Private William Robins


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known for certain other than that he was born around 1897 and at some point after the war he lived at 22 Glasgow Street, Thornaby-on-Tees, Yorkshire. On this basis he may have been the William Robins born on 27 December 1898 in nearby Ormesby, Yorkshire, the second of eight children of grocers' manager William Robins and his wife Maud Freeman Robins (née Huddlestone). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 20 Millfield Road, North Ormesby, with his parents and siblings.

Robins was attested for military service or enlisted in 1916 or 1917. He was posted to the North Irish Horse between 23 June and 3 July 1917 (regimental number between 2562 and 2599 – later Corps of Hussars No.71899).

He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in 1917 or 1918. There he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit. This meant a 25 per cent reduction in the regiment's numbers, and it is possible that this was the time that Robins was attached to the 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers).

On 2 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Robins returned to Millfield Road. At the time of the 1921 Census he was working as a plater's helper for a Teeside bridge engineering works, and by 1939 was working as a bridge yard slinger. He died at Cavendish Road, Middlesboro, on 21 December 1981.