Remembering Corporal Sidney Robinson, KRRC, and comrades who died one hundred years ago

One hundred years ago today, Corporal Sidney Robinson and three riflemen from 4th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps were killed in a desperate struggle whilst on patrol near Neohori (now Amfipoli) at the southern end of the Struma Valley.

Part of 80th Infantry Brigade, 27th Division, 4/KRRC was encamped at Kato Krusoves at the southern end of the Struma Valley near the Gulf of Orfano. At 2250 on 18 December 1916 three platoons from ‘A’ Company were sent out to patrol the higher ground around Neohori village (now Amfipoli) on the Turkish side of the River Struma. All was going well and there was a hope of cutting off a Turkish patrol but, in the confusion of the night, some of the riflemen were themselves cut off by a party of 80-100 Turks. Outnumbered, the riflemen rushed into bushes to lie low until the Turks had gone. Unfortunately one of them lost his balance and knocked over a Lewis Gun, which gave them away. In the resulting struggle four were bayonetted and killed, two men shot and wounded and three captured. One Turkish soldier was confirmed killed, although it was believed that shells from 148th Battery RFA had hit the retiring Turks.

Killed in action:

  • Corporal Sidney James Robinson
  • Rifleman W. Baynes
  • Rifleman J. Hines
  • Rifleman Bernard Walker

Wounded:

  • L/Cpl S. Randle
  • Rifleman E. Windsor

Missing, believed prisoners:

  • Rifleman W. Smith
  • Rifleman P. Vickers
  • Rifleman G. Willis

A full account of the action, including an annotated map, can be found in the Battalion War Diary at the National Archives, Kew (WO 95/4890).

My thanks go to Mark Robinson, the grandson of Sidney Robinson, who contacted the SCS before going to Thessaloniki. He is visiting his grandfather’s grave in the Mikra CWGC Cemetery on the 19th, the centenary of his death. Before leaving for Thessaloniki, Mark visited Kew and discovered the full details of the patrol, which he has kindly shared with us and has even sent a photograph taken yesterday (17th) on the fateful ridge.

A view of Neohori (Marmariou) tower and the River Struma taken from the ridge, near the village of Amfipoli, where Mark Robinson's grandfather and comrades were killed in patrol one hundred years ago.
A view of Neohori (Marmariou) tower and the River Struma taken from the ridge, near the village of Amfipoli, where Mark Robinson’s grandfather and comrades were killed whilst on patrol one hundred years ago.

Author: scswebeditor

Robin Braysher joined the SCS in 2003 and from 2008 has been the Society's web editor. His interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Fred, who served as a cyclist with the BSF from 1915 to 1917, mainly in the Struma valley. Robin hands over the role in October 2021 to Andy Hutt. Andy's interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Arthur, who served as a Royal Engineer from 1916-1918. All posts prior to February 2021 are by Robin. Opinions expressed in these posts are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.