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Walter Robinson

According to “Soldiers died in the Great War” Walter was born in Driffield . However his birth was registered in the Pickering area in the last quarter of 1896. He was the only son of Thomas and Mary Jane (nee Atkinson) who married in the Malton area in the last quarter of 1892.

The 1901 Census saw the Robinson family resident in Wykeham, Malton where Thomas was working as an agricultural labourer.

 1901 census – resident at Wykeham, Malton
ROBINSON, Thomas, Head, Married, M, 36, Ordinary Agricultural Labourer, Rillington Yorkshire,
ROBINSON, Mary J, Wife, Married, F, 31, , Pickering Marishes Yorkshire,
ROBINSON, Elsie M, Daughter, , F, 5, , Pickering Marishes Yorkshire,
ROBINSON, Walter, Son, , M, 4, , Pickering Marishes Yorkshire,
ROBINSON, Hilda M, Daughter, , F, 2, , Pickering Marishes Yorkshire,
ROBINSON, Lousia A, Daughter, , F, 8 months, , Wykeham Malton Yorkshire,

By 1911 they had moved to 95 Town Street, Old Malton, a cottage that remains externally very similar to what it would have been then.

1911 census – resident at 95 Town Street, Old Malton
ROBINSON, Thomas, Head, Married 18 years, M, 45, Labourer General, Yorks Rillington,
ROBINSON, Mary Jane, Wife, Married, F, 41, , Yorks Marishes,
ROBINSON, Walter, Son, , M, 14, , Yorks Marishes,
ROBINSON, Hilda Maud, Daughter, , F, 12, School, Yorks Marishes,
ROBINSON, Louisa Annie, Daughter, , F, 10, School, Yorks Wykham,
ROBINSON, Mabel, Daughter, , F, 7, School, Yorks Rotsea,
ROBINSON, Agnes, Daughter, , F, 6, School, Yorks Old Malton,

Walter enlisted in Malton and joined 98 Battery, Royal Field Artillery.  The Battery was in India at the outbreak of the War but was recalled to England and allocated to 1st Brigade at Winchester, coming under the command of 27th Division. They embarked at Southampton and landed at Le Havre on 20-23 December 1914 and then moved to concentrate in the area between Aire and Arques, taking part in the action of St Eloi and the Second Battle of Ypres.

 The Division was ordered to Salonika in November 1915 and embarkation began on 17 November, but it was not until 13 February 1916 that the last of the Division finally arrived.  

At the invitation of the Greek Prime Minister, M.Venizelos, Salonika (now Thessalonika) was occupied by three French Divisions and the 10th (Irish) Division from Gallipoli in October 1915. Other French and Commonwealth forces landed during the year and in the summer of 1916, they were joined by Russian and Italian troops. In August 1916, a Greek revolution broke out at Salonika, with the result that the Greek national army came into the war on the Allied side.

There followed one of the least reported campaigns of WW1 in Macedonia as the Allies attacked Bulgarian forces along the Greek border. Between 30 September and 4 October 1916 the 98th Battery was involved in the capture of Karajakois and of Yenikoi and  as a result of wounds received in these actions, Walter died on 11th October and is buried in the Lembet Road Military Cemetery in Salonika,
 the base of the British Salonika Force which contained, from time to time, eighteen general and stationary hospitals.

He is commemorated on both Old Malton Memorials and on his mother’s tombstone in Old Malton Cemetery.