John Robinson, L/Cpl 8643, 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment
Died 1st March 1915 in Bailleul, France, aged 24
John Robinson was born in 1890 in Macclesfield, the son of Catherine and John Robinson, a Fish Dealer, of 13 Water Street. In 1901, the family was still at 13 Water Street and now included six children: Ann, John, Catherine, Thomas, Mary-Agnes and William.
John joined the Militia in Macclesfield on the 20th September 1907. He stated that he lived at 20 Great King Street, was employed as a weaver, and had previously served as a volunteer with the 5th Volunteer Brigade of the Cheshire Regiment. His was aged 17 years 11 months old and was described as 5ft 5ins tall, weighed 112 pounds, had a fresh complexion, light blue eyes, brown hair and was a Catholic. His gave his next of kin as his mother, of 20 Great King Street, Macclesfield; and his father, whose address he said he did not know.
Soon afterwards, John must have reached the age of eighteen and he attested at Chester into the regular army on the 7th October 1907. His description here included a sallow complexion and grey eyes, and scars over the nose and above the right eyebrow. He was at Bordon in Hampshire for almost two years, between 6th December 1907 and 23rd September 1909, after he was posted to Belfast.
John was reprimanded several times for overstaying his leave. In addition, in Belfast on 8th April 1911 he was confined to barracks for 3 days for “Having a dirty kitchen”, and on 12th November 1912 he was confined to barracks for 10 days for overstaying his leave by 6 days. Having said that, on 3rd October 1913 he was reported to be “Exceptionally hard-working and very reliable” at his work in the cook-house, and on 17th July 1914 he was reported to be “Hardworking – unreliable owing to frequent cases of absence” when employed as a Kitchen Man in the Officers’ Mess.
John was drafted to France soon after the start of the war on 16th August 1914, and was appointed to Lance Corporal on the 15th February 1915. Not long after his promotion, John was admitted to the Isolation Hospital at Bailleul where he died of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis on 1st March 1915.
L/Cpl John Robinson is buried in grave ref. J.10. in Bailleul Communal Cemetery in France. At the request of his mother, the inscription “R.I.P.” was added to the headstone.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for L/Cpl John Robinson, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.