Robinson S.

STANLEY ROBINSON 1894 – 1915

S/11066 Private Stanley Robinson, 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders was killed in action 25 September 1915 and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.[1]  He was 21 years old and is commemorated on the Copley War Memorial and the Memorial Plaque in St. John the Evangelist Church, Lynesack.

Family Details

Stanley Robinson was born 1894[2] at Long Marton, Westmorland the son of Joseph and Agnes Robinson.  There were at least 9 children:[3]

  • Stanley born 1894 at Long Marton, Westmorland
  • Ethel bc. 1896
  • Isabel bc.1898
  • Edward bc.1900
  • Alice bc.1902
  • Donald bc.1905
  • Fred bc.1908 at Copley
  • Edith A. bc.1911 at Copley
  • Norman bc.1912

In 1901, the family lived at Long Marton, Westmorland where Stanley’s father Joseph worked as a railway labourer.[4]  Agnes, Stanley’s mother was born at Bishop Auckland and by 1911, the family lived at Copley where Joseph worked as a “shiftman”[5] and 17 year old Stanley was employed as a grocer’s assistant.”[6]

Service Details

28 September 1914: Stanley Robinson enlisted at Newcastle into the Gordon Highlanders being given the regimental number S/11066.[7] He may have initially he joined the 4th Reserve Cavalry Regiment before being transferred 3 June 1915 to the 3rd Battalion, the Gordon Highlanders.

  • 22 June 1915: He was posted to the 1st Battalion, the Gordon Highlanders.[8]
  • 22 June 1915: Private S. Robinson entered France.  [9]

The 1/Gordon Highlanders was a regular army battalion and landed at Boulogne, France 14 August 1914 as part of the 8th Brigade, 3rd Division. [10]  By September 1915, other units in the 8th Brigade were: [11]

  • 2nd, Royal Scots
  • 4th, the Middlesex Regiment
  • 2nd, the Suffolk Regiment
  • 1/4th, Gordon Highlanders

The battalion took heavy casualties at Le Cateau, 26 August 1914 and it saw further action throughout 1914 at the Battles of the Marne, Aisne, La Bassee and Messines and then the Battle of Ypres.  In 1915, it was involved in the Winter Operations of 1914-15, the First Attack on Bellewaarde, the Actions at Hooge, 19 July and then the Second Attack on Bellewaarde, 25-26 September.[12]

22 June 1915, Private S. Robinson entered France 1915, joining the battalion as a draft.  He was killed in action 25 September 1915, this being the date of the commencement of the Battle of Loos. The battalion did not take part in the main show but subsidiary action in support, the Second Attack on Bellewaarde, to the north near Ypres.

1/Gordon Highlanders: in action [13]

  • 18 June-2 July: at Brandlock, Belgium
  • 12/13 July: Hooge, some casualties suffered
  • 19 July: delivered an attack on trenches at Hooge, some losses.
  • 10/11 August: in trenches Square 134C continuous occupation until
  • 23 August: back to Oududown bivouac for the rest of the month
  • September: back to the trenches at Hooge, relieved by 3/Worcesters 12 September.
  • 13-17 September: Heavy bombardment by British artillery answered by the enemy.
  • 22 September: back to Hooge trenches
  • 25 September: big attack by 3rd and 14th Divisions with Royal Scots Fusiliers, 1/Gordons, 4/Gordons, 2/Royal Scots, 2/South Lancashire Regt., and Royal Irish Rifles involved. This attack was repulsed by the enemy whose trenches and wire were not affected by the heavy bombardment, the wire could not be cut by our cutters and very heavy casualties suffered.  Returned to bivouac 26th and back to the trenches 29th September and attacked enemy occupied trenches.

Later research records that between 25 and 30 September 1915, 1/Gordon Highlanders suffered 3 officers and 94 other ranks killed in action or died of wounds.  2 officers and 84 other ranks including Private S. Robinson were killed in action 25 September 1915.[14]

S/11066 Private S. Robinson was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War and Victory medals. [15]

Commemoration

Private S. Robinson has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

The Menin Gate is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. Broadly speaking, the Salient stretched from Langemarck in the north to the northern edge in Ploegsteert Wood in the south but it varied in area and shape throughout the war.

The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, when a small British Expeditionary Force succeeded in securing the town before the onset of winter, pushing the German forces back to the Passchendaele Ridge. The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used by either side and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence.

The site of the Menin Gate was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates casualties from the forces of Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and United Kingdom who died in the Salient and in the case of United Kingdom casualties, only those prior 16 August 1917 (with some exceptions). United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war.

The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. The memorial, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield with sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick, was unveiled by Lord Plumer on 24 July 1927. [16]

Another man from the local area, S/11071 Private J.A. Bennett, 1st Battalion, the Gordon Highlanders was also killed in action 25 September 1915 and he is buried at Halluin Communal Cemetery, France He is commemorated on the Butterknowle War Memorial.  Their regimental numbers are within 5 of each other therefore it seems highly likely that they enlisted together although SDGW details suggest that this was not the case. [17]

References

[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] England & Wales Christening Records 1530-1906 Note: Christened 13 May 1894

[3] 1901, 1911 census and Hope Family Tree (Ancestry)

[4] 1901 census

[5] Shiftman – Presumably a coal miner who shifts the stones and debris underground or at bank.

[6] 1911 census

[7] Soldiers Died in the Great War

[8] Details researched by Paul Simpson

[9] Medal Roll

[10] http://www.1914-1918.net/gordon.htm

[11] http://www.1914-1918.net/3div.htm

[12] www.1914-1918.net/3div.htm & http://www.warpath.orbat.com/battles_ff/1915.htm

[13] http://www.thegordonhighlanders.co.uk/Pages/Diary.htm#1915

[14] Officers & Soldiers Died in the Great War

[15] Medal Roll card index

[16] CWGC

[17] SDGW records that Bennett enlisted at Barnard Castle and Robinson at Newcastle.

 

Photographs:

ROBINSON S.

ROBINSON S.

S. Robinson & possibly J.A. Bennett

S. Robinson & possibly J.A. Bennett

Menin Gate Memorial Ypres

Menin Gate Memorial
Ypres

ROBINSON S. Inscription Menin Gate Memorial

ROBINSON S.
Inscription
Menin Gate Memorial

One thought on “Robinson S.

  1. Pingback: COPLEY | The Fallen Servicemen of Southwest County Durham

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