Private John Caskey Robinson


John Caskey Robinson was born on 25 February 1895 at Culduff, Ballymoney, County Antrim, the third of four children of farmer Daniel Robinson and his wife Eliza Jane (née Caskey). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at New Buildings South, Ballymoney, with his parents and two of his siblings, and working on the family farm.

Robinson enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 1 November 1915 (No.1763 – later Corps of Hussars No.71545). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in 1916 or 1917, where 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, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Robinson remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 13 December 1917 the Ballymoney Free Press reported that:

A pleasant social evening was spent on Friday in the Protestant Hall, when many friends of Trooper John C. Robinson, who was home on leave from France, took the opportunity of according him a hearty welcome. Dancing was indulged in, the music being supplied by Mr. R. Robinson and Mr. James Mullan, while Mr. William Murray acted as M.C. Trooper Robinson left again for France on Monday.

On 13 June 1918 the paper reported that:

A field-card sent on the 8th March by Private Ross Robinson, Royal Sussex Regiment, from Palestine to his brother, Trooper John Robinson, North Irish Horse, was delivered in the beginning of June. The card, which had evidently been thrown overboard with the mail, had been recovered, and with the aid of a reflecting glass Trooper Robinson was able to identify the name of a soldier in the Royal Horse Guards which had become imprinted on the card by the action of the sea water on another card which had stuck to it. Trooper Robinson has written to the soldier informing him of the imprint on the card he received. Both soldiers are sons of Mr. Daniel Robinson, of Heath Hill.

Robinson was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 28 February 1919. After the war he returned to farming at Heath Hill, New Buildings. He died there on 1 February 1957.


Ballymena Weekly Telegraph, 14 February 1957


Robinson's brother James Ross Robinson also served in the war, in the Royal Sussex Regiment and Royal Irish Fusiliers. He was wounded in the thigh in Egypt in November 1917.