1914 - 2023

The Marston Lads

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Joseph Robinson

Killed in Action
12th April 1918

Aged 20

The 2nd Battalion
South Wales Borderers

13 Church Street
and later
Marston Common (Farm)

Joseph Robinson was the eldest son of Joseph Henry and Sarah Robinson and born in 1898 at Marston. Three other children were born to the marriage.

In 1901, the family lived at 13 Church Street and Joseph Henry was working at the nearby Chemical plant, Joseph was aged three.

In 1911, the family had moved to Marston Common and now farmers. A bold move for someone with a young family and working for a major employer. In 1911, Joseph was aged 13 years and at school, we can only presume Joseph would later join his father and help with the farm once he had left school.

In the 1939 census, which was carried out when the Second World War was looking an almost certainty, the family were living at Rose Tree Farm, Lostock Gralam, which was next to Lostock Gralam railway station. The farm would later be owned by the Frith family where they would install a milk bottling plant and deliver their own milk.

Farming in Cheshire circa 1910
With the British Conscription Act of 1916 and the age of Joseph, the earliest Joseph Robinson could have joined the army was 1916.

Joseph joined the 2nd Battalion The South Wales Borderers. On the 11th January 1916, the battalion moved to Egypt on the ship “Scotian”, landing at Alexandria on 13 January and moving to Suez.

On the 10th March 1916, they departed Alexandria for France, arriving Marseilles on the 15th March, where they remained.

The South Wales Borderers circa 1918

In March 1918, the great German offensive began. This 1918 Spring Offensive, or Kaiserschlacht ("Kaiser's Battle") also known as the Ludendorff Offensive, was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, beginning on 21 March 1918. There were four German offensives, codenamed Michael, Georgette, Gneisenau, and Blücher-Yorck. This battle was the beginning of the end for Germany, but at terrible cost to the Allies with 863,374 casualties. German loses were 688,341.

Joseph Robinson died of battle wounds on the 5th April 1918 and is buried in Aire, France. The Highland Casualty Clearing Station was based there as was the 39th Stationary Hospital (from May 1917) and other medical units.

Joseph's burial plot is Plot II, Row B. The burials in plots II, III and IV (rows A to F) relate to the fighting of 1918, when the 54th Casualty Clearing Station came to Aire and the town was, for a while, within 13 kilometres of the German lines.

This confirms Joseph Robinson was part of the 1918 German Spring Offensive, he was injured and moved to Aire due to these wounds, and died there. The cemetery now contains 894 Commonwealth burials of the First World War.

Joseph Robinson was never married.

Download and view Joseph Robinson Commonwealth War Graves Commission Certificate

Aire Communal Cemetery, Rue de Saint-Martin, France
Tony Hayes