Robert Francis Traill was born in Clapham, London on the 22nd February 1881 son of Thomas William Traill (Chief Engineer in the Royal Navy) and Sarah Ann Glasso Traill (nee McCorkendale).
Robert Francis Traill was commissined in to the 5th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment as a Militia Officer.
On the 5th September 1900 he was promoted to Lieutenant (Militia) in the 5th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.
Transferred from the 5th battalion (Militia) to the regular army 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment on the 7th May 1902 with the rank of Second Lieutenant.
Promoted to Lieutenant on the 18th January 1905.
Landed with the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment at Havre, France on the 15th August 1914.
Promoted to Captain on the 18th September 1914.
Promoted to Major on the 7th May 1917., whilst now serving with the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.
On the 22nd March 1918 Lieut.-Colonel P. R. Whalley received orders to report for duty at Brigade Headquarters. Major Traill then took temporary command of the 3rd Battalion.
On the 12th April 1918 he was involved in heavy fighting in the valley of the Lys. For his actions he was later awarded the D.S.O.
His citation for his Distinguished Service Order (London Gazette date 16th September 1918) reads;
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in commanding his Battalion, when he counter-attacked, and after capturing his objective was compelled to withdraw, owing to the failure of the attack on the left flank. He executed the retirement with great skill and judgement. Later, he organised a counter-attack and drove the enemy from the line."