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War Memorials

In Memory of
Private 9571
3rd Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Who Died on Tuesday, 2nd April 1919
Age 32

Buried at Nottingham General Cemetery

Commemorated in Perpetuity
by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Remembered with Honour
Robinson memorial

Memorial in Nottingham General Cemetery

Herbert Healey Robinson was born in Thorney, Cambridgeshire in 18871, the fourth of eight children of William Robinson (b. 1856, Swayfield, Lincolnshire) and his wife Elizabeth (b. c1855, Stamford, Lincolnshire née Pearson). William had worked as a groom for most of his life and that had taken him and his family to various place, including Nottingham and Lenton, Notts, before they moved to Beeston in about 1896. In 1901, the whole family was living at 15 Dallas York Road, Beeston, with William working as a groom/gardener and Herbert as a railway sleeper dipper2. By 1911, Elizabeth and two of their sons was living at 26 March Street Nottingham3 although William and Herbert were staying with the eldest daughter's family at 4 Meadow View, Silver Hill, Beeston with both described as foundry labourers - although Herbert was then unemployed4. Soon afterwards, the family moved back to Beeston, to live at 5 Myrtle Grove5.

In the summer of 1913, Herbert married Katherine (Kate) Knight, probably born in 1890, the daughter of James and Kate Knight of Denman Street, Radford, Nottingham. It appears likely that a daughter, Edna M Robinson, was born to the couple on the following year6.

When war came on August 1914, Herbert was the amongst the first to enlist with the Sherwood Foresters and, after training, joined its 2nd Battalion in France on 4 November 19147 and appears to have remained with them throughout the war, at first as part of 18th Brigade of the 6th Division. The battalion fought in the Ypres salient for over a year, including at Hooge where they faced flame thrower attacks for the first time. During that period the battalion was transferred to 71st Brigade, also in 6th Division. By the time that the battalion was transferred to the Somme, it suffered around 11,000 casualties and was to many more during the Somme battles. In 1917, it took part in the Cambrai operations and was fully involved in the bitter fighting during the final months of the war in 19188.

At some point, probably during the final weeks of the war, Private Robinson was invalided back to the United Kingdom and was admitted for treatment at the Nottinghamshire County War Hospital at Radcliffe-on-Trent. Before and after this period, this was known as Saxondale Hospital9. While we do not presently know the reason for Private Robinson's admission there, it is known that the hospital was used at that time for soldiers suffering from 'shell shock' - nowadays known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sadly, having served in absolutely terrible conditions for four and a half years and survived the war, Private Robinson died there on 2 April 1919. He was buried six days later in Nottingham General Cemetery with military honours. His memorial there continues under the care of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.10.

Private Robinson was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal, the British Medal and the 1914 Star12. His Army financial effects of 64 0s 2d, including his War Gratuity of 27, were paid to his widow, as sole legatee, on 26 November 191913.

His youngest brother, Sidney Pearson Robinson, served with West Riding Regiment and died from wounds on 18th April 191814.

It appears that his parents, William and Elizabeth, continued to live at 5 Myrtle Grove for the remainder of their lives. Both are listed there on the 1921 Electoral Roll as is Elizabeth in 1930. Other family members also stayed in Beeston. Currently, it has not been possible to find further details of Herbert's widow and daughter.

1His birth was registered in Peterborough Registration District in Q1/1887 (Ref 3b 166)
2Beeston, Notts, 1901 Census, Piece 3153 Folio 166. Herbert's siblings were : Emma Elizabeth (b. c1882), William Henry (b. c1883), Ethel Maud (b. c1886), May Nellie (b. c1888), Charles Henry (or Harry, b. c1889), George Frederick (b. 1894) and Sidney Pearson(1898-1918)
3Nottingham, 1911 Census, Piece 20509 RD430, SD1, ED20, Sched 298.
4Beeston, Notts, 1911 Census, Piece 20430 RD429, SD3, ED5, Sched 324. Silver Hill is a name then given to the Broadgate/Lower Road area of Beeston.
5Various family members are recorded at this address in Beeston Foundry records after this date. William and Elizabeth are shown there on the 1921 Electoral Roll.
6Their marriage was registered in Nottingham Registration District in Q3/1913 (Ref 7b 845). Edna M Robinson's birth was registered in Nottingham in Q2 1913 (Ref 7b 675 - mother née Knight).
7The date of his posting to France with 2nd Battalion appears in his entry in the Medal Rolls - available on ancestry.com. 2nd Battalion had been in France since 11 September 1914. While most records record, including his Medal Card and Medal Roll entry, record Private Robinson as attached to 2nd Battalion, there are others that mention his attachment to 1st Battalion and 3rd Battalion (CWGC Grave Registration and Death notice in Nottingham Evening Post). It may be significant that his posting to France was on the same day as that of 1st Battalion as a whole.
8As Private Robinson's Service Record has not survived, we have given an outline of his likely service based on summaries of 2nd Battalion's deployment which may be found at www.forces-war-records.co.uk/units/319/sherwood-foresters-nottinghamshire-and-derbyshire-regiment
9A more complete history of this hospital, including images of it during the Great War period, are at the Nottingham Hospitals History website (www.nottinghamhospitalshistory.co.uk/page28.html)
10His death was registered in Bingham Registration District (in which Saxondale Hospital was situated) in Q2/1919 (Ref 7b 468). Notice of his death and funeral from his widow, appeared in the Nottingham Evening Post on 4th April 1919. This records that, at least at that time, he was attached to 1st Battalion.
12Details from Herbert's Medal Card and his entry in the Medal Rolls - available on ancestry.com. This record records that he was attached to 3rd Battalion.
13Details of the payments are from the "Army Register of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929" - available on ancestry.com.
14Details of Sidney's service can be seen here.

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