Died of wounds 1917 Belgium 25th Machine Gun AIF.
“He heard the call, he gave it Heed, and now he sleeps in Flanders”
Remembered today with love and gratitude …..Lest We Forget
Extracts from Alf’s nephew Walter Briant 1934 diary. Gives a little insight into life on the island.
4th Sept 1934.’worked on Horace Robinsons car today, I mended the radiator and gave the engine a run. Barney Denholm and Merse, Dolly Diprose came to the garage today also the W Robinson. Mrs Coster and Gracey came down tonight and spent the evening with us we had the wireless going. Elsie made uncle Alf a cake as he is not well. Ivy Cook has got bad shes at Tuck Robinson’s place Eric Robinson went for the sister in his car.’
6th Sept ‘I called and saw Uncle Alf in the bungalow he looked very ill, aunty was there too and Alfie. We also called at Uncles on the way back and Father and Horace saw him and he looked better. Elvie came back from the Corner today.’
13th Sept ‘Charlie Hill came tonight and told me to take Uncle Alf to the boat at White mark tomorrow.’
14th Sept ‘I went down to Lady Barron this morning and got Uncle Alf and Elvie and took them to white mark to catch the steamer.’
18th Oct ‘we heard the sad news of Fred Winfield dying with the flu, Horace brought the news.’
6th Dec ‘ I saw uncle Alf Briant today he looks very well but feels not to well’
Amazing Service in Launceston this morning!
Lots of memories from last years trip to the Menin Gate, look forward to seeing this years footage of Remembrance Day.
In the meantime will share this photo of the AIF Second Division called Three Cheers to the King. Those wonderful cheeky Aussie smiles for the camera, helmets and hats on the their guns, not unlike Poppies!
I wonder what they would make of our lives 100 years on. Lest we forget.
The centre photo from No.1 ‘Australia in the Great War The Story Told in Picture’, purchased the set on eBay early this year.
Dan on the left, his younger brother Frank (middle) and George with hand on his hip, what a fantastic photo! It was Dan who was initially with the Robinson Brothers and here is George with the Bowman Brothers in the UK. Frank joining the AIF in 1914 and by the time he had met up with Dan and George had served in Gallipoli 7th Btn, then onto the Western Front around Feb 1916 in the 2nd MGC.
Great photo to mark 101 years since his death.
While home a few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to look through a few old slides with cousin John.
Here they are to share – great photo of Uncle Tuck, his son and daughter in-law George and Gladys Robinson on their 25th wedding anniversary along with Aunt Dolly’s daughter Audrey.
The blue of the water in the photo is just magical!!
Looking through Dan’s photos, postcards and letter collection revealed a few more pieces of their journey 1916 and 1917 to share. This brilliant old photo (to Maud) of the 7th Rft of the 4th Machine Gun Company with ‘mainly Tasmanian’ men was posted on October 23 1916 from the Seymour Military Camp, Victoria.
Dan posted two post cards to Maud from London dated May 15 1917 one was a photo of the new Admiralty Arch in London, Dan wrote ‘George and I walked under this coming from Hyde Park to Charring Cross’. The other card was another major landmark and again mentions George and I….Maud received both cards on Sept 10 1917..
Our trip to visit Georges grave in Belgium.
What an adventure, 3 flights to Paris followed by three trains to Pop. The travel gods were with us on the way over as the last two planes were only half full, plenty of room for all to stretch out. We felt blessed!! The three trains were an experience and in the end after many hours (about 40) on the go, we arrived in Pop…exhausted! Once off the last train and starting toward our accommodation a light misty rain, warm and welcoming, brushed our tired and weary faces, then within a flash, was gone……. George we are here!!
Thursday, November 9: A much-needed rest day to get acquainted and feel slightly more orientated, we were lucky to have a random meeting with Annemie!! We loved the Flemish language.
Friday, November 10: On the way to breakfast we discovered the Market square transformed into a busy market as it is every Friday. The food vans looked and smelt delicious. – the flower stall was stunning and unexpected, a gorgeous wreath and a bunch of almost white Chrysanthemums selected.
We hired bicycles (a popular mode of transport in this part of the world) to ride out to the long anticipated Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery….. the last 3 km of our almost 18000 km journey.
Understanding the distances of the SOS line at Zonnebeke just a short distance from Lijssenthoek became a reality once we had visited other local sites and the beautiful town of Ypres. Red Cross File.
Sunday 12th November: A day trip to the old part of Ghent
Monday 13th November: back to the Cemetery before leaving tomorrow. Found our tributes still intact after the wind and rain yesterday. Also discovered a bunch of roses on the grave of Harold Drew. Had his family been to visit? I found Nurse Nellie Spindler’s grave after hearing her story of being the only female buried at Lijssenthoek. It was then I realised the gathering of people on our first visit were standing at her grave.
After being in Pop for almost a week we discovered when saying our farewells to our wonderful hosts of their interest with our homeland so we able to do some ad-lib Tourism promotion of Tassie and especially Flinders, as you do♥♥
Tuesday 14th November: up early and on the first train to Lille and then crammed on the express train to Paris. A whole other experience and language to get our heads around.
Lest we forget
One hundred years ago George took his last breath, a few hours before dawn. George was critically injured on the morning of the 26th and endured the pain of his injuries and the cold autumn day waiting to be rescued. Georges last journey was his retrieval from the blood bath on the front line (SOS line) to the relative safety of the 2nd Canadian Clearing Station, a world away from his beloved family. For 100 years George has lain (in what his first degree family would refer to as ‘somewhere in Belgium’) in a grave shared with a stranger.
On enlistment George used his birth name of Robinson, however he was, at home in Tassie known only as George Holt. Holt being his paternal step grandfathers name.
In total 10,120 mortal remains are buried at Lijssenthoek cemetery. 1131 are AIF soldiers.
Tasmania has 51 Tasmanian graves scattered throughout the Cemetery located a few kilometres from the small town of Poperinge. The border of France is another few k’s down the road.
Of these Tasmanian soliders
19 are from the North of the state
The northern soldiers hailed from the following districts:
Barton, Jessup, Jones, Rundle and Ryan – Launceston
Allen – Legana
Geale – George Town.
Hamilton – Evandale.
Jessop and Loone – Scottsdale.
Solomon – Longford.
Cook – Conara.
Treloggen – Goshen
lastly our Robinson – Bass Strait.
Balstrup, Collins, Pam, Parsons, Ryan were all born in Launceston and on enlistment as living interstate.
18 were from the South.
14 from the NW Coast.