Robinson, Samuel (No. 13/18686)

Robinson, Samuel (Sammy)


No. 13/18686, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Died of disease on Sunday 14 March 1920 (aged 31)


Killysuggan Graveyard, Newtownards, Co. Down (Grave 2. 2. 25)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Newtownards and District War Memorial


Samuel Robinson was born on 13 February 1889 in South Street, Newtownards and he was the second son of David Robinson (born in County Londonderry) and Jane Robinson (nee South) who were married on 14 July 1884 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark).  David Robinson from South Street, Newtownards was a son of John Robinson, a dealer.  Jane South from South Street, Newtownards was a daughter of John South, a chimney sweep.

The Robinson family lived at 14 John Street, Newtownards.

David Robinson worked as a dealer (pedlar) and he and Jane had four sons:

John (born 1 August 1885 in South Street, Newtownards)

Samuel (born 13 February 1889 in South Street, Newtownards)

David (born 18 November 1893 in South Street, Newtownards)

Richard (born 20 October 1896 in South Street, Newtownards)

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Samuel Robinson also worked as a dealer and he was a member of ‘B’ Company in the local contingent of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Samuel Robinson enlisted on 17 September 1914 and he served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.  On 14 February 1916 when he was in a front line trench north of the River Ancre he was seriously wounded in the head, chest and shoulder by a shell fired from the German trenches.  Private Hugh Shanks from Newtownards was killed instantly by the same shell.

In a letter to Samuel’s mother the Rev Charles Campbell Manning, Chaplain to the Forces, assured her that Samuel was doing well and was quite cheerful.  However, one week later Samuel was reported to be ‘dangerously ill’.  He was transferred to Queen Mary’s Military Hospital in Whalley, Lancashire and from there on 20 June 1916 to the hospital in Victoria Barracks, Belfast.  On 9 July 1916 he was posted to the 20th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles but was no longer fit for war service so he was discharged from the Army on 13 October 1916.

Samuel Robinson worked as a labourer and he and Catherine (Kate) Coughlin were married on 21 October 1917 in St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church Belfast.  Catherine Coughlin, a mill-worker from 34 Raglan Street, Belfast was a daughter of Patrick Coughlin, a carpenter.

Samuel and Kate Robinson (nee Coughlin) had at least one child:

Ellen Jane (born 18 June 1918 in Drumaness, Ballynahinch)

Samuel and Kate Robinson lived at 42 South Street, Newtownards and it was there that Rifleman Samuel Robinson died of influenza on 14 March 1920.  He was buried the following day in Killysuggan Graveyard Newtownards.

Kate Robinson placed a death notice in the 20 March 1920 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:

He is gone to rest, his troubles are o’er;

He is free from all sorrow and pain;

The ills of this life he so patiently bore

Shall never distress him again.

In the same edition, there were five other death notices:  one from his mother and brothers David and Richard who lived at 14 John Street; one from his father at 17 Greenwell Street; one from his brother and sister-in-law John and Mary who lived at 9 Circular Street; one from his uncle, aunt and cousins who lived at 17 Greenwell Street and one from the Shanks family who lived at 21 John Street Lane.  The notice from his mother contained the verse:

When my son breathed his last farewell

The blow was more than tongue could tell;

My house seems quite another place

Without the smile of my dear Sammy’s face.

The notice from his father contained the verse:

Our precious one from us has gone;

The voice we loved is stilled;

The place is vacant in our home

Which never can be filled.

The notice from his brother John contained the verse:

His weary days of pain are o’er,

His troubles are all past,

His ever-patient, worn-out frame

Has found sweet rest at last.

The notice from his uncle, aunt and cousins contained the verse:

When the pearly gates were opened,

A gentle voice said, ‘Come’,

And with farewells unspoken

He calmly entered home.

The notice from the Shanks family contained the verse:

The nearest and dearest on earth passed away;

No longer with us he could stop;

It was God dealing with us we only could think;

Taking home the remains of his flock.

It was Samuel’s father David who signed for his son’s medals on 10 November 1921 and at that time David’s address was 14 John Street, Newtownards.

Samuel Robinson was 31 when he died and he is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.

Catherine (Kate) Robinson (nee Coughlin) and Robert James McVeigh were married on 14 November 1924 in St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church Newtownards.  Robert James McVeigh from Market Street, Newtownards was a widower and a son of James McVeigh, a labourer.  At the time of her second marriage, the widowed Catherine Robinson was living at 51 Mark Street, Newtownards.

In 1932 Catherine McVeigh developed breast cancer and she died on 30 April 1935 at home (51 Mark Street, Newtownards).  She was 44 years old and her husband Robert James was present when she died.  At that time, Robert James was working as a labourer in a quarry.