PRIVATE GORDON ROBINSON
3RD NOVEMBER 1918 AGE 20
BURIED: LE CATEAU MILITARY CEMETERY, FRANCE
Gordon Robinson's inscription comes from the third verse of the hymn: How Bright These Glorious Visions Shine. Written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), the hymn is based on a passage from the Book of Revelation 7:13: 'And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?' The answer was: 'These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'
Verse three of Watts' hymn describes how:
Now with triumphal palms, they stand
Before the throne on high,
And serve the God they love, amidst
The glories of the sky.
Private Gordon Robinson served with the 1st/5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, part of the 75th Brigade. The brigade had been in action throughout October 1918, the battalion diary reporting on the 12th that they had either been fighting or under enemy fire for the preceding seven days during which time they had advanced 13 miles, taken three villages, captured over 300 prisoners and many enemy guns. Their casualties had been 4 officers and 76 other ranks killed, and 24 officers and 469 other ranks wounded.
The battalion were rested for several days at Serain before going back into action for an attack on enemy positions south of Le Cateau on the 17/18 October. The attack met unexpectedly high resistance in the taking of the village of Bazuel. I think this is when Robinson would have been wounded. By the 3 November, the day he died, the battalion were 13 km away further east.
Robinson is buried in Le Cateau Military Cemetery where the majority of the graves belong to soldiers killed either in August 1914 or October/November 1918.
Mr George Henry Robinson signed for the inscription for Gordon, his middle son. At the time of the 1911 census the family were living at 42 Queen Street, Derby. When George Robinson gave his address to the War Graves Commission it was: 'Le Cateau', Belper Road, Derby. The Robinsons had named their new home after the cemetery where their son was buried. It was not an unusual custom. I wonder if the house still has that name today?