Lance Bombardier 100114 William Ewart Archibald Robbins

 Robbins William Ewart 96 352x600Robbins William EA 96 415x600
A further photograph can be found at the bottom of this page.

Killed in Action on Friday, 26th July 1918, age 20.
Buried in Grave XIII. B. 6. at Villers Station Cemetery, Villers-Au-Bois, Pas De Calais, France.

Royal Field Artillery, 20th Division Ammunition Column.

Only son of Sergeant W.A. and Mrs M. Robbins,of Bell Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 21st July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, St. Matthew's, and Dudley Grammar School memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/60227/

Genealogical Data

Birth of William Ewart Archibald Robbins registered September Quarter 1898 in Dudley.

1901 Census
Neptune Street, Tipton, Staffs. (number not stated)
William Albut Robbins (26, Traveller for Iron Founders, born Tipton), his wife Maria Shaw (25, born Sedgley), and their 2 children: William E. A. (2, born Tipton), and Gladys I. (4 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
11 Sedgley Road, Tipton, Staffs.
William Albut Robbins (37, Iron Founder, born Tipton), his wife Maria Shaw (35, born Sedgley), and their 3 surviving children of 6: William Ewart Archibald (12, School, born Tipton), Gertrude (9, born Tipton), and Lillian M. (7, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Archibald Robbins was the only son of Councillor Robbins who, although 45 years old, volunteered for the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1915.

William Ewart Archibald Robbins is commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial as A. Robbins. This is not wrong just not his full name.

After Archibald's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £13/3/5d (13 pounds, 3 shillings and 5 pence); this was paid to his mother, Maria, in November 1918. His War Gratuity was £14/10/0d (14 pounds and 10 shillings), this was paid to his father, William A., in February 1920. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Archibald had enlisted in approximately May 1915.

Action resulting in his death

Captain Hamilton wrote that Archibald had been killed by 'enemy bombs'. As he belonged to the Divisional Artillery Column, his unit would have been a prime target for German artillery to prevent the shells that they were carrying being used against the Germans.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald December 1st 1917
Councillor W.A. (Lance Corporal) Robbins C.C., who is home this week on leave from the firing line, is 45 years of age. He belongs to the R.A.M.C., he joined the army last year (Father of Archibald Robbins).

Tipton Herald August 10th 1918
Roll of Honour
ROBBINS - Killed in action in France, July 26th 1918, Bombardier Archie Robbins R.F.A., dearly loved and only son of W.A. and M. Robbins, of Bell Street Tipton, aged 20 years. Deeply mourned.

Tipton Herald August 17th 1918
As announced last week, Bombardier Archie Robbins (only son of Sergt. and Mrs W.A. Robbins, Bell Street, Tipton) has been killed in action in France on July 26th. This gallant young soldier was only 16 years and 11 months when he joined the Royal Field Artillery in April 1915, and after a short training as a driver in Ireland and on Salisbury Plain he found himself in France in July. He was educated at Park Lane Council School, and then at Dudley Grammar School, where he left at the age of 15 to become an apprentice to Mr E.H. Hipkiss, Owen Street, and becoming accustomed to horses there, caused his selection as a Field Artillery driver. On active service in France for over three years he had been in many tight places, and had had many narrow shaves, being gassed, blown from his horse, etc. He was only 20 years of age on May 28th last.

His mother received the following letter from Captain P.W. Hamilton, RFA - "I deeply regret to have to inform you that your son, Bombardier A. Robbins, of the unit under my command, was killed in action on July 26th by enemy bombs. All ranks wish to express their deepest sympathy with you in losing such a model son and soldier, whose loss is felt very keenly amongst us all. He had been serving under my command for the past two years during which period it has been a pleasure to have such a brave and gallant soldier serving with me. Allow me, madam, to express my deepest sympathy in your sad bereavement, and trust that you will bear up with a good heart, knowing that your son gave up life nobly and for a good cause, and as one who was a credit to his King and country. He was buried in the military cemetery with full military honours in the presence of all his comrades. I am having a cross made, and every attention will be paid in making his place of rest as good as it is possible under the present circumstances."

Lieut. J. Lambert, R.F.A., wrote as follows - "You will no doubt have received Captain Hamilton's letter telling you the very sad news of the death of your son. As his section officer I wish to express my very deep sympathy with you in your sad and irreparable loss. He has been with me for a considerable time, and I always regarded him as a keen and industrious N.C.O. He is very much missed by his friends in the sub-section and especially by Sergt. Cundy, with whom he has been since he came to France."
The deceased young soldier has been three years and three weeks in France, and had had two leaves during that period. His father (Councillor W.A. Robbins, CC) who is now 45 years of age joined the R.A.M.C. in January 1915, and his son very soon after expressed his desire to emulate his father's pluck. His mother received a letter from him a few days only before his death, and he stated that he would very shortly be receiving leave. His letters were always very cheerful, and after his leave he always returned to France feeling very confident. His father (Sergt. Robbins) was home on leave this week. One sad feature of the death of the young hero is that father and son gallantly serving king and country, had not met since the father enlisted in January 1915.

Robbins Family 96
The family photo is courtesy Mick Ford. From left to right is Archie, Maria, Gladys (rear), Lilly (front) and William.