James Forbes-Robertson

James Forbes-Robertson

Strathpeffer, Highland, Scotland
Death 5 Aug 1955 (aged 71)
Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswold District, Gloucestershire, England
Burial Cheltenham, Cheltenham Borough, Gloucestershire, England
Memorial ID 8025176 · View Source
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World War I Victoria Cross Recipient. A native of Scotland, he was gazetted for the award on May 21, 1918 for his actions as an acting lieutenant colonel in the 1st Battalion, the Border Regiment, British Army, on 11/12 April 1918 during the Battle of Estaires (the beginning phase of the Battle of the Lys), near Vieux-Berquin, France during World War I. Born in Strathpeffer, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, he received his education at Cheltenham College in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. During World War I, his military career included deputy commander of the 1st Battalion, Border Regiment (June 1916) and commander of the 16th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment (August 1917), with service on the Western Front in Belgium and France. After the war, he served with the Army of Occupation in Germany and retired from the British Army in 1934. He died in Bourton-on-the Water, Gloucestershire, England at the age of 71. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "Near Vieux Bertuin, France, 11 - 12 April 1918, Captain (A / Lieutenant Colonel) James Forbes-Robertson DSO & Bar, MC, comd 1st Bn, The Border Regiment. For most conspicuous bravery whilst commanding his battalion during the heavy fighting. (near Vieux Berquin, France) Through his quick judgment, resource, untiring energy and magnificent example, Lt.-Col. Forbes-Robertson on four separate occasions saved the line from breaking and averted a situation which might have had the most serious and far-reaching results. On the first occasion, when troops in front were falling back, he made a rapid reconnaissance on horse-back, in full view of the enemy, under heavy machine-gun and close range shell fire. He then organised and, still mounted, led a counter-attack which was completely successful in re-establishing our line. When his horse was shot under him he continued on foot. 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 of personal danger. His horse was wounded three times and he was thrown five times. The following day, when the troops on both his flanks were forced to retire, he formed a post at battalion headquarters and with his battalion still held his ground, thereby covering the retreat of troops on his flanks. Under the heaviest fire this gallant officer fearlessly exposed himself when collecting parties, organising and encouraging. On a subsequent occasion, when troops were retiring on his left and the condition of things on his right were obscure, he again saved the situation by his magnificent example and cool judgment. Losing a second horse, he continued alone on foot until he had established a line to which his own troops could withdraw and so conform to the general situation." In addition to the Victoria Cross, he also received the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the Military Cross, the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal (1914-20), the Victory Medal (1914-19, with Mentioned in Despatches oak leaf), the Defence Medal (1939-45), the King George VI Coronation Medal (1937), and the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953). His Victoria Cross and other medals are on loan to the Regimental Museum of the Border Regiment at Carlisle, Cumbria, England.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peterborough K
  • Added: 24 Oct 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8025176
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Forbes-Robertson (7 Jul 1884–5 Aug 1955), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8025176, citing Cheltenham Cemetery and Crematorium, Cheltenham, Cheltenham Borough, Gloucestershire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .