No.2292 Private Samuel Moreland Robinson
An engine driver, Samuel Moreland Robinson, was born and raised at Mangalore, Victoria – about 120kms north of Melbourne. In 1906, he married Mary Hannon and in the lead-up to the war they had four children:
Samuel Moreland Robinson was almost 30 years of age when he enlisted in the army in November 1914.
Private Samuel Robinson was assigned to the 2nd Reinforcements, 6th Infantry Battalion. Following the most basic of basic training, he was on a ship in early February 1915 bound for Egypt. More training followed with his new mates from the 6th Battalion who had arrived in Alexandria the previous December.
In addition to training, the 6th Battalion had been involved in the defence of the strategically important Suez Canal which was threatened by Turkish troops who had entered the war in October 1914. Between 5.30am and 7.00am on 25 April 1915, the battalion formed part of the second wave of landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula at Gaba Tepe….soon to become known as Anzac Cove.
The 6th Battalion’s war diary covering April 1915 isn’t available, so we know little of the official view of what the battalion experienced as its soldiers hit the beach and attempted to move in land. It is thought that Australian and New Zealand losses on that first day totalled around 2,000 killed or wounded, with perhaps a similar number of Turkish casualties.
Losses were even greater around 10 days later when the battalion was ordered to form part of an attack on Krithia involving Australian, New Zealand, British and French troops. The action started on 6 May and ended two days later in complete failure.
It was on this day – 8 May 1915 – that Private Samuel Moreland Robinson was killed in action. He was one of 6,000 allied casualties lost in the attacks. The battalion’s war diary describes the start of the carnage: "At 5.30pm, the advance commenced under very heavy shrapnel, rifle and machine gun fire. We pushed on under verbal orders of (the) Brigadier. Losses were heavy especially among officers."
The war diary shows that the 6th Battalion lost 84 men killed, 122 wounded and 131 missing during the battle. Many of those reported missing would soon be recorded as killed in action. Private Samuel Moreland Robinson is remembered at the Helles Memorial on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula. It serves the dual purpose of a Commonwealth memorial for the entire Gallipoli campaign and a place of commemoration for many of those Commonwealth servicemen who lost their lives and have no known graves. It carries more than 21,000 names.
Medals and Entitlements:
[received by his widow and four children]
- 1914/15 Star
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
- King’s Message
- Memorial Scroll and plaque
Service record citation: NAA: B2455, ROBINSON SAMUEL MORELAND
Battalion war history and war diary entries - Australian War Memorial