Robin, John Ferguson

Robin, John Ferguson (Jack)

Major

57th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) previously

Second Lieutenant

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Died of disease on Friday 29 November 1918 (aged 26)

Buried:

Ascq Communal Cemetery, France (Grave D. 13)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Holywood and District War Memorial

Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James)

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance

Robin Family Headstone in Old Priory Cemetery, Holywood

BIOGRAPHY

John Ferguson (Jack) Robin was born on 24 April 1892 in Spencer Street, Holywood and he was a son of Alexander and Martha Robin (nee Skillen) who were married on 15 November 1888 in First Presbyterian Church, Rosemary Street, Belfast.  Alexander Robin (aged 22) from 10 Church Street Belfast was a seaman (ship’s steward) and he was a son of William Robin, a flour miller.  Martha Skillen (aged 23) from Church View, Holywood was a daughter of Andrew Skillen, a gardener.

The Robin family lived in Holywood, in Spencer Street, Church View, Downshire Road and at 19 Kinnegar Road.

Alexander and Martha Robin had at least four children:

John Ferguson (Jack, born 24 April 1892 in Spencer Street, Holywood)

Alexander (born 20 October 1893 in Church View, Holywood)

Allan (born 7 September 1896 in Downshire Road, Holywood)

William (born 29 January 1899 in Downshire Road, Holywood)

Jack Robin was educated at Upper Sullivan School, Holywood.

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Jack Robin worked as a clerk in a gas company and he was a member of Queen’s University OTC from February 1912 until September 1914 when he obtained his commission in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  It was noted that he was 5 feet 5¾ inches tall.

John Ferguson Robin and Margaret Anna (sometimes Anne) McKee of Archville, Holywood were married on 3 February 1915 in First Holywood Presbyterian Church.  Margaret Anne McKee was a daughter of Robert McKee, railway station master in Holywood.  Robert’s brother James donated the money for the McKee Clock in Bangor.

John Ferguson (Jack) Robin and Margaret Anne Robin (nee McKee) had one child:

Margaret Ferguson (Peggie, born 14 December 1915 in Archville, Shore Street, Holywood; Peggie and John C. Kellam from Liverpool were married on 12 September 1942 in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church; Peggie died on 23 August 2004 and John died on 8 May 2005).

On 11 July 1915 Jack Robin went to Gallipoli via Egypt.  He served at Suvla Bay as a machine gun officer.  He took part in the Balkan operations in 1915/1916 and was in the retreat from Strumnitza in November and December 1915.  In June 1916 he was invalided from Salonika to Malta and, after he recovered, he went to France.

Major Jack Robin died of influenza/pneumonia on 29 November 1918 in 13 Casualty Clearing Station, France and he was buried in Ascq Communal Cemetery, France.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

YET A LITTLE WHILE

Major Jack Robin is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial; in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James); on the QUB War Memorial and in the QUB Book of Remembrance (Page 47).  He is also commemorated on the Robin Family Headstone in Old Priory Cemetery, Holywood.

Jack’s father, Alexander Robin, of Golf Villas, Holywood died of cardiac disease on 27 July 1917 (aged 46).  His son Allan was with him when he died.