Ex-Hunters Bar Pupil (Sheffield) Declares War on Nazi Germany - September 1939

The 1901 Census and the 1911 Census have the following entries for a Robert Dunbar

1901 Census Record
Name Robert Dunbar
Relation to Head of Family Son
Age Last Birthday 5 Sex Male
Profession or Occupation Juvenile
Where Born Yorkshire Sheffield
Address 32 Onslow Road Civil Parish Ecclesall Bierlow Town  Sheffield
Ecclesiastical Parish St Augustines Parliamentary Borough or Division Ecclesall County Borough, Municipal Borough or Urban District Sheffield
Administrative County Yorkshire Ward of Municipal Borough or Urban District Ecclesall
Reference Information Folio 60 Page 28 Piece 4352

1911 Census Record
Name Robert Dunbar
Relationship to Head of Household Son
Condition Single Gender Male
Age 15
Estimated Year of Birth 1896
Occupation School
Employed Yes Working at Home No
Place of Birth Sheffield Yorkshire
Enumerator Information - Address 116 Hunter House Road Sheffield Parish Ecclesall Town Sheffield
Type of Building Private House Number of Rooms 7 Inhabited Y
Reference RG14PN27792 RG78PN1591 RD509 SD5 ED14 SN320
Administrative County Yorkshire (West Riding) Registration District Ecclesall Bierlow Registration Sub District Ecclesall South
Enumeration District 14 Reference Information Folio 639 Page 1 Piece 27792 RD number 509 SD number 5 ED number 14 Schedule 320

Robert was the son of Sheffield born John Peter and Eliza Dunbar of 116 Hunter House Road Sheffield. He was born on 29th June 1895.  His father was an assistant manager in a firm of silversmiths. In the 1914 - 1918 war he was a serving officer in the Royal Field Artillery and was awarded the Military Cross for his actions in the field. After the was he was demobilised and entered the diplomatic service 

But Robert was destined for far greater things. Whilst I was researching a completely un-related subject I came across the following newspaper report from The Sheffield Star dated 7th September 1939. I am sure many people are familiar with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlains broadcast to the nation - on 3rd September 1939

"This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final Note stating that, unless we heard from them by 11 o'clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us.

I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany."

But the person who actually declared war on Germany was ROBERT DUNBAR. The following is from The Sheffield Star dated 7th September 1939 

The Yorkshire Post carried this report in its edition dated 4th September 1939

Robert Dunbar (1895 - 1970)


Neville Chamberlain's address to the nation



1. Robert married an EVA CHRISTINE SOWERBY on 10th September 1921 in China. EVA was born on JAN 1896 Tai-yuan Fu, Shanxi province, China. Her father ARTHUR SOWERBY was a missionary in China. She died 81 years later at Ryde on the Isle of Wight on 4th August 1977. Her address in Ryde was 50 Ashey Close. At the time of the marriage Robert was Third Secretary at the British Embassy in Peking China 

2. Award 2 Jun 1944 London, England Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George. King's Birthday Honours' List.

3. Robert died in Camberwell London in the March quarter of 1970 


1901 - 1911 Census

Yorkshire Post 4th September 1939

The Sheffield Star dated 7th September 1939

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This page was last updated on 11/02/18 15:35