Robert Magnall was born in 1880 in Burnley, the son of William Magnall (GM054) and Frances Anderson. What is confusing is that the Register of Births and the 1881 Census record him as Obadiah whereas subsequent documents record him as Robert. It would be useful to obtain his birth certificate at some point!

The 1881 Census records that Obadiah (Robert) was living at 32 Lord Street, Habergham Eaves with his family – he was 9 months old.

The 1891 Census shows that Robert was 10 years old and living with the rest of his family at 29 Gresham Place in Burnley.

The 1901 Census records his name as Obadiah, he is now 20 years old still living with his parents at 144 Sandygate in Burnley and working as an organ builder. There were two Organ Builders in Burnley in 1908, J. Driver & Co of Hammerton Street (went bankrupt in about 1927) and Smith & Co of 13 Hart Street.

Robert married Clara Farrow on the 21st April 1906 (from Army record). The RoM gives Burnley 1906 Q2 8e 540 and I hope to order a copy of the certificate shortly.

Robert and Clara had a son who they called Lancelot (DM021). He was born on 16th May 1907 (from Army record). The RoB gives Burnley 1907 Q2 8e 234. I believe that Lancelot later married Edna James (RoM Burnley 1928 Q3 8e 625).

Army Service Record for Robert Magnall (EM215)

Robert Magnall Coldstream Guards
26 Lisbon Street
Age 38 years 2 months
Trade Organ Builder
Married Yes
Certificate 7 June 1916

16 Sep 1916 (stamped)

Descriptive Report

Age 38 years 2 months
Height 5 ft 8 1/2 inches
Chest girth 40 inches
expansion 4 inches
Name and address of next of kin Clara Magnall – wife
26 Lisbon Street, Burnley

Marriage details

Clara Farrow 21st April 1906 26 Lisbon Street


Lancelot 16 May 1907 Burnley

Military History Sheet
Home 7-9-16 – 7-12-16

General Service Attested 7-6-16
To Army Reserve 8-6-16
Mobilised 7-9-16
Coldstream Guard Posted   Pte 7-9-16
Caterham 8-9-16
Discharged   Pte 9-12-16 No longer fit for war service
Total service 184 days

Chelsea no. 150947

Coldstream Guards 5th (Res) Bn.
Date of discharge 7-12-16
Age on Commencement 38
Trade Organ builder
Address 26 Lisbon St. Burnley Lancs
Character Good
Place of birth Burnley Lancs
Cause of discharge Medically unfit. Syphilis
Report 16-11-16

“Originated about 13 years ago at Richmond Hill, Lancs.
Not result of, + not aggravated by Military Service”
Permanent   Prevents 1/4 at present

Submitted as eligible for
gratuity under clause 7(7)
Royal Warrant 1917

Robert died in 1941 at the age of 59 and was buried at Burnley Cemetery in grave ref. NE8831 on the 26th June 1941. They were living at 35 Lisbon Street at the time of his death. Clara lived until she was 71 years old dying in 1956 and buried in the same grave as Robert on the 7th December 1956. Their son Lancelot only survived Clara by 2 1/2 years, he was buried on the 8th July 1959.

[Last updated 28 Dec 2011]