Those Who Also Served (Surnames M to R):
The following are short biographies of the men of Ruskington who enlisted during the Great War with surnames beginning ‘M’ to ‘R’.
Remembered on this page are:
- Private 27095 Henry MARRIOTT
- Private 27758 Herbert MARSHALL
- 2/Lieutenant Frank PATTINSON
- Captain Henry PATTINSON
- Private 5368 (Samuel) Harmston PATTINSON
- Private 605246 Henry (Harry) PELL
- Lance Corporal 9141 Alfred PHILLIPS
- Private 10886 Frederick PHILLIPS
- Private 16/212 Charles Henry Dawson PICKWORTH
- Private 203757 Frank Thomas PURNELL
- AB F.52069 Joseph George REAST
- Private 12947 William ROBINSON
SCROLL DOWN – to read more about these Ruskington men.
Private 27095 Henry (Harry) MARRIOTT – was born in the March quarter 1876 at Back Lane, Stickford, Lincolnshire, the son of George (Tailor) and Mary Marriott. He had two older siblings, George and Amy, and three younger, Herbert, Lilian and Kate. (1891 Census RG 12/2601) In 1891 the family was living at Keal Lane, Stickford.
Henry (Harry) cannot be found on the 1901 or 1911 Censuses, although his spouse, Jane (née Marriott), was living at her mother’s house, with two of their two children, George and Bertie (see below), at Knipton Houses, Ruskington. Jane had two other children, Reuben Fallier Woods Marriott (born 23 July 1912) – see below – and Arthur Marriott (born in 1915).
In the 1911 Census, however, Jane describes herself as “Single“. When he enlisted in 1914, however, Henry gave his home address as the same as his family in Ruskington, though gave his next-of-kin as his mother.
[N.B. Henry and Jane’s son, Private 4967751 Bertie MARRIOTT, served with the 1/5th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) in World War 2. He died as a Prisoner of War on 24 August 1945, aged 39.]
[N.B. Bertie’s brother, Trooper 7881873 Reuben MARRIOTT, served with the Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps. in North Africa. He was Killed in Action on 24 November 1941.]
Private 4078 Henry Marriott had previously served with the 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment. He enlisted on 21 January 1895 and served in the Sudan Campaign, 1896-1898, earning ‘The Atbara‘ and ‘Khartoum‘ Clasps to the Sudan Medal – as shown on the left. This service may have accounted for why he was absent from the 1901 Census.
Henry re-enlisted in the 6th (Service) Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, at Lincoln, aged 39 years 212 days. He was called up for service on 25 July 1916 and posted to the 9th (Reserve) Battalion. On 24 October 1916 Henry joined the 7th Battalion, in France, but barely a fortnight later, on 12 November, returned home to the 6th Battalion, presumably after being wounded. He was awarded the Silver War Badge, no. B.8207.
After being discharged, due to his wounds, on 10 September 1918, being “… no longer physically fit for War Service.“, Henry was awarded a weekly pension of 16s. 6d. [£0.82 – about £36 p.w. today – 2015] for the following 39 weeks.
In all Harry had served 2 years 48 days with the Colours. He died on 18 September 1958, aged 80, and is buried in Sleaford Cemetery. However, his wife, Jane, died on 26 October 1948 (i.e. 10 years before Harry), at Knipton Cottages, but was described as a “Spinster” for purposes of Probate. Even so, she left the balance of her estate (£341 14s 2d [£341.71])to her son, George.
Private 27758 Herbert MARSHALL – according to his Service Papers Herbert was born 0n 5 July 1897, the son of Richard William (Stonemason) and Ann (née Wainer) Marshall. In 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) Herbert was living with his parents and three older sisters, Nova Scotia Hughes (born in ‘Atlantic Ocean’, New Brunswick, Canada), Alice and Carrie, and younger sister, Ethel, on High Street, Ruskington. (The eldest child, Rebecca Anne, born in Maryland, USA, in 1889, died in 1901, aged 12.)
[Not long after Richard’s marriage to Ann Wainer on 29 January 1886 they had emigrated to the U.S., arriving in New York on 25 February 1886. However, they must have returned to Ruskington before the birth of their third child, Alice, in 1892.]
In 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) Herbert and his younger sister Alice were still living with their parents, on High Street, and when Herbert enlisted in 1918 he gave his next of kin as his father, living on High Street.
At that time, aged 20, Herbert stood 5 ft. 9 ins. (1.75 m.) tall, weighed 10 st. 10 lbs. (68 kgs.), had a ‘fresh’ complexion, brown hair and grey eyes.
Herbert was deemed to have enlisted on 2 March 1916 and was not called up for service in the Coldstream Guards until 29 April 1918. He was posted to Caterham, Surrey, on 2 May. Whilst training there Herbert gained a “… working knowledge of the Lewis Gun.”
The War ended, however, before he could see action, and Herbert has no Medal Index Card, indicating he did not serve overseas. Herbert was transferred to “Class ‘Z’, Army Reserve on Demobilisation” on 9 February 1919. [See: below under Private 5368 (Samuel) Harmston PATTINSON to explain what ‘Class Z’ meant.]
After the War, in the December quarter 1923, Herbert married Doris M. Bristow, in Lincoln, and they had two children, Eric and Ruth. In 1939 the Census Returns of that year show that the family was living at 40 Vine Street, Lincoln, and Herbert was working as a ‘Machinist – Grinder’.
Herbert died, in Lincoln, in the June quarter 1976. His parents, Richard William (died January 1928) and Ann (died September 1922), are buried together in Grave 51, Old Plot, East Border, of Ruskington Cemetery.
He had six older brothers and sisters, Anne Elizabeth, Nellie, Lilian, Samuel Harmston (see below), Ethel and Marian. (1901 Census RG 13/3048)
However, the first four of his siblings were by his father’s first marriage to Frances Harmston. She died in 1882, aged 32, and is buried in All Saints’ Churchyard, Ruskington, Grave 80.
Samuel Francis, Frank’s father, died in September 1920, and is buried in the Pattinson Family Plot in Ruskington Cemetery, Old South Border, Grave 46.
The family moved to Brook House, Ruskington by 1901, but in 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) Frank was listed as still at “School“, which was perhaps unusual for a 15 year-old at that time.
It could be that Frank was at a boarding or military School, which would account for his rapid rise through the ranks after he enlisted.
Frank enlisted in the 2nd/4th (Territorial) Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, as a Private, on 2 November 1914. He was offered a Commission in the 9th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment on 1 March 1915 and trained at Lichfield, Staffordshire. (see London Gazette, 3 November 1916)
He volunteered for active service and in September 1915 was posted to the Dardanelles on 6 October. This would not have been with the 9th Battalion, however, as on 10 April 1915 it had become a Reserve Battalion. In November 1915 Frank was reported as being in Hospital in Alexandria, Egypt.
After the War Frank’s Medal Index Card shows that he remained in the Army and, after transferring to the 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, was posted to Poona, India, on 13 July 1921. He retired and was demobilised on 20 August 1921.
In 1939 Frank (‘Army Officer – Retired’) was living at Brook Cottage, Brook Street, Blyth, Suffolk, with his sister, Marian, acting as his housekeeper. He was also working as a ‘Special Constable’, no doubt as part of the War effort. He died at Ipswich, Suffolk, in the March quarter 1982, aged 86.
Captain Henry Pratt PATTINSON –was born on 27 November 1896, the eldest son of Robert Knight (Railway Buildings Contractor and J.P.) and Catherine Lucy (née Pratt) Pattinson, J.P. of “Southfields”, Station Road, Ruskington.
Henry had a younger sister, Katherine Mary and a younger brother, William Pratt. (1911 Census RG 14/19618). However, Henry has not been found on the 1911 Census, possibly he was away at boarding school at Haileybury School, Hertford. He returned from School in the Summer 1914, with a view to joining his father’s business, but immediately volunteered once War was declared.
Whilst at School it was recorded that Henry had a greater reputation as a football player than as a scholar, although he was regarded as too young for a place on the school’s first eleven. In the school OTC Battalion his superiors reported that he “shows no special aptitude for military duties,” but as soon as the war broke out he offered his services. He was rejected on his first two applications, but be persisted, and the authorities finally stretched a point, and Henry obtained a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment in September 1914. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in December 1914.
On 21 June 1915 he obtained his ‘company rank’, i.e. Captain, and was posted to France with his Battalion on 1 September 1915. [London Gazette, 5 February 1916]
Henry fought at the Battle of Loos and “… was in charge of the Battalion before the battle was over, owing to all his senior officers being out of action. “ This would have been after the 25/26 September 1915, when the 8th Battalion lost 155 Officers and men, all but three of which have no known grave and are commemorated on the Loos Memorial.
Including the missing and wounded the total casualties during the Battle of Loos was 22 Officers and 471 Other Ranks out of a Battalion strength on 10 September 1915, when they sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne, of 28 Officers and 995 Other Ranks.
The Battalion History reads: “The Battalion Commanding Officer, Lieut.-Colonel H. E. Walter was killed whilst leading his men forward. A counterattack by the Lincolns retook part of Bois Hugo. However, the Germans attacked again and gained complete control of Bois Hugo.
In the late afternoon the Germans rushed the remaining entrenched Lincolns. The dwindling number of Lincolns were almost surrounded and were forced to retire. Under pressure from the German advance the few officers and men who survived withdrew.
In fact, all officers of the Battalion became casualties, and only four remained. Capt. H. Pattinson being the senior surviving officer assumed command. He was promoted to the rank of major at the age of 20. ” [The C.O. was Lt. Col. Harold Ernest WALTER, buried in Douai Communal Cemetery.]
Henry is recorded as being Battalion Commanding Officer between 29 September and 10 October 1915. In February 1916 within a few days of his 19th birthday, Henry was Gazetted a Major, and the news cutting shown puts his achievement into some perspective.
After the War, in the March quarter 1925 Henry married Margery Estelle Stewart, in Marylebone, London, and they had one son. He died on 23 November 1941, in the Isolation Hospital, Nottingham. aged 45, and left £434 8s 1d (£434.40 – a relative value of about £18,600 today – 2015) to his widow. They were living at 18 Carrisbrooke Avenue, Mapperley Park, Nottingham at the time.
Two years earlier the 1939 Returns show him and his wife at that address where he was working as a ‘District Supervisor (Furniture Shops) Retired Regular Captain Indian Army.’. Living with them at the same address was Denys Paul Morkel (‘Garage Proprietor’) who Margery married in the March quarter 1943. Margery died in Nottingham in the September quarter 1980.
Henry’s parents, Robert and Catherine Lucy, remained in the village. Catherine died whilst Henry was still abroad with his Regiment, in October 1917, aged 41. Robert was 82 when he died in December 1954. They are buried together in the Pattinson Family Plot in Ruskington Cemetery, Old Plot, South Border, Grave 33.
Private 5368 (Samuel) Harmston PATTINSON – was born on 25 January 1878, at Manor Farm, Ruskington, the eldest son of (Samuel) Frank (Builder) and Frances (née Harmston) Pattinson. He had three older sisters, Anne Elizabeth, Nellie and Lilian, and three younger half brothers and sisters, Ethel, Marian and Frank. (see above)
His mother, Frances, died in 1882, aged 32, and is buried in All Saints’ Churchyard, Ruskington, Grave 80. His father remarried Elizabeth Ann Garratt in 1886. Both Samuel and Elizabeth are buried in the Pattinson Family Plot in Ruskington Cemetery, Old South Border, Graves 45 & 46.
The family moved to Brook House, Ruskington by 1901, but in 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) Harmston’s employment was listed as “Government Employment, South Nigeria“.
At the time of his enlistment in January 1915 Harmston gave his occupation as “Horse Breaker” and stood 5 ft 8½ ins [1.74 m.] tall. His home address was given as Brook House, Ruskington.
Harmston saw action during the Boer War, serving as Private 733, with the 10th (Sherwood Rangers) Company, 3rd Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry. He was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with 1 Clasp (South Africa 1902). The Yeomanry was founded in 1898 and disbanded in 1908.
Not surprisingly, bearing in mind his occupation, Harmston joined the Remount Department, Army Service Corps, in Lichfield, on 12 January 1915 and was posted to Woolwich. Perhaps because of his previous service and experience, he was very soon posted to France, joining the British Expeditionary Force just 14 days later. He was posted to the 17th Squadron, No 3 Base Remount Depot, which landed at Dieppe on 28 January 1915 and established at Varecqueville.
Despite having lost his left eye, Harmston was deemed fit for service and remained with his Squadron until 6 March 1918. He was transferred to the Army ‘Z’ Reserve, prior to demobilisation, which came on 18 May 1919.
(N.B. Class Z Reserve was authorised by an Army Order of 3 December 1918. There were fears that Germany would not accept the terms of any peace treaty, and therefore the British Government decided it would be wise to be able to quickly recall trained men in the eventuality of the resumption of hostilities. Soldiers who were being demobilised, particularly those who had agreed to serve “for the duration“, were at first posted to Class Z. They returned to civilian life but with an obligation to return if called upon. The Z Reserve was abolished on 31 March 1920.)
In the December quarter 1922 Samuel married Amy Holden in Grantham. Samuel and Amy became ‘Inn Keepers’ of the Crown Inn, Ketton, Rutland, as shown in the 1939 Returns, but he died in the December quarter of that year. Amy died in the June quarter 1952, aged 62.
Private 16697 Henry S. PELL – was born on 6 November 1885 although his place of birth and place of marriage have not been found. Henry died on 27 January 1958 at 10 Chestnut Street, Ruskington and is buried in Ruskington Cemetery, New Plot, East Border, Grave 10, alongside his wife, Louise Emma, who died in April 1968. Probate Records show that he left an estate of almost £7,500 [about £150,000 today – 2017].
Henry (Harry) married Louise Emma Palmer in Edmonton, Middlesex, in the September quarter 1920 and they later moved to Ruskington. Kelly’s Directory 1926, shows Henry keeping a shop (‘Stationer, News Agent, Wireless Dealer and Fancy Dealer’) on Chestnut Street, Ruskington, which conforms to the account in Henry Brown’s booklet “Memories of Life in Ruskington in the 1920s and 1930s“:
“When Harry Pell was discharged from the army after the First World War he purchased an old stone cottage and built a wooden hut in the garden from which he sold almost everything including books, tobacco, sweets, toys, medical supplies, knitting wool, sewing accessories and, in November, fireworks. He also had a newspaper round and a lending library, and was a useful source of the latest local events and village gossip.
As his business expanded he doubled the size of this sales area by adding an extension at the rear and finally demolished the hut and in the early 1930’s erected a smart new brick built house and shop on the site. After he died his son, Tony, carried on the business until forced to retire early due to ill health.”
The 1939 mini-Census also shows that Henry and Louise were running a ‘Newsagent – Tobacconist’ on Chestnut Street with their son, Anthony, born on 18 May 1924.
Medal Rolls show “Henry S. Pell” – as a Private 16697 in Royal Fusiliers, before transferring to the Labour Corps, Private 605246.
Lance Corporal 9141 Alfred PHILLIPS – was born in 1889, the son of John Thomas (Cottager) and Ann (née Coupland) Phillips of North Hills, Ruskington. He had a younger brother, Frederick (see below) [1901 Census RG 13/3048]
Before he enlisted Alfred was employed in “.. some coke mills at Selby.” [‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’ ] However, the 1911 Census (RG 14/19757) shows him lodging at 31 Waterside South, Lincoln, employed as a ‘Labourer‘.
In 1908 Alfred’s enlistment papers described him as 5 ft. 3½ ins. [1.61 m.] tall, having grey eyes, brown hair and a ‘fair’ complexion.
Alfred had seen previous military service before he enlisted in the 3rd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment in April 1915. From 4 March 1904 to 1 March 1908 he had served in the 4th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, formed in April 1908 out of the old 1st and 2nd Volunteer Battalions.
After this service ended, on 25 March 1908, he enlisted, at Pontefract, Yorkshire, in the 2nd Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment – Private 9141. However, on 25 July 1908 he was discharged, medically unfit due to ‘caries of the dentine‘, and returned to civilian life.
Alfred enlisted again in the 3rd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment in April 1915 and was trained at Lincoln before being posted to Grimsby. The 3rd (Reserve) Battalion was a training unit that remained in UK throughout the war. The Battalion remained in Grimsby until early 1918 when moved to Cork.
[N.B. There are Records of two ‘Alfred Phillips‘ serving with the 8th and the 1st Battalions, Lincolnshire Regiment, which may have meant ‘our’ Alfred had transferred – but at present this link has not been made.]
No definitive record can be found to show that Alfred married, although it is possible he married Edith E. Alker in the September quarter 1918, in Lincoln.
According to a family research source, Alfred died on 27 June 1944. However, this not correct as this ‘Alfred’ was serving in France and died of wounds received.
Private 10886 Fred PHILLIPS – was born in the March quarter 1897 (probably 5 February), the son of John Thomas (Cottager) and Ann (née Coupland) Phillips of North Hills, Ruskington. He had a older brother, Alfred. (see above) [1901 Census RG 13/3048]
Before enlisting he was “In Farm Service”, [‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’ ] confirmed by the 1911 Census (RG 14/19618) which recorded him working as a “Farm Boy“.
Frederick enlisted in the 8th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment towards the end of 1914. He trained at Luton, Tring and Leighton and, according to ‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’, was posted to France in October 1915.
The nearest Medal Index Card to this date refers to Private 10886 Frederick Phillips, who landed in France on 11 September 1915.
This date coincides with the 8th (Service) Battalion which had formed at Lincoln in September 1914 as part of K3 (Kitchener’s Third New Army) and came under command of 63rd Brigade in 21st Division. On 10 September 1915 the Battalion landed at Boulogne.
[The 1939 Return shows a Frederick Phillips, born on the 4th February 1897, and his wife, Florence, living at 32 Sweetbriar Road, Leicester. Fred was employed as a ‘Civil Servant (Ministry of Labour Clerk)’. If this is ‘our’ Fred, he probably married Florence Hall in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, in the March quarter 1923.]
If his date of birth of 5th February 1897 is correct, he died in the September quarter 1981, aged 87, in the Beverley District, West Yorkshire.
Private 16/212 Charles Henry Dawson PICKWORTH – was born in Billinghay, Lincolnshire, on 14 February 1891. He was the son of Charlotte Elizabeth Pickworth (Widowed in 1890) and had two older sisters, Ellen and Emily. His marriage certificate named his father as James (Grocer) which coincides with a death recorded in the Sleaford area shortly before Charles’ birth.
In the June quarter 1897 Charles’ mother died and the 1901 Census (RG 13/3048) shows that 10 year old Charles was living in the home of John (Straw Presser) and Mary Dickinson on Leasingham Lane, Ruskington. Later he lived with John Proctor, Manor Street, Ruskington.
He enlisted in the 16th Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire) Regiment (1st Bradford Pals) in October 1914 and trained at Skipton before moving to Salisbury Plain. the 16th Battalion was formed in Bradford in September 1914 by the Lord Mayor and City. In June 1915 it came under the orders of 93rd Brigade, 31st Division.
His Medal Index Card shows that on 22 December 1915 Charles was posted to Egypt with the Battalion, but their stay was short-lived, returning to France, via Marseilles, in March 1916. On 1 July 1916, the First Day of the Battle of the Somme, the 16th and 18th Battalions of the West Yorkshire Regiment, the Bradford Pals, went into action.
The objective of their attack was the village of Serre where they had been told there would be little resistance. Instead they were met by fire from German machine guns. By the end of the first hour of the battle, 1770 men from the Pals Battalions were casualties and no ground had been gained. CWGC Records show that 152 Officers and men of Charles’ Battalion were killed that day, another 12 dying of their wounds over the following week.
After the War Charles returned to Bradford and on 28 August 1920 married Alice May Walden in Holy Trinity Church, Leeds Road, Bradford. At that time Charles’ address was 65 Woodhall Avenue, Bradford, and he was employed as a ‘Driver‘.
Alice May died in the December quarter 1936 and in the March quarter 1938 Charles re-married, Ada Yeadon. The 1939 Return shows that Charles and Ada were living at 24 Binnie Street, Bradford, Yorkshire, where he was employed as a ‘Public Service Vehicle Driver’. Charles’ 22 year old daughter from his first marriage, Eunice, was also living with them.
Charles was still living at 24 Binnie Street, Bradford, when he died in St. Luke’s Hospital, Bradford, on 8 February 1958. He left £1464 9s 4d [£1464.47 – a relative value of about £29,000 today, 2015] to his widow, Ada. She died in the March quarter 1977, also in Bradford.
Private 203757 Frank Thomas PURNELL – was born on 3 August 1897, the son of William Ernest (Joiner) and Emmeline (née Tong) Purnell. He had 4 older siblings, Florence Annie, Nellie, Henry, Alfred George and a younger brother, Edgar. When he enlisted, aged nearly 19, he stood 5 ft. 8 ins. [1.73 m.] tall.
Frank’s younger brother, Boy Seaman, 1st Class, Edgar PURNELL, enlisted in the Royal Navy on 15 February 1915. He served on H.M.S. Hampshire, and was killed in action on 5th June 1916 – the same date and ship that saw the death of the War Minister, Lord Kitchener.
In 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the family were living in Post Office Street, Ruskington, Lincolnshire. Between Alfred’s birth and the next Census (1911 RG 14/19618) Edgar’s mother had died and the family moved to Manor Street, Ruskington. Emmeline was only 33 when she died in January/February 1909. She was buried in Grave B. 65, Ruskington Cemetery, Old Plot.
When Frank enlisted at Grantham, aged 18 years 9 months, in 1916, he gave his employment as “Motor Mechanic“. It is not surprising that he enlisted in the Army Service (Motor Transport) on 25 May 1915. He was not, however, mobilised until a year later – 25 May 1916.
On 25 January 1917 Frank sailed on the S.S. Queen Alexandra from Southampton to Le Havre and was posted to 283 Motor Transport Company, attached to 234 Siege Battery. Along with many others in the M.T., Frank moved to a number of different Companies, ending up in May 1918 with ‘886’ Company.
Frank remained in Service until September 1919, before being posted to “Dispersal Camp“.
The 1939 Return shows Frank lodging he home of Bridget Spratt on Silver Street, Ruskington, and working as a ‘Motor Mechanic’. He was 55 when he married Lucy Parker in the December quarter 1952. He died on 22 November 1985 in the Grantham area.
A.B. F.52069 Joseph George REAST – was born in Ruskington, Lincolnshire, on 12 January 1900. He was the son of Harvey (Joiner) and Martha Anders (née Seymour) Reast and in 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) was living at 20 High Street North, Ruskington, with his older brother, John Thomas, and younger sister, Sarah. According to his Enlistment Papers he stood 5 ft. 7¾ ins. [1.72 m.] tall, had dark brown hair and grey eyes, and was employed as a “Motor Mechanic”.
By 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) three more children had been added to the family, Nora Elma and Mary and the family had moved to 1 West Field Cottages, Rectory Road, Ruskington. Another brother, Robert, was born in the June quarter 1912.
[N.B. Pt. 1431 John Thomas REAST served with the 10th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment and Died of wounds in 20th General Hospital, Camiers on 12th May 1917.]
Joseph enlisted in the Royal Navy on 8 March 1918 and underwent training at HMS President II at Cosford. He was, however, discharged soon afterwards on 31 March 1918. However, Royal Air Force Airmen Records, 1918-1940 show him serving with that Service during the same period.
In the June quarter 1925 Joseph married Laura Alice Hill in the East Retford District, Nottinghamshire. In 1939 William was living at 40 Crompton Road, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, with three members of the Reast family [probably brother and family]. However, Laura was living at 27 The Green, East Retford, Nottinghamshire, with their daughters, Kathleen and Mary.
William died in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, in the March quarter 1989. Laura pre-deceased him, having died in the March quarter 1973 in the East Retford District.
Private 12947 William ROBINSON – was born on 27 November 1890 at 14 Providence Square, Sleaford, (1891 Census RG 12/2578) the son of Benjamin (Farm Labourer) and Mary (née Hopkinson) Robinson. He had an older sister, Florence, two older brothers, Percy and Walter, and ten younger siblings, Joseph, George, Frederick, Mary Ann, Harold B., Alfred, Albert, Clarice Eveling, Arthur Ed and Ethel.
By 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the family had moved to Knipton, Ruskington, and the 1911 Census (RG 14/19618) shows the ever growing family still at the same address, with William employed as an “Agricultural Labourer“.
William enlisted in the 7th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, during September 1914 (probably the 11th), was trained at Broughton and Winchester Camps. ‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’ [27 November 1915] reported that he: “… is now in France with the 1st line transports of the Regiment. ”
There are a number of men named ‘William Robinson‘ enlisted in the Lincolnshire Regiment matching the details found in the local press. By comparing the Service Number ‘our’ William is most likely Private 12947, who was posted to France on 14 July 1915. This coincides with the History of the 7th (Service) Battalion, formed at Lincoln in September 1914 as part of Kitchener;s Second New Army, which landed at Boulogne on 14 July 1915.
The Battalion spent its initial period of trench familiarisation and then holding the front lines in the southern area of the Ypres salient, was involved in fighting at the Bluff (south east of Ypres on the Comines canal), part of a number of engagements officially known as the Actions of Spring 1916..
… about the Silver War Badge
William married Florence Foster in the March quarter 1920, in the Sleaford District, probably in Ruskington. The 1939 Census Return shows William and Florence living at Low Fields, Ruskington, with three of their children, Percy, Vera and Kate. William was working as a ‘Farm Labourer’.
Four years later, in the June quarter 1943, Florence died. William died in the March quarter 1977, aged 86, both in the Grantham District, Lincolnshire.