|Date of Birth||May 19, 1868|
|Place of Birth||West Yorkshire|
|Next of Kin||Mary E. Robinson (wife), 410 Toronto Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Electrician|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||Canadian Army Medical Corps Depot|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Army Medical Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||410 Toronto Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||May 14, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||48|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||September 20, 1929|
|Age at Death||61|
|Buried At||Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California|
|Plot||Grave 76, Veterans Plot|
Private Alfred Robinson was married and a father of five when he enlisted in Winnipeg in 1916. His only son also enlisted and they both served overseas and returned to Canada in 1918.
Alfred was born on 19 May 1868 in West Yorkshire, England. He immigrated to Canada in the 1880s and he was married in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 25 August 1890. His wife, Mary Elizabeth Boyd, was born in 1872 in Manitoba. Alfred and his wife settled in the town of Rat Portage in northwestern Ontario, where he worked as an electrician. They had four daughters and a son, all born in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora): Louise Gertrude (1892), Mabel Elizabeth (1894), Lillian Bertha (1896), Sarah Alvera (1898) and Frank Edward (1899). The family was still living in Kenora at the time of the 1911 census but by 1912 they had moved to Winnipeg.
Frank Edward turned 16 years old in November 1915 and he enlisted in Winnipeg two months later, passing himself off as 18. He joined the 108th (Selkirk) Battalion. Alfred enlisted in Winnipeg on 14 May 1916, signing up with the 200th (Winnipeg) Battalion and shaving four years off his age. Both units, the 108th and 200th, were sent to train at Camp Hughes, east of Brandon, and at the end of May Frank was transferred to his father’s battalion. They spent the winter back in Winnipeg and headed overseas in the spring of 1917, sailing from Halifax on 3 May on the SS Megantic and disembarking at Liverpool about ten days later.
Alfred served for the next year with the 11th Reserve Battalion, the Manitoba Regiment Depot and the Canadian Army Medical Corps Depot. His discharge certificate notes that he worked in convoy service on hospital ships sailing between England and France. By December 1917 he had developed chronic bronchitis and heart disease, the causes listed as cold, exposure and the strain of service. In the medical report his birth date was recorded correctly as 19 May 1868. His heart disease was permanent and it was recommended that Alfred be discharged from service. He embarked from Liverpool on 24 June 1918 on the Empress of Britain, arriving in Halifax about nine days later. He was discharged in Winnipeg on 20 August, at age 50, listed as medically unfit for further service. His son Frank served in France and he was sent back to Canada in January 1918, due to being a minor.
After the war Alfred and his family lived in Winnipeg for about two more years. His daughter Lillian was married in Winnipeg in 1919 to Herbert Charles Taylor, a war veteran who had served with the Royal Air Force. Around 1920 Alfred and Mary moved to Santa Monica, California and eventually all of their children joined them there. Their youngest daughter, Sarah Alvera, was married in Santa Monica in June 1929. Alfred passed away on 20 September 1929, at age 61, and he’s buried in Inglewood Cemetery in Inglewood, California. His wife Mary died in Los Angeles County on 6 February 1955, at age 82. She’s buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica, along with their daughter Louise (Mrs. Andrew Marvin Bowen) (1892-1961). Their son Frank passed away in Palmdale, Los Angeles County in 1979.
By Becky Johnson
Photos courtesy of Robinson public family tree on ancestry.com.