Sampson Low, Marston & Co Ltd; 1925; 37-39.
w/i)  South Tyneside Council. South Tyneside remembers World War one: Search WW1 records. See here.
w/ii)  Durham County record office. Researching First World War British soldiers. See here.
w/iii) Welcome to the Hebburn website. Here.
w/iv) North East War Memorials Project (NEWMP). Extracts from “Teachers who served in 1914-1918”. Regional content— County Durham. See here.
w/v) Forces War Records. See here.
w/vi) Norman Dunn’s photographic site "Old Hebburn, Jarrow, South Shields".

The Story Continues

Please browse the research that has been done on other families that are related to the LANEs, all contained on this web site: