October 16, 2017. After leaving France and arriving in De Panne, Belgium, on the North Sea coast, we were joined by Pieter’s cousin François Breugelmans and his wife Mieke de Bie, who live in Antwerp. It gave us a chance to visit as well as continue the war memorial trail.
For most of our time in Belgium we had a break from driving, as François took over that task. This was great as many of the roads in the area are very narrow, more suited to one way traffic, not two way traffic.
The thing that struck us the most was that all of the cemeteries and memorials we had to visit in Belgium were not far from Ypres. Our first cemetery in Belgium was La Laiterie Military Cemetery, where Arthur Clinton ROBINSON is buried. Named after a dairy farm, the cemetery is right on a busy road, next to a cement business. It’s very well kept and has 751 Commonwealth WW1 graves, 180 of them unidentified.
When we began this project, we thought it would be easy to get a photo and information on Private Robinson as we knew his nephew John Robinson and John’s wife Hazel had done extensive genealogical research. Unfortunately, John and Hazel had been unable to find any photos and very little information. Arthur Clinton Robinson was born July 20, 1896 in Tryon, the son of Albert James Robinson and Flora P. Scruton, a nurse from New Hampshire who died on June 23, 1901 from tuberculosis.
A farmer before the war, Arthur Clinton Robinson enlisted in the 26th (New Brunswick) Battalion on November 20, 1914, and was in Europe by spring of the following year. On March 27, 1916 he was killed in action when shell fire hit the trenches southeast of Kemmel, which itself is only10 km south west of Ypres.
In 1917, after Arthur Clinton’s death, his father Albert remarried, to Mary Mooney, and they had a family of their own. John Robinson is descended from this second marriage and thought that it was likely that no one kept anything from the previous family, since no one was alive by the time of the remarriage.
Pieter wrote in the guest register this time, and then we left to find Chester Farm Cemetery, our next destination.
In the next blog entry we continue our war memorial tour in the area around Ypres, Belgium. If you have a photo or info on Arthur Clinton Robinson, please let us know. Comments or stories? You can share them by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by commenting on this blog.
© Daria Valkenburg