Robert enlisted into the 1st Home Counties Divisional Field Ambulance, R.A.M.C., T.F. on 1st April 1908. He was 21 years and 5 months old; was a Labourer by trade; and was living at Dykes Cottage, Ham Hill, Snodland at the time. On 18th June 1914 he joined the R.A.M.C., Special Reserve, for a period of one year, therefore agreeing to serve overseas in the event of a war. On 6th August 1914, he transferred from the 1st Home Counties Field Ambulance to serve with the Expeditionary Force, and marched alongside Captain Greene, and the detachment, to a field adjoining Monocktonís Mill, Sandling Road, Maidstone, which had become the mobilization headquarters of No 10 Field Ambulance. During his time in training he was admitted into hospital, thus missing the unit going overseas. He eventually entered the war in France on 29th October 1914, then was posted to serve with the 2nd Field Ambulance, joining them in the field on 5th November. He served with this unit throughout the war, until 23rd May 1919 when he proceeded for demobilization and was struck off the strength. On 26th January 1922 he re-enlisted into 1st Home Counties Divisional Field Ambulance under the service number 7339076.