George Collis Robinson

In memory of George born 20 August 1896 dying of wounds in Belgium 27 October 1917.

His memory lives on through his family, We Will Remember Them.

A wreath was laid in memory of George’s sacrifice a month ago at Menin Gate 27 September. The person who laid the wreath recited ‘The Ode of Remembrance’ For the Fallen, during the service at Menin Gate, then made the pilgrimage to place flowers on Georges grave at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery – very special & a lovely tribute to the great sacrifice made by George & that of his family & community so far away.

The wreath that was laid was also noticed by a stranger who took the time to read about George and make contact as can be seen in comments at the end of the post ‘George Collis Robinson [Holt]’ Indeed a great many continue to remember our dear George.

Lest We Forget

Remembrance 2018

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.

AIF Second Division Three Cheers for the King is the caption noted for this photo

George and the Bowman brothers

Dan and F.S. Bowman with George C Robinson on the right.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.

Sunshine passes, shadows fall, love and remembrance outlasts us all.

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.

Amazing accomodationOur first morning at breakfast, amazing selection of foodA trip the PharmacyThe view from our room - through the flyscreen


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



















Saturday 11th November: Remembrance day in Ypres at the Menin Gate Memorial. Footage of this moving experience



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

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.




Dan returns to find George

March 1953 Dan on retirement visited Georges grave fulfilling an oath he probably made to George the day he died and again the day the guns fell silent. An epic adventure given his poor health and age.

Dan’s family has loaned us letters he wrote to the war commission seeking the information he so required to find George’s grave before leaving Whitemark.

Dan had his camera with him and took a photo of Georges headstone he gave to Horace when he returned home.

Dan died just over 12 months after returning from his trip to Belgium and the UK …..his grave is a stones throw from Georges mother Emily and eldest brother Tuck.

Ulysses 25 October 1916




November 2015: The date for this family historian to investigate the old trunks containing letters and photo’s from my great great and great grandparents Stephens and Briant’s respectively. The well aged trunks sitting patiently waiting to be explored by a sixth generation descendent.

A photo of this young man below in AIF uniform sent to his Aunt Maria Jane Stephens (known to all as ‘Grannie’), my great-great grandmother caught my eye. Thankfully Eric William Wiltshire Paynter of Gawler South Australia had ensured his name was beside his photograph helping this ancestor explore his AIF story. ‘To Dear Auntie with love from Pte EWW Paynter AAMC’ Paynter easy to sort out as the son of Maria Jane’s sister Etty.

Eric Paynter left Australia aboard the HMAT Ulysses in Melbourne on 25 October 1916 as part of the Army Medical Corp.Eric William Wiltshire Paynter 001

Oh my goodness!!

My great-uncle George Collis Robinson was also aboard the HMAT Ulysses with the 4th Machine Gun Company.


In our family there are 11 of us related to both Eric and George. I expect this number will grow in the years to come.

Even more incredibly……. George would be connected to Eric by another association! Georges next-door neighbour on Flinders Island would be Eric’s beloved Aunt, Grannie Stephens, how fascinating!!

Of all the places in Bass Strait Eric’s Auntie could have lived – it had to be between Badger Corner and Samphire River!!

Both boys were recipients of their mother’s maiden names, Collis and Wiltshire.

It would be a many years later when George’s brother married Grannies granddaughter and the birth of Dad these two lads aboard the Ulysses quite possibly not known to one another would end up with their DNA in our family tree.

I wonder if their paths crossed on the voyage……………this we shall never know.

Then again Dan may have mentioned in his letters home, letters this historian must look over on the next trip home.

Lest we forget

fields of samphire

IMG_7170 IMG_7171 IMG_7172 IMG_7173

A walk around Wally’s point to take in the new season’s small fields of samphire and their delicate white flowers. Dotted amongst the fields are several succulent pig-face tentacles loaded with small colourful flowers. The good old silver tussock and white sand a beaut backdrop.  A few photos to share…


27 October 2015

Neil Cook collection
Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 5.27.26 PM

This clipping shouldn’t surprise, George was, after all the son of a Master Mariner…

Dan Bowman wrote in his diary on the same day ‘attended boat race at Lady Barron’ ‘was passenger in Wally Holt’s boat Emily in two races, lost one, won one, nearly had an accident at the wharf.’

This 98th anniversary is about researching the other young men buried along side George.

Private Harold Drew 50th Battalion Alberta [Calgary] regiment is buried to the right of George. Harold 25 died of shrapnel wounds to chest and head in the 2nd Canadian Clearing Station 27 October 1917. Harold place of birth – Western Maine, USA & son of William Drew.

Buried to the left of George is Robert Campbell – place of birth – Old Monkland, Lanarkshire, Places of enlistment, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. Rank, Corporal service number 74307 or the 27th Brigade Royal Field Artillery 119th Bty, Army Corps 5th Division. Date of death 26 October 1917.

The closest Aussie digger to George is 18-year-old Private Leslie Matthew Carter 5052 – 7th infantry battalion. Leslie originated from Brighton Victoria. His AIF record indicates he was injured on 3/11/17 (?typo) the 23/10/17 perhaps, admitted on the 24th to the 17th Casualty Clearing Station with shell wounds to leg and buttock. Leslie died from these wounds on either the 26th or 27th depending on documents referenced.