World War I hero from Scots regiment honoured by Canadian family


A Canadian family have made a visit to Scotland to honour a Victoria Cross recipient from World War I who showed “most conspicuous bravery”.

Brian Gaskin and his family, from Ontario visited the Royal Scots Regimental Museum in Edinburgh Castle on Monday to view the Victoria Cross which Mr Gaskin’s grandfather, Private (Pte) Henry H. Robson, originally from South Shields, had won for his act of bravery in December 1914, when aged 20, while serving with the regiment in Flanders.

Mr Gaskin had been present aged 14 when the medal was donated to the Royal Scots Museum in 1965 following his grandfather’s death.

His grandson, Luke, the great-great-grandson of Pte Robson made his first ever visit to Scotland as part of the trip and Lt Colonel Gordon Rae, Chairman of The Royal Scots’ Museum and Heritage Committee, presented the Gaskin family with a copy of “Pontius Pilate’s Bodyguard”, the regiment’s three volume history, as a memento of their visit showing the bond between the regiment and the family. 

Pte Robson was a regular soldier in the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Scots, which had deployed to Belgium in August 1914 as part of the British Expeditionary Force that was sent to prevent the German advance. 

The Battalion took part in a number of significant actions as the war ebbed and flowed that autumn before an attack near Kemmel on 14 December.  Badly wounded during the action for which he received the award, Pte Robson survived the war and emigrated to Canada where he raised a family.

He was presented with his Victoria Cross by King George V and Queen Mary at Buckingham Place on 12 July 1915.  The official citation reads: “Private H. H. Robson. 2nd Battalion The Royal Scots. For most conspicuous bravery near Kemmel on the 14 December 1914, during an attack on the German position, when he left his trench under a very heavy fire and rescued a wounded non-commissioned officer, and subsequently for making an attempt to bring another wounded man into cover, whilst exposed to a severe fire. In this attempt he was at once wounded, but persevered in his efforts, until rendered helpless by being shot a second time.”

Lt Colonel Gordon Rae said: “It was a great honour to host three generations of Private Robson’s family at the Regimental Museum today.”

Source: The Herald