South Shields Victoria Cross hero to be honoured with new memorial

A commemorative stone is set to be unveiled to honour the memory of South Tyneside Victoria Cross hero Private Henry Robson.
A commemorative stone is set to be unveiled to honour the memory of South Tyneside Victoria Cross hero Private Henry Robson.

The heroic actions of a South Tyneside war hero are to be remembered as part of a special centenary celebration.

Private Henry Robson is one of eight people who will have a Victoria Cross stone unveiled in their honour outside the Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh.

Private Henry Robson on the town hall steps with the Mayor of South Shields in 1915.

Private Henry Robson on the town hall steps with the Mayor of South Shields in 1915.

As a young man he had joined the Royal Scots’ Lothian Regiment, the oldest infantry regiment in the British Army, in 1912, and served during the First World War.

It was during the first year of the Great War that he bravely jumped to 
action on the front line in France.

He had left his trench under heavy German fire to rescue a wounded non-commissioned officer and attempted to bring another wounded soldier under cover.

Despite being wounded himself, he continued in his efforts until he was shot a second time, leaving him helpless.

In this attempt he was at once wounded, but persevered in his efforts, until rendered helpless by being shot a second time.

Citation

He was awarded the Victoria Cross – the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system – for his bravery near Kemmel in 1914 , when he was aged just 20.

Pte Robson, who was born in Hampden Street, South Shields, was given the freedom of the borough in 1915.

This year marks the centenary of the Royal Scots Club, in Edinburgh’s Abercromby Place.

To mark the occasion, eight Victoria Cross stones will be unveiled – representing each soldier 
who was awarded the medal for their gallantry – on March 11.

Following the war, Pte Robson went back to the Merchant Navy, in which 
he had served before enlisting.

After being signed off, he sold his Victoria Cross for £80 to fund his move to Canada, where he became a tram conductor.

He then moved into working in the Parliament Buildings in Ontario, rising to Sergeant at Arms of the Ontario Legislature and then information clerk showing visitors around the Parliament buildings.

Pte Robson, who also held the Distinguished Conduct Medal, died in Toronto, Canada in 1964, aged 69 and is buried in the Military Section of York Cemetery in Toronto.

Part of his citation read: “In this attempt he was at once wounded, but persevered in his efforts, until rendered helpless by being shot a second time.”