Robinson, Kenneth Bradshaw. Died 29th Sep 1915

Kenneth Bradshaw Robinson was born on 13 December 1890, and the birth was registered in early 1891 in Walsall, Staffordshire.   He was just four months old on 5 April 1891 for the census. His parents were enumerated as ‘Berry’, actually Benjamin, Robinson, a gardener, born in about 1855 at Calthorpe, Leicestershire, and his wife, Emily née Hirons (1858-1926) from Thurleston, Warwickshire. He had a sister, some five years his senior, Ethel C. Robinson, b.c.1886.

In 1891 the family were living in Wolston, Warwickshire and he was educated at schools in both Dunchurch and Rugby.

In 1911 he was still single, aged 20 and living at 23 Stephen Street, Rugby with his parents. He was then working as a ‘Turner’ at the Cellenloid Works, however, at some date between 1911 and 1914 when he enlisted, he started working for J. Parnell and Son, the well known Rugby builders and would later be listed on their ‘Roll of Honour’ – a list of employees who served in WWI (see below).

His Medal Card provides some details of his military service, but there are no more detailed Service or Pension records. Fortunately, De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour provided considerable additional details which are collated below,[1]

Kenneth Robinson enlisted early in the war in August 1914 and was a Gunner, No.10362 in the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery [RFA]. He embarked for the ‘(3) Egypt’ Theatre of War on 14 July 1915, and in August 1915 would have landed in Gallipoli.

The eight month campaign in Gallipoli was an attempt to force Turkey out of the war, to relieve the deadlock of the Western Front, and to open a supply route to Russia. The Allies had landed on 25-26 April 1915 at Cape Helles, and north of Gaba Tepe, an area soon known as Anzac.

On 6 August, further troops were put ashore at Suvla, just north of Anzac, and this was probably when Kenneth Robinson would have landed. The aim of the Suvla force had been to secure the high ground around the bay and salt lake, but confusion, indecision and delays allowed the Turks to reinforce and only a few of the objectives were taken.

Kenneth was in action on Chocolate Hill, an area of raised ground at the eastern end of the Salt Lake, which had been captured on 7 August 1915, but once taken, no further advance was then made. He was wounded at about 4pm on 29 September 1915 on Chocolate Hill when a high explosive shell, burst in the gun emplacement, and a fragment hit him in the abdomen. He ‘passed away quite peacefully’ from his wounds at about 6.30pm the same day. He was buried by a tree on the west slope of Chocolate Hill.

The full text of the entry in De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour
ROBINSON, KENNETH BRADSHAW, Gunner, No. 10362, A Battery, 59th Brigade, R.F.A., only son. of Benjamin Robinson, of 23, Stephen Street, Rugby, co. Warwick, by his wife, Emily; b. Walsall, co. Stafford, 18 Dec. 1890; educ. Dunchurch and Rugby; was employed at Parnell & Son’s, Builders, Rugby; enlisted in Aug. 1914, after the outbreak of war; went to Gallipoli in Aug. 1915, and died there 29 Sept. following, from wounds received in action at Chocolate Hill the same day. An officer wrote: ‘He was wounded yesterday about 4 p.m. by a high-explosive shell, which burst in the gun emplacement, and a fragment hit him in the abdomen. He passed away quite peacefully about 6.30 p.m. We buried him by a tree on the west slope of Chocolate Hill.   The service was conducted by the Army Chaplain of the 31st Infantry Brigade. Most of the men, in fact all that could be spared, attended, as he was a great favourite with us all and a brave man,’ and a comrade: ‘The whole battery feel the loss very much; he was very popular, a dear kind friend and a’ brave, noble soul.’

The CWGC entry stated that … ‘He was a member of ‘A’ Battery 59th Brigade Royal Field Artillery. He died of wounds on 29 September 1915 and was buried in the Green Hill Cemetery, Suvla, in Turkey’. Green Hill, where the present cemetery is located and Chocolate Hill, where Kenneth died and was originally buried, are adjoining areas of raised ground which rise from the eastern shore of the Salt Lake. The cemetery lies on the east side of the Anzac-Suvla Road.

The Green Hill Cemetery was made after the Armistice when isolated graves were brought in from the battlefields of August 1915 and from small burial grounds in the area. These earlier burial grounds included Chocolate Hill.   The records show that whilst Kenneth’s grave is thought to have been moved and relocated in the Green Hill Cemetery, its actual identity is unknown. He is commemorated on a ‘Special Memorial H.12’, with three other soldiers who were ‘… believed to be buried in this cemetery but whose graves have not been identified’.

Robinson - grave believed etc 3 crop

 

In Rugby he is commemorated on a pillar of the Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.   He is also recorded on the Parnell ‘Roll of Honour’[2] as being killed and being in the RFA – the Royal Field Artillery.

Parnell WWI

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

[1]       De Ruvigny, Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, vol.2, p.264.

[2]       The Roll of Honour is held at the Warwick Modern Records Centre and reproduced with their permission.

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