Benjamin Stanley Robinson died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He was a pupil at Oakham School between 1906 and 1909 before moving to Sherborne School and then on to Sandhurst. Benjamin was the son of Harry and Annie Robinson from Avenue Terrace at Spilsby in Lincolnshire. He was a Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment (Princess Charlotte of Wales) which had the task of attacking Ovillers at the start of the Somme battle. But things went disastrously wrong from the start.The battalion war diary recorded what happened: "Our own wire was not sufficiently cut and parties were immediately sent out by Companies to clear it. At 6.25am the intensive bombardment began as scheduled. At about 7.15am the enemy opened rifle and machine gun fire on our line; this fire was probably drawn by the 2nd Devons Regt which at about this time attempted to line up in front of their parapet. At 7.20am Companies began filing down trenches and getting ready for the assault. At 7.30am the three assaulting Companies advanced to attack the German line. They were met by intense rifle and machine gun fire which prevented any of the waves reaching the enemy line." The Commanding Officer was one of the casualties. The attack had broken down before it had begun and no further attempts were made to climb out of the trenches as the Germans swept the top of the parapets with machine gun fire and bombarded them with artillery. Benjamin was reported missing, one of 20 officers killed, wounded or missing. Among the men, the total number of casualties was more than 400 of whom 150 had been killed or were missing. Benjamin's body was found and he now lies buried in Ovillers Military Cemetery, grave VIII.D.3. He is remembered in Oakham School Chapel and also on Spilsby's war memorial as S B Robinson.
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