TEMPORARY LIEUTENANT (ACTING CAPTAIN) CHARLES ROBINSON
12th Battalion, attached as Adjutant to 1st
Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regiment.
Action, 14 July 1918
Aged 26 years.
Buried in Nine Elms British Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium.
Plot XV, Row A, Grave 1.
|Capt & Adjt Charles Robinson
Charles Robinson was born in Walsall in Staffordshire
in 1892. He was the older of the two children, both sons, to John Robert Robinson and Mary Louisa Robinson. The younger son
was named Robert Henry and he also served in the war, reaching the rank of Corporal. Robert Henry Robinson is among those
named on the Manor House Roll of Service. Charles' father was born in Canada, and his mother was born in Leeds. His father
was a woollen buyer.
At the time of the 1901 census the Robinson family was still living in Walsall, having a
house on the Lichfield Road. Charles, however, attended Leeds Boys Modern School, and so the family must have moved to Leeds
sometime quite soon after the census was taken.
When the family lived in Scholes, their address was in The Avenue.
Charles was employed as a railway clerk by the Great Northern Railway Company, although the location of his office is as yet
unknown. Scholes had a small railway station and would have needed a clerk, but it is more likely that Charles was working
at Cross Gates, which was at the head of the branch line which Scholes was on, or the main Leeds Central Station. Charles
Robinson is further commemorated on the GNR memorial at King's Cross Railway Station in London.
|Capt Robinson's name on the GNR Memorial
Charles Robinson enlisted as a Private into the 17th Battalion,
the West Yorkshire Regiment, unofficially known as the 2nd Leeds Pals, or the Leeds Bantams on 21st June 1915. He was given
the service number 17/1602. The battalion's status as a bantam battalion meant that men who were previously rejected by
the army on account of them being too short, but who were fit in every other way, were now accepted. Charles Robinson was
5ft 31/2in tall.
|The GNR Memorial Dedication
The Leeds Bantams produced two winners of the Victoria Cross,
William Boynton Butler, from Hunslet, South Leeds, who won his award with a Trench Mortar Battery in 1917, and Albert Mountain
from Harehills in East Leeds, who won his award with the amalgamated 15th/17th Bn in 1918. Both VC winners were 5ft 1in tall.
Charles did not remain a private soldier for very long. After three days, on 24th June 1915, he was promoted Corporal
(missing out Lance Corporal altogether), for which he would have received an increment in his pay, and on the same day, he
was appointed unpaid Lance Sergeant. One month later, on 23rd July 1915, he was appointed Acting Sergeant (unpaid), and he
was confirmed in the rank of Sergeant, and paid for it on 27th January 1916. On 31st January 1916, Charles Robinson sailed,
with his battalion, for France, landing the following day.
|The badge of the West Yorkshire Regiment
For almost a year, he served as a Sergeant, until on 8th January
1917, he was discharged to commission, and attended an officer cadet training school at Blendecques, just outside St Omer
in France. On his commissioning, Charles was posted to the 12th Battalion, the West Yorkshire Regiment and he served with
this battalion until he was attached to the 1st Battalion of the regiment.
Charles Robinson was Mentioned in Despatches
(level 4 bravery award) in the London Gazette, edition No. 30698 published on 23 May 1918. His name and a photograph appeared
in Yorkshire Evening Post on Tuesday 23 July 1918 announcing his death.
|The grave of Capt Charles Robinson