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Regimental number5636
Place of birthNarromine, New South Wales
SchoolConvent of the Good Shepherd, Narromine, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressWindsor, Gilgandra, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height6' 0"
Weight151 lbs
Next of kinFather, John Robinson, Windsor, Gilgandra, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date14 March 1916
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name20th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/37/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 9 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll20th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 2 May 1917
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Ellen ROBINSON (nee Bell), 'Windsor', Gilgandra, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 9 September 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 26 October 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 12 December 1916; joined 20th Bn, in the field, 26 January 1917.

Reported Wounded and Missing in Action, 2 May 1917.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 4 December 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 2 May 1917'.

Note, Red Cross File No 2330807: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills. 10.10.19.'

Statement, 5623 Pte C.G. McARTHUR, B Company, 20th Bn (patient, 3rd Australian Auxiliary hospital, Dartford, England), 26 September 1917: 'I saw him wounded at Bullecourt and assisted to dress his wounds. He was badly wounded - his leg was badly shattered, also his shoulder and thigh was badly wounded. We were advancing at the time and he was left with a S/Bearer from the 19th Battn, whose name I do not know. This is the last I saw of him and I cannot refer to anyone for further particulars.'

Second statement by McARTHUR, 11 October 1917: 'I was one of a party of five signallers laying telephone wires at Bullecourt on May 3rd at dawn. Ptre Robinson 5636 20th Battalion was one of the party. An enemy shell landed in the midst of our party and I saw Pte robinson 5636 of the 20th Battalion hit by the shell in the left thigh, leg and left shoulder. He was last seen by me in the hands of a 19th Battalion stretcher bearer [and] his wounds in my opinion were serious.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ROBINSON John Henry
Red Cross File No 2330807

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