William Hardy (Hardy) ROBINSON


ROBINSON, William Hardy

Service Number: 7042
Enlisted: 17 October 1916, Armidale, New South Wales
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 1st Infantry Battalion
Born: Rous, New South Wales, 29 November 1891
Home Town: Dorrigo, Bellingen, New South Wales
Schooling: Rous Public School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Died of wounds, France, 16 June 1918, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Ebblinghem Military Cemetery
Plot II, Row D, Grave No. 42, Ebblinghem Military Cemetery, Ebblinghem, Nord Pas de Calais, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Dorrigo War Memorial, Rous Public School Great War Honor Roll, Rous Public School Old Time Pupils Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

17 Oct 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 7042, Armidale, New South Wales
9 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 7042, 1st Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 Nov 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 7042, 1st Infantry Battalion, HMAT Benalla, Sydney
27 Apr 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 1st Infantry Battalion
16 Jun 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 7042, 1st Infantry Battalion, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front"

Help us honour William Hardy Robinson's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Paul Trevor

The three enlisted children of Robert and Mary Ann (née Duncan) Robinson of Rous, New South Wales:-

1927 Pte. Walter Harvey Robinson (/explore/people/322292) - returned to Australia;

7764A Pte. Victor John Robinson (/explore/people/279420) - returned to Australia;

7042 L/Cpl. William Hardy Robinson - killed in action.

'7042 Lance Corporal William Hardy Robinson, 1st Battalion

DOW 16 June 1918
No photograph in collection – Family supplied

Story delivered 30 January 2016

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lance Corporal William Robinson, who died while fighting in France during the First World War.

William Robinson was born in 1891 to Robert and Mary Ann Robinson of Rous on the Richmond River in far-north New South Wales. Known as “Hardy” to his family and friends, Robinson attended Rous Public School and worked on the family property “Fern Holmn” before moving to Dorrigo in the Northern Tablelands. There he worked as a farmer, played cricket in the summer and football in the winter, and was a well-respected member of the Dorrigo community.

According to the local newspaper, Robinson enlisted “like the true sportsman he was”, and “responded to the call to arms as soon as his personal affairs allowed him to do so”. Having previously been rejected on account of a weak ankle, he successfully enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Armidale in October 1916. He spent some time training at the Liverpool military camp near Sydney, and embarked several weeks later for England with reinforcements to the 1st Battalion.

Robinson arrived on the Western Front in May 1917, joining the 1st Battalion at Le Transloy on the Somme. He participated in his first major action on the Western Front when the 1st Battalion participated in the battle of Menin Road, just outside of Ypres, Belgium, on 20 September 1917. He also fought at Broodseinde in October, describing it in a letter home as “a clear run over. Fritz did not stand a minute. You should have heard our guns … no army could stand against them.”

The Australians remained in Belgium until the German Spring Offensive the following year, whereupon they returned to France to defend the strategically important city of Amiens on the Somme. In April the 1st Battalion was sent to defend the rail-hub at Hazebrouck from falling into enemy hands, and later engaged in a number of carefully coordinated trench raids against German positions outside the town of Méteren. Around this time Robinson was promoted to lance corporal.

Robinson was seriously wounded in the stomach and hip during a daylight raid on 16 June, which drew German machine-gun fire as the raiding party crossed no man’s land. One of his comrades reported: "I was within three yards of him when a machine-gun opened fire and hit him. He left here in a critical condition, but later reports say the doctor had good hopes on account of his fine constitution."

Robinson was evacuated to the 2nd Casualty Clearance Station, where he later succumbed to his wounds and died, aged 26. He was buried at the Ebblinghem Military Cemetery, where a small epitaph on his headstone, written by his grieving mother, reads: “After duty nobly done, comes rest.”

William Robinson’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 others from the First World War. His photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is just one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Lance Corporal William Robinson, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.' from Australian War Memorial - The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (7042) Lance Corporal William Hardy Robinson, 1st Battalion, First World War. (www.awm.gov.au)