Lieutenant Robert Philip Behrens was a British officer of the British Army who died during the First World War.

He was born on 4 December 1893, in Chorlton, Lancashire, the son of George Benjamin, a calico printer of Manchester, and Helen Elizabeth Behrens (née Davies), of Cayo, Carmarthenshire. The younger Behrens studied at Cordwalles and Winchester University before entering the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. As a cadet, Behrens represented Sandhurst in the sabreing competition at the Royal Military Tournament. He was gazetted as a temporary second lieuteant on 5 February 1912 and subsequently joined the 1st Battalion of the South Wales Borderers.[1]

Behrens remained with the 1st until September, when he was transferred to his regiment's 2nd Battalion and given responsibility for a draft to Tientsin, in northern China. The 2nd Battalion still formed part of the British concession's garrison when war broke out in 1914. In the September, Behrens and the 2nd South Wales Borderers landed at Lao Shan Bay as a symbolic contribution to a Japanese expeditionary force preparing to lay siege to the German-controlled port of Tsingtao.[2] The siege itself commenced on 22 October and lasted until the port's capture on 7 November. Although brief, the action caused the loss of more than 1700 men, the vast majority Japanese.[3]

The battalion, which lost 14 men at Tsingtao, returned to Britain in January 1915. Just two months later, in March, the battalion embarked for the Mediterranean, to partake in the ill-fated invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula.[2] Behrens was fatally shot on 25 April, at De Totts' Battery, during the landing at "S" Beach", Helles. The crew of HMS Cornwallis buried him at sea, at the entrance to the Dardanelles.[1]

He thus has no known grave and is commemorated by the Helles Memorial.


  1. 1.0 1.1 De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, 1914-1924, p. 28.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fact Sheet, Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  3. Chappell, Mike (2005), The British Army in World War I (3): The Eastern Fronts, p. 7.


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