ROBINSON, Percy Hicks [of Nottingham]

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Royal Engineers

By John Pownall

Percy Hicks Robinson of Nottingham

Royal Engineers No 1367  2/2 North Midland Field Company.

          There is not a lot known about Percy especially within current family members. Indeed it was surprise that when researching my wife’s family that I discovered he had enlisted in the Royal Engineers as a “Sapper”.

He is stated as enlisting Oct’ 1914. He was discharged in April 1916 serving a total of 1 year 185 days. His medical record states he was released as “no longer physically fit for war service”. This is because he is reported as having a “cough” which started prior to enlistment. This subsequently became much worse. His medical records show that he had been in a Sanatorium for treatment. It also states he is coughing Phlegm which is contaminated with blood. This is recorded as Tuberculosis (T. B.) and is his reason for discharge.

          However it was not all bad news. He must have been fortunate because he is married to Margaret (Nee “Eedy”, for which records show that there are several ways of spelling  this surname) having several children. At the time of enlistment they lived in Whitechapel Street, Old Basford, Nottingham. Their children were Margaret, Winifred, Percy, George, Betty, John, and Albert the youngest. John is known to all our family as Uncle Jack. The 1911 census stated he was employed as “Lace Threader”, so how or why he was allocated to the Royal Engineers and has become a “Bricklayer” our family have no idea.

          With regard to his personal life other than he was in the building trade is very limited. However, I have spoken to one of his sons i.e. Uncle Jack and he cannot remember any details of where his father grew up, what school he attended or who or where he worked other than being a bricklayer.

          However I can remember his wife Margaret who was a lovely lady who always made my wife Pat and I welcome. Margaret was very practical probably like many of her generation. She would always make you very welcome and invariably offered you a drink. This was her home made brew! Very nice it was too! At that time she lived at a house just off Church field Lane near to Bobbers Mill with her youngest son Albert who had never married.

          As with many families around the time of First Would War, people had to be very resilient to survive because there was no N.H.S., antibiotics, or benefit system on the scale we now enjoy. I believe Percy Hicks Robinson to be quite a strong character as he endured survived contracting T. B., at such a young age and still managed to bring up a family of 7 children.

          He married Margaret Eedy during 1913 and passed away during 1948 aged 57.

Army Duties; - What projects he was assigned to or where he was stationed whilst serving in the Royal Engineers I have been unable to discover. However his service record states that he was posted on Home front duties only and did not serve abroad. His character is stated as “good”.

Wife Margaret ;-  Took part and supplied an Oral taped interview for someone who I believe belonged to the Local Studies and Records office for the city council library. This recording should still be accessible to the public. She spoke about her life and times around the start of the twentieth century. Part of the interview was a surprise too many of her family who listened to the copy of the interview and discovered that she had 10 children and not the seven they all new about. This is a simple example of the life and times that that must have occurred to most families. It must have been the case that a baby would probably only have 50% chances of reaching their 1st birthday.

Percy Hicks Robinson;-

His medal card appears to state that he was entitled to the “War badge”. (Issued to soldiers who invalided out of the service).

He appears (through deduction of the census records) to have been one of 7 children. But I have been unable to establish if there may have been more?

Sources of information include, Find My and discussion with family members. Photograph is from family album.




This page was added by John Pownall on 04/02/2015.

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