Rank Acting Sergeant
Service Number 57888
Battalion 1st Battalion
Regiment West Yorkshire Regiment
Like John William Dawson and George Stanley Saville, before the war Arthur Robinson worked at Collingham Bridge station where he was a porter.
Arthur Robinson was born on the 9th April 1899 in Boston Spa, the son of Edward Robinson, a market gardener, and his wife Lizzy. In 1911, Edward and Lizzy along with two of their sons and one daughter were living at Poplar Cottages, Boston Spa, while another seven children had left home. Arthur was at school in 1911. Between 1911 and the start of the war Arthur must have got his job at Collingham Bridge station.
Arthur's service record has not survived, but we know that he served first as a private in the 2/7th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment, before promotions through Lance Corporal eventually to Acting Sergeant. He had a service number of 57888. At some time Arthur also transferred to the 1st Battalion of the West Yorkshires.
We currently know little of Arthur's experiences, but the Wetherby News on the 30th May 1919, announced the award of a Military Medal to Arthur.
Wetherby News 30 May 1919
On Friday last the station staff presented Mr. A. Robinson, of Boston Spa (who previous to the war was porter at Collingham), with a silver cigarette case and holder as a memento of his obtaining the Military Medal in France for having shown bravery of the field in September, 1918, when 68 of the West Yorkshires went over the top, and only himself returned alive. The presentation was made by the station master (Mr. Forster). It may be worth while to mention that this roadside station has taken its part nobly in the war, as previously two clerks who were employed there were killed - one named Dawson, of York, in Salonica; and one named Saville, of Scarborough, in France.
As is usual, the War Diary of the 1st West Yorkshire Regiment does not name other ranks by name, but we can guess that the action described took place around the 16th-24th September 1918 when the Battalion was near St.Quentin Wood. The diary reports:
Trenches. Much hostile shelling with gas shells in ST QUENTIN WOOD. Casualties - wounded gas 15
Battalion attacked enemy positions E of HOLNON VILLAGE in conjunction with 11th Essex Regiment on the left and 2/59th French Regiment on the right, at 5.30am. 'B' and 'D' Coys in front line; 'C' Coy in support and 'A' Coy in reserve. 'B' and 'D' Coys suffered heavy casualties through intense M.G. fire from both flanks and very little news was obtained form the most forward elements of these 2 Coys, who were reported by aeroplane to have obtained their objective. Enemy were still present in HOLNON village and 1 company of 2nd Durham L.I. were sent to mop up the village at 8pm. Battalion of 71st and 16th Infantry Brigades commenced to appear.
71st and 16th Inf Brigade attacked from objectives of previous day at 5.20am. Battalion then withdrew to position W of HOLNON WOOD.
Casualties for 16th/17th - Killed. 2/Lt Scarborough and 16 O.R.
Wounded. Capt L.P. Marshall M.C.
Capt R.A. Rontley
Capt W.K. Marshall M.C. (not evacuated)
2/Lt Cartledge D.C.M.
2/Lt Wilcock D.C.M.
Missing 2/Lt Sowerby
Wounded 2/Lt Pollard (not evacuated)
Other Ranks. Wounded 119
Other Ranks. Missing 86
Battalion attacked enemy positions N.E. of HOLNON village in conjunction with 1st Leicestershire Regiment on left. Zero hour 5.30am, 'A' and 'C' Coys were assaulting Coys, 'C' Coy having very intricate maneuverer to make in changing direction and bombing southwards through SALGNCY. B and D Coys, formed into one Composite Coy on account of weakness in numbers, were Reserve near Battn. H.Q. Reserve Coy positions were very heavily shelled during the attack. Assaulting Coy came under intense M.G. and shell fire and made little progress, though important positions were established in HOLNON and near SELENCY.
Battalion was relieved during night 19/20th by 1st Leicestershire Regt and withdrew to positions previously occupied in valley S of ATILLY.
Casualties - Officers - 2 Lt J.E. Knowles. Wounded. Shell shock.
Other ranks - Killed 11
Battalion moved to LEAF WOOD and went into bivouacs. Casualties. Nil. Coys reorganising and refitting
In Bivouacs. Reorganising and refitting. Casualties - Nil
In Bivouacs. Battalion moved up into line NE of HOLNON and took up assembly positions. Casualties. Nil.
Battalion attacked enemy positions at 5am, 'B' and 'D' (Composite Coy) and 'A' Coy in assaulting waves and 'C' Coy in support. On account of mist and smoke some platoons lost their direction, and coming under intense M.G. fire very little progress was made in the first few hours. The 2nd DLI on the right were badly held up by M.G. fire. Later at about 10.30 the enemy positions on our right were attacked and captured by the 1st Leicestershire Regt and at the same time our assaulting Coys rushed the positions which had held out and captured them by means of rigorous battle patrol work. The Battalion's original objectives were carried and consolidated.
Captures - 30 prisoners including one Officer - 10 Machine Guns and 1.77mm guns.
Casualties - Killed - Lieut J.V. Townsend
Lieut W. Haddock
2/Lt A Burnstall
Wounded - Lieut L.S. D'Eath
2/Lt Winn (not evacuated)
Other Ranks - Killed - 16
Wounded - 50
Missing - 19
Reinforcements - 104 O Ranks arrived from Base.
Arthur continued serving in the Army until the 7th November 1919 when he was discharged and transferred to the reserve.
After the war, Arthur returned to the area and in 1928 he married Carrie Stringer, from Barwick in Elmet. Arthur died in 1985.