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Mark Hone

Lieutenant John Patrick Robinson, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

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Mark Hone

This former pupil of Bury Grammar School was born in 1879. It's possible that he was an original member of our Cadet Corps (now CCF) when it was founded in 1892. A Stockbroker's Clerk in civilian life, for part of the war he was a Quartermaster Sergeant in 13th Royal Fusiliers before being commissioned into the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He was reported missing, believed killed, in April 1918 but  evidently eventually turned up safely. I haven't been able to trace him as a POW. I'd like to identify which Inniskillings' battalion he belonged to but unfortunately it doesn't say on his Medal Index Card and I can't get down to the National Archives to consult his Officer papers. The only other old boy of the school whom I've identified as serving with the Inniskillings was Lt. Colonel Thomas Boardman DSO, the highest-ranking former pupil to die in the Great War and another Cadet Corps 'original'.   Any further info anyone could provide on John Robinson would be much appreciated. 

Edited by Mark Hone

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Mark Hone

Thanks for this. It confirms his date of capture as 22nd March, early on in Operation 'Michael'. I'll try to narrow the range of options for his battalion based on this. 

Edited by Mark Hone

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corisande

This gives his dob and can you work battalion from date and place of capture

robinson.jpg.37235604773444cb124301e47e63aa6f.jpg

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Mark Hone

Yes, sorry, a quick glance at the form with my slightly wonky eyesight missed the place of capture. I'm having a few problems deciphering it, apart from the 'Saint'! A cursory glance at the books on my shelf provided mentions of 3rd and 7/8th Inniskillings heavily involved in the early stages of the Kaiserschlacht. 

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corisande

Looks like"St Quentin" to me. Part of Michael . Wiki entry - click

 

And I don't think the birth date is right , it must be 1878.  Although 1939 Register also says Oct 1876, - click for FmP - . actual birth registered is in Oct 1878

Edited by corisande

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Matlock1418

May be repeating what you already have but here appears to perhaps be his commissioning in the London Gazette

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30339/supplement/10696 

"10696 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 18 OCTOBER, 1917.. 

SPECIAL RESERVE OF OFFICERS The undermentioned, from Officer Cadet Units, to be 2nd Lts. 26th Sept. 1917 :— INFANTRY ... R. Innis Fus.— John Patrick Robinson"

 

Could this JP Robinson be your chap

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31629/supplement/13514

"13514 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 4 NOVEMBER, 1919

The undermentioned 2nd Lts. to be Lts. : —  ...3rd R. Innis. Fus.—J. P. Robinson. 26th Mar. 1919"

 

I think 18 months was about the right period before promotion 2Lt to Lt

 

Edit: Here looks like a resignation of Commission

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/32029/supplement/8767 

"8766 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 24 AUGUST, 1920.

3rd R. Innis. Fus.— And retain the rank of Lt.— J. P. Robinson"

 

3 years looks like a normal period of wartime commission before they let them go.

 

Edited by Matlock1418
addition

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Mark Hone

Thanks, I hadn't got round to the London Gazette. Mind you, I never seem to be able to find anything on its site -I"m sure the search engine doesn't like me!

Mention of him being in 3rd Battalion may well be significant-they were overwhelmed south of St Quentin at the start of 'Michael'.

Thanks again for all of the help. 

 

Edited by Mark Hone

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corisande
10 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

I think 18 months was about the right period before promotion 2Lt to Lt

 

There were not many things you could rely on with the British Army, but at that time promotion invariably came after 18 moths as here 26 Sep 1917 to 26 Mar 1919

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Mark Hone

Yes it's St Quentin. Therefore, we can fairly safely conclude that  he was captured serving with 3rd Battalion, 36th Ulster Division. 

EDIT: Should say 'a Royal Inniskillings battalion of 36th Ulster Division'. 

Edited by Mark Hone
Correcting mistake pointed out by other Forum members.

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FROGSMILE

Surely the 3rd Battalion were, as with all regular infantry regiments, ‘Special Reserve’ and based at home to train replacement officers and soldiers.  As with all Irish regiments there were no TF units so the first numerical battalion after the regular and reserve units was the 5th (Service) Battalion and upwards.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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corisande
14 minutes ago, Mark Hone said:

captured serving with 3rd Battalion, 36th Ulster Division. 

 

I do not think 3rd Inniskilling were there, it was a Reserve Battalion that he had been commissioned to. It was 1st and 2nd, I think both  were in 36th Ulster - click LLT entry

 

If you go through both War Diaries you ought to find his loss recorded on 22 Mar or thereabouts

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Matlock1418
55 minutes ago, corisande said:

If you go through both War Diaries you ought to find his loss recorded on 22 Mar or thereabouts

As suggested - War Diaries at TNA

1st Bn

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7354042 

2nd Bn

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7354043

 

£3.50 might see you lucky, or £7.00

Or ... a subscription elsewhere might.

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Mark Hone

Thanks for all the help. The reason I mentioned 3rd Battalion in an early post  was that they are referred to specifically as taking part on 21st March by Blaxland in 'Amiens 1918', the only book covering the battle I had to hand. That then seemed to link up with the mention in the London Gazette. I'll do more research when I have the chance. 

Edited by Mark Hone

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FROGSMILE
1 hour ago, Mark Hone said:

Thanks for all the help. The reason I mentioned 3rd Battalion in an early post  was that they are referred to specifically as taking part on 21st March by Blaxland in 'Amiens 1918', the only book covering the battle I had to hand. That then seemed to link up with the mention in the London Gazette. I'll do more research when I have the chance. 


The 3rd Battalion, as with all other regular regiment’s, battalions of that number in WW1, was a reserve unit and never left the UK.

You can learn a lot that will help you understand things better by looking at the Long Long Trail (LLT) adjunct to this website forum.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Mark Hone

Thank you. I'm normally fairly good on ORBAT-type stuff but was taken in by the mistake/typo in the Blaxland book and foolishly assumed that the Inniskillings might be one of those many British Army exceptions that prove a rule. I should have followed my normal practice of cross-referencing with e.g. Long Long Trail or the detailed Fifth Army ORBAT in Middlebrook first. Getting careless in my old age. 

Edited by Mark Hone

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helpjpl

 

1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers WD (courtesy of ancestry)  - 2 Lieut J P Robinson reported killed 22 March 1918 :

 

1.jpg.cac47f57d495be1f3abd0788c4a8d992.jpg

2.jpg.994ca14621fced2e7e0245f3050cc86a.jpg

3.jpg.6cb20d33183c01fa4a93d1e0bcb2f188.jpg

 

JP

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FROGSMILE

That diary entry is quite moving and rather epitomises what happened to so many British infantry battalions in the early days of the German offensive of March 1918.

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Mark Hone

Fantastic, JP. As Frogsmile says, a very evocative account and more detailed than you might expect for a WD written under the chaotic conditions of the opening stages of Operation 'Michael' for a battalion that had been effectively wiped out. Interesting that Robinson is recorded as definitely killed, although you can understand how this happened in all the confusion. Needless to say, the other officers listed as killed are all commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial. I presume that Robinson's officer file at the NA may include an interview conducted when he returned from captivity. The one from Bury Grammar School teacher, Albert Hendrie, who was captured on 21st March at Manchester Hill while commanding a Trench Mortar battery, is very interesting. Thank you so much for posting this and to all who have added to this thread. After all these years, I never cease to be amazed by the knowledge, helpfulness and patience of Forum Pals. 

Edited by Mark Hone

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