Alfred ROBINSON
Rank: Sapper
Number: 215722
Unit: 57th Field Company ROYAL ENGINEERS
Date of Death: 14 April 1918
Age: 20
Cemetery: Haringhe (Bandaghem) Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium

Alfred Robinson and Matilda Walton married in 1886 and, over the years, would have at least 5 children together. The family home was at 21 Avenue Street, Portwood and, later, at 106 Turncroft Lane.

Alfred's is not an early army service number and he was probably conscripted when he became 18 around 1916, going overseas a few months later after training. On 9 April 1918, the German Army launched the second devastating phase of its spring offensive in a Battle that would later be called the Battle of the Lys (after the nearby river). As the month before, the force of the attack would drive back the British troops for many miles. By the 12th, the enemy had reached the French town of Bailleul and desperate fighting retreats continued to be fought by the hardpressed Tommies.

On the 14th, Alfred and his comrades were busy helping to construct defences. Half of the Company, Nos. 1 and 4 Sections, were building barricades. No. 3 Section was making preparations to blow up a cross roads between Bailleul and St Jan's Cappel and were placing charges to destroy a nearby bridge. No. 2 Section was held in reserve. During the day, 1 man was killed and another 6, including Alfred, were wounded.

He will have received treatment at the dressing station not far behind the front line and will then have been evacuated to a field hospital at Poperinge, about 16 miles away across the border into Belgium. Unfortunately, nothing could be done to save his life.

   
           
   
     
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