Private Hugh Stewart Robinson


Hugh Stewart Robinson was born on 2 April 1879 at Raffrey, Killyleagh, County Down, the eighth of nine children of labourer Samuel Robinson and his wife Martha (née McNeill). At some point between 1881 and 1901 the family moved to Belfast. At the time of the 1911 Census Hugh was living at 32 Banbury Street with his parents and working as a general labourer.

Robinson enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron at Belfast on 13 April 1915 (No. UD/257). On 6 October 1915 he embarked for France with his squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division.

In June 1916 the Inniskilling squadron joined with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps. In August-September 1917 the regiment was disbanded and its men, following training at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Robinson, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt. Robinson was issued regimental number 41135.

He may have seen action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917. By January, however, he was with the regimental reserve at Armagh. On 15 January that month he was reported to have deserted. He later returned to duty or was apprehended, and subsequently rejoined the 9th (NIH) Battalion in France.

On 20 August 1918 he was admitted to the 2nd General Hospital at Le Havre suffering from 'piles'. Ten days later he was evacuated to England for further treatment.

Robinson was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 20 March 1919. He unsuccessfully sought a pension for 'acute rheumatism'.

On 4 June 1919 Robinson married Anna Bella Ramsay in the Dundela Presbyterian Church, County Down. The couple initially lived at 45 Newry Street, Belfast, moving soon after to 27 Newry Street. Hugh worked as a labourer until his death on 25 February 1955. He was buried in the Dundonald Cemetery.


This page last updated 21 December 2023.