Name: James Alexander Robinson

Birth Date: 20 January, 1888 Where: Queensland
Died: 14 July, 1974 Where: Chelmer, Qld
Place of Enlistment: Queensland Age: 27
Serial Number: 2nd Lieutenant Battalion: 26th
Rank on Enlistment: 2nd Lieutenant Rank on Discharge/Death: Lt Colonel

Awards: 1914 - 15 Star, British War Medal 1914 - 1920, Victory Medal, Mention in Despatches(2), Distinguished Service Order


Photograph Robinson

Service Details:



6 May

1915                      Enlisted

15 May

1915                      Appointed 2nd Lieutenant

9 June

1915                      Embarked Australia


1915                      Embarked Egypt

10 Sept. – 12 Dec.

1915                      Gallipoli

24 February

1916                      Promoted Captain

21 March

1916                      France

6/7 June

1916                      Trench Raid

29 July – 27 Aug.

1916                      Pozieres (Sausage Valley)

4 August

1916                      Pozieres

6 September

1916                      Belgium


1916                      Ypres and Dernacourt

29 October

1916                      Mentioned in Despatches

3 November

1916                      Battle of Ancres Heights & Fricourt


1917                      Warlencourt


1917                      Attack on Malt Trench

17 April

1917                      Awarded DSO


1917                      Battle of Bullecourt (Hindenburg Line)


1917                      Bapaume

2 July

1917                      Appointed Major

8 July

1917                      Senior Officers' School, Aldershot


1917                      Cassel

30 September

1917                      Rejoined BattalionYpres


1917                      Broodseine & Passchendale

26 October

1917                      Battle of Passchendale (Ypres)

7 November

1917                      Mentioned in Despatches


1917                      Red Lodge

7 April

1918                      Dernacourt

20 April

1918                      Ville Sur-Ancre


1918                      Morlancourt

27 June

1918                      Villers-Bretonneux

8 July

1918                      Appointed Temporary Lt Colonel

8 August

1918                      Battle of Amiens

29 August

1918                      Somme

2 Sept

1918                      Mont St. Quentin

3 October

1918 mmmmmmmWounded                     

11 November

1918                      Armistice

25 January

1919                      CO 26th Battalion

28 March

1919                      Returned to Australia

27 July

1919                      Appointment Treminated





Biographical Details:

Born Nudgee Qld, January, 1988.

Assistant Teacher, 1909

Founding student at University of Queensland.

Lectured at Queensland Teachers' Training College.

War service 1915 - 1919

Returned to lecturing

Married, April 1921 (one son and 4 daughters)

Principal of Rockhampton State High School and Technical College, 1925

Principal of Queensland Teachers' Training College, 1935

Retired, 1954

Awarded MBE, 1966

Died, July, 1971

ANU Robinson link: Robinson


James Alexander Robinson was the eldest boy in a family of four boys and four girls born to Henry Walton Robinson and mother Ester Adams. He was born in Nudgee, Brisbane in 1888.           Although James was from a farming family his profession was teaching.  He was one of the first graduates of the University of Queensland.
James enlisted as a private in the 26th Battalion in May 1915. Within 11 days he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant.  By the war’s end he was a Lt Colonel and had been the temporary Commander of both the 26th and 28th Battalions.
By the time the AIF reached France in 1916, James had served at Gallipoli as Battalion Adjutant and been promoted to Captain. His appointment to Officer Commanding Attack for the June 6/7th Trench Raid would not have been a surprise.
The success of the raid was as much a credit to Robinson for his planning and leadership as to the men who entered the German trenches.  In September he was recommended for the Military Cross for his involvement in the Raid and action at Pozieres. This recommendation was later changed to a Mention In Despatches (MID).
In November 1916 James was again recommended for the Military Cross for his action during the attack on Maze Trench (Flers).  This too was changed to an MID which was awarded in January 1917.
In March 1917 the 26th Battalion was in action at Lagnicourt. James was awarded the Distinguished Service Order:
This Officer supervised the assembly of the Battalion on the Jumping Off Line before the   attack    on LAGNICOURT on 26thMarch1917. After the attack  had been launched he went forward and   sent frequent reports back of the fight. Regardless of danger from snipers and enemy machine guns, he set a   fine     example to  all who saw himby walking through the villageand  directing the mopping      up parties to the points still  holding out.
He returned to Battalion Headquarters, but owing tofailure of communication with the front line during the determined enemy counter-attack, went forward again through a very heavy barrage to obtain definite and very necessary information. He showed great bravery and coolness throughout,    and his presence in the front line just as the enemy counter-attack  was   being driven back, had a most cheering   and marked effect on all present.

Following Lagnicourt James was appointed Major and attended a Training School for Senior Officers which led to him being appointed temporary CO of the 26th Battalion. While he was CO, the 26th Battalion captured the German tank Mephisto which, following the war, was brought to Australia by the 7th Brigade and is displayed in Queensland.

In October 1918 James was wounded but by January 1919 was able to act as temporary CO of the 28th Battalion.  He returned to Australia in March 1919.

Following his discharge in July 1919 Robinson returned to teaching and in 1925 was appointed Principal of Rockhampton High School and Technical College. In 1935 he became Principal of Queensland Teachers’ Training College. During that period he married Alice Clinton (1921) with whom he had a son and four daughters.
In 1966 James was appointed M.B.E.  He died in Chelmer, 1971, aged 83.