Lt. Col. Forbes-Robertson

Lieutenant Colonel J. Forbes-Robertson, V.C
Newfoundland Regiment
Forbes Robertson

Later on the same day, when troops to the left of his line were giving way, he went to that flank and checked and steadied the line, inspiring confidence by his splendid coolness and disregard for personal danger. His horse was wounded three times and he was thrown five times.

 (Victoria Cross citation, London Gazette, 21 May 1918, 6057)

Born in West Yorkshire on 7 July 1884, James Forbes-Robertson was second-in-command of the Newfoundland Regiment and became acting commanding officer during Lieutenant Colonel Arthur L. Hadow’s sick leave from November 1916 until May 1917.

Having just joined the Newfoundland Regiment in June 1916, Forbes-Robertson commanded the reserve portion of the battalion during the carnage of the assault at Beaumont-Hamel. He re-organized the regiment after the losses at the Somme and lead the Newfoundlanders at the Battle of Arras in April 1917. The regiment suffered another 500 casualties, however, for his leadership holding the line at Monchy-le-Preux, Forbes-Robertson received the D.S.O.

He relinquished acting command on the return of Hadow the next month in May 1917. By August, Forbes-Robertson had transferred to take command of 16th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment. He received the Victoria Cross for heroism at the Battle of Estaires in April 1918.

He died in England on 5 August 1955.


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