203385 Corporal, 10th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Joseph robinson around 1908photo from John Fillingham, his nephew

killed in action 21st June 1918 aged 23

Joseph ('Joe') was born in 1895, the son of John Thomas (a waggoner from Blyborough) and Sarah (nee Andrew of Temple Bruer).  He had two younger sisters called Rose Mary and Lily.

In 1901 he and Lily were living at Snitterby with their father who was working on a farm.  The family housekeeper was Sarah, their father's 18 year old sister.

By 1911 John had moved with his 3 children to live at Long Street, Scotter where Joe also became a farm labourer.  He enlisted into the Army at Gainsborough on an unknown date.

The 10th Battalion was formed at Halifax in September 1914 and a month later became attached to the 69th Brigade, 23rd Division.

Joe was involved in a lot of fighting in France and was wounded in the autumn of 1916 and went back to France in April 1917.

Around the time he returned his sister Rose married Appleton Birks of Kexby whilst in 1922 Lily would marry Willie Newburn Fillingham of Laughton.

The Italians entered the war on the Allied side, declaring war on Austria in May 1915.  On 23rd October 1917 his battalion received orders to prepare to move to an unknown destination.  Commander-in-Chief Sir Douglas Haig inspected the Division at Leulinghem on 31st October and within days the lengthy move by rail to Italy began.

His battalion will have probably gone by cattle truck to Marseilles. From there they would transfer to carriages and begin the trip along the French Riviera via Nice to Menton. Everywhere they stopped the locals would treat them as heroes. At Menton they passed into Italy and faced a march of more than 100 miles carrying their 80 pound pack. It would be over difficult terrain, including parts of the Alps, with exhaustion and fatigue a regular occurrence.

On 14th December they took over a section of the front line on the Montello, relieving the 70th Italian Division.

In March 1918, XIV Corps (the 7th, 23rd and 48th Divisions) relieved Italian troops on the front line between Asiago and Canove; the front being held by two divisions with one division in reserve on the plain.  The French held the line to the left, with the Italians on the right.  The front was comparatively quiet until the Austrians attacked in force from Grappa to Canove in the Battle of Asiago on 15th-16th June 1918.  Allied lines were penetrated to a depth of about 1,000 metres on 15 June but the lost ground was retaken the next day and the line re-established.

On 19th July 1918 the ‘Gainsborough News’ reported:-

   ‘Corpl. Joe Robinson, of the Duke of Wellington’s, with the Italian Expeditionary Force, is reported missing under circumstances which leave little doubt that he is killed.  His captain, writing to his father, Mr John Robinson, states that he took a gallant part in a raid on the night of 21st/22nd June.  As he was entering the enemy trenches he was severely wounded in the back and was carried back towards the British lines by a comrade when a shell burst near them.  This man himself was wounded and told the stretcher bearers that Corpl. Robinson was killed by the same shell.  An extract from the letter reads “While you mourn a son we mourn a most promising non-commissioned officer, who was highly esteemed and respected by all who came in contact with him."  Corpl. Robinson had seen a good deal of fighting in France before going to Italy last October.  He was wounded in the Autumn of 1916, returning to France again in April 1917.’

Joseph's grave

the centre grave is Joseph's; photo from Francesca Coe, his great niece



Corporal Joseph Robinson is buried high in the mountains at Barenthal Military Cemetery, near Asiago, Vicenza, Italy.