2nd Lieutnant Bernard Oates ROBINSON 4th Bn York and Lancaster Regiment – The Hallamshires.
Klled In Action 9th October 1917.
Bernard Oates Robinson was born on the 14th June 1897 at 155 Steade Road, Sheffield.
His father was Ernest, a cutlery manufacturer and his mother, Harriet.
He attended King Edward VII School, Sheffield entering in September 1909. There he was educated in the Classics and Mathematics and clearly excelled at both having secured a Hastings scholarship at Queens College, Oxford. Between 1915 and 1916 he was the head prefect and a champion school athlete. He was also a member of the Officer Training Corps there, rising to the rank of Platoon Sergeant.
It is strongly believed that the Corporal seated far left is Bernard.
In July 1916, he applied for a commission in the ‘Territorial Force’ expressing a preference for the Hallamshire Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment.
His application being approved, he was subsequently posted to that battalion.
At the time of his application, the family were living at 74 Carterknowle Road, Sheffield.
Bernard went to France on the 15th April 1917 and was soon in action at Neuve Chapelle. At Nieuport in July of that year he also went into action, during a severe bombardment, with 2 Lewis Gun crews but came out with only one man surviving.
On the 9th October 1917 2nd Lieutenant Robinson was reported ‘Missing’ later confirmed as Killed in Action during an attack SW of Passchendaele.
After a tiring march of over eleven hours in rain and through heavy mud, the battalion reached their front line trenches. During the battle Bernard passed the first and second German trenches and was last seen in a hand to hand fight with two Germans whom he shot. After this he was seen to fall and was then not seen again.
His Commanding Officer said of him :- ‘ Words cannot express how sorry we all are to lose him. He was an exceptionally capable and hard working officer and was very popular with his men who did follow and would have followed him anywhere. The Hallamshires never had a better officer ’
He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
His parents subsequently moved from Carterknowle Road to ‘Barn Close’, Curbar, nr Sheffield.
In all, King Edwards were to lose all four head prefects from the years before the war.
One contemporary of Bernard’s was William Pike Taylor who was head prefect between 1912 and 1913.
He had been one of the first entrants of King Edward VII school in September 1905. Upon leaving, he entered Oxford and, after a ‘brilliant first year’ at Queen’s College, he was commissioned into the York and Lancaster Regiment in 1915.
In 1917, he found himself leading a platoon on an assault of the German trenches but was wounded in the chest. Staying where he was in an attempt to re-organise he was then shot dead by a sniper. In 1921 his mother and sister established a memorial mathematics prize to be awarded annually to the best mathematician in the school. It is still awarded and is his enduring memorial.
Bernard is also remembered on the following Sheffield memorials:-
Ecclesall All Saints Church memorial plaque
Ecclesall Memorial Hall
King Edward V11 school Roll Of Honour
St Oswalds Church Roll Of Honour
University of Sheffield Roll Of Honour
Hallamshire Officers Roll Of Honour Sheffield Cathedral