Robinson, Alexander (No. 18687)

Robinson, Alexander (Alex)


No. 18687, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 19)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for

Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards


Alexander Robinson was born on 2 September 1896 in the townland of Ballymaghan and he was a son of William Alexander and Grace Robinson (nee Rainey) who were married on 23 September 1890 in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards.  William Alexander Robinson, a widower from Ballyblack, was a son of William Robinson, a labourer.  Grace Rainey, a spinster from Ballyblack, was a daughter of James Rainey, a labourer.

The Robinson family lived at 3 Lower Mary Street, Newtownards.

Previous addresses in Newtownards included Mill Street and William Street Place.

William Alexander Robinson worked as an agricultural labourer, Grace was a laundry worker and they had at least five children:

Grace (born 25 December 1892 in Ballycastle; baptised in Ballyblack Presbyterian Church)

Wilhelmina (born 8 January 1895)

Alexander (born 2 September 1896 in Ballymaghan)

Jane (born 11 January 1898 in Ballymaghan)

David (born 19 December 1901 in Mill Street, Newtownards; baptised in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church)

William Alexander Robinson had previously been married to Eliza Fisher.  They were married on 16 May 1879 in Greyabbey Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church.  William Alexander Robinson was from Donaghadee and Eliza Fisher from Mountstewart was a daughter of James Fisher, a labourer.

William Alexander Robinson and Eliza Robinson (Fisher) had at least three children:

James (born 28 June 1880 in Mountstewart)

David McCormick Byers (born 20 December 1882 in Mountstewart)

Mary Elizabeth (born 15 July 1885 in Ballycastle; died 3 November 1885)

Their mother, Eliza, died on 3 February 1886 (aged 33).

Alexander Robinson worked as a message boy before the outbreak of the Great War and he served in ‘B’ Company of the local contingent of the Ulster Volunteer Force.  He enlisted in Newtownards on 17 September 1914 and served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.

Rifleman Alexander Robinson was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.  Initially he was posted as missing in action and in February 1917 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action.

The Officers and Members of Total Abstainers Loyal Orange Lodge No. 991 expressed their regret in a For King and Country notice that they placed in the 3 March 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle.

Rifleman Alexander Robinson was 19 when he died and he has no known grave.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the PCI Roll of Honour for Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards.