William Henry Robins, 14th Welsh Fusiliers

Discussion in 'Looking for someone' started by kizmiaz, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. kizmiaz

    kizmiaz New Member

    Hello all

    I am not too sure of any details about my great-grandfathers service, but I hope someone may be able to point me roughly in the right direction.

    His personal details were: His name was William Henry Robins and he was born in Hailsham in 1895.
    He married Clara Windsor in 1915. He had a son William born in 1914 and another son John born in 1916

    The only knowledge I have of his War "service" is from his son John's death certificate. It lists on there that in early November 1918 he was a Private in the 14th Welsh Fusiliers. It then says he was a Railway Shunter.

    I would assume he possibly served at least some of the time in the Royal Sussex Regiment, just from the fact that he hardly seems to have been the adventurous travelling type, and was probably not an eager participant in the hostilities from what my dad tells me.

    No worries if there is nothing available. I'm sure that Ancestry will eventually get a bit further through the alphabet in its Service Records, and he may yet pop up there


  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Royal Defence Corps

    The Royal Defence Corps was formed in August 1917 from the Home Service Garrison Battalions of 18 Regiments. It was made up of old soldiers who were beyond the age set for combatant service, or those who were not fit for duty overseas, sometimes as the result of wounds received on active service. The Corps was similar in some ways to the Home Guard of the Second World War. Its job was to guard railways, tunnels, roads and ports, thus relieving other troops for front line service.

    Annie :)
  4. kizmiaz

    kizmiaz New Member

    Hi Annie

    Thanks for the info. I've had a look on A****try and it has his card, but frustratingly few details.

    It says that the theatre of operation was France, and the date of entry therein was 3 December 1915, so it looks like this William served there with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Maybe he was injured and forced to serve in the Defence Corps due to infirmity.

    Would it have been strange for a Sussex lad to join a Welsh regiment so early in the war? I thought the Pals Brigades were still going strong at that time, so I wonder (if this is G-Granddad) why he didn't join up locally.

    More mysteries to be solved when (if?) the service records are ever updated!


  5. Hill 40

    Hill 40 New Member

    Definately was. The 3rd December was the date that the 13th, 14th, 15th 16th and 17th battalions set sail for France.

    They were (and the above battalions actually were "Pals" battalions). He may have joined up "sort of" locally as the 15th Bn RWF was formed in London (and was known as "The 1st London Welsh").

    ...and if his records haven't been destroyed. Even if they have though, that MIC leads to a goldmine of info... in this case, his medal rolls will give the specific battalions he served in and his exact date of discharge. You also have a reference to his entry on the Silver War Badge list which may give his date of enlistment and age along with the cause of discharge.

    Even with no service record, it should be possible to construct a pretty complete service history of this man just with what's available there (I bet he originally enlisted in the 15th Bn, BTW, and then transferred to the 14th in February 1918 when they were disbanded).
  6. kizmiaz

    kizmiaz New Member

    Thanks for all the extra info Fritz

    I saw the SWB List on his card but assumed it was something to do with the South Wales Borderers! I'll have to book another trip to Kew to see what I can find (if Anc***ry doesn't beat me to it!)

    It would be good to get a connection and finally give great-grandad his place in history. He's the only great-grandfather I can't place during the war. One died of cancer at home, one was killed in Gaza, and one served with the RAF as a chauffer, and g-grandad Robins was looking a bit of a misfit, but maybe he did do his bit for King and Country. (My dad seems to think that his granddad would have been a bit of a shirker, but it may be that he only saw the old man when he had already lived far too much for any lifetime)


  7. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Well I found this ........ sounds like they had it really rough in Mametz Wood !!

  8. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Hi Glen !

    It's been a long time ... but as it's Remembrance Day I thought I would ask if you were able to find William Henry Robins on the new files that have been published ?

    William Henry Robins - Always Remembered with honour

    Attached Files:

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