"To Keep in Memory"

Capt. & Adjt. C. Robinson

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TEMPORARY LIEUTENANT (ACTING CAPTAIN) CHARLES ROBINSON
12th Battalion, attached as Adjutant to 1st Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regiment.

Killed in 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
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
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 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
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
The grave of Capt Charles Robinson

Remembering the Fallen of Two Villages on the Eastern Fringes of Leeds.

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