Kevin Robinson of Dalton on Tees visited the Green Howards museum to tell us about his great great grandfather, Sergeant Henry Robinson MM.
Henry joined the Yorkshire Regiment (the Green Howards) as a very young man and soon left the UK to serve in the Boer War. Henry had several service numbers during his career with the earliest (and therefore a low number) being 421.
On returning from the Boer war he then went to serve in the First World War both in France and Belgium, Henry and his division engaged in 2nd & 3rd Battle of Ypres, 1st & 2nd Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Arras to name a few. He is believed to have been a very accomplished horseman.
His army career spanned some 4 decades as a Territorial reservist. During this time he picked up a proud chest-full of medals including the Military Medal awarded 10th October 1916. Adding a Bar to his MM in October 1918, other medals believed to be Queens South Africa Medal, 1914 Star, British War Medal, and Victory Medal with Oak Leaf (Mentioned in Despatches).
Henry was also a Hero when not serving his country he was serving children with fun, Henry and his wife Elvira lived in a motor home at Derby Street / Cooper Street / Canon Street Common in Middlesbrough. They operated several fun fair rides which included swing boats and a roundabout. They continued to run the fun fair rides for several decades into the 1950’s, at which time they let the fair ground rides to British Steel for the forerunner to the British Steel gala day which became very popular over the next decades.
Later moving into a house in Welford Street Middlesbrough with His wife Elvira and Children, Maggie (Walton), Nellie (Townsend), Henry from where they operated a small retail shop from the living room selling essentials to other locals, who would call at their home at all hours. The shop sold everything from sweets, baby dummies, home made bread, soap, shampoo, Hair Nets etc.
Henry and Elvira masterminded the local celebrations to celebrate King George V’s Silver Jubilee during 1935, winning first prize for the street decorations.
Long after his death in 1961, people would say what a lovely gentleman Henry was.
Submitted by Kevin Robinson, Great Great Grandson of Henry, living in Dalton-on-Tees. Many of Henry’s family still living in and around Middlesbrough.
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