• James Alexander Robinson

Army / Flying Corps
  • 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 7th Brigade
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Lieutenant

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  • Distinguished Service Medal (DSM)
  • Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
Stories and comments
    • Australian Dictionary of Biography, Robinson, James Alexander (1888–1971)
    • Posted by blackboycreek, Thursday, 23 July 2015

    Robinson, James Alexander (1888–1971) by Noeline J. Kyle This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 16, (MUP), 2002 James Alexander Robinson (1888-1971), educationist, was born on 20 January 1888 at Nudgee, Brisbane, second child of Henry Walton Robinson, a Queensland-born farmer, and his wife Esther, née Adams, who came from Ireland. James was sent to New Farm State School, where he became a pupil-teacher in 1901 and an assistant-teacher in 1909. Taking leave in 1913, he entered King's College, University of Queensland (B.A., 1915), as a founding student. He attended evening-classes at university, taught day-classes at the new (Queensland Teachers') Training College, Gardens Point, and tutored in mathematics at King's College. President of the university sports union and of King's College students' club, he captained the university's first XI and won Blues (1913) for cricket and tennis. On 15 May 1915 Robinson was appointed lieutenant in the Australian Imperial Force. Embarking with the 26th Battalion, he served on Gallipoli (from September) and accompanied the unit to France in March 1916. While serving on the Western Front he was promoted major, awarded the Distinguished Service Order and thrice mentioned in dispatches. In August 1918 'Old Uniformity' (as he was nicknamed) was given command of the battalion as temporary lieutenant colonel. He was severely wounded in October and evacuated to England. After briefly rejoining his unit in France, he sailed for Australia in March 1919 and his appointment terminated on 27 July. He had supervised the salvage (June 1918) of a German tank named Mephisto, which was brought to Brisbane as a war relic and housed in the Queensland Museum. Back at the training college, Robinson lectured in mathematics, perspective and model drawing, and drill. At St Andrew's Anglican Church, Indooroopilly, on 23 April 1921 he married Alice Clinton, daughter of Sir Arthur Morgan. He was principal of Rockhampton State High School and Technical College from 1925 before returning to the training college in 1935 as its principal. Guiding the college through the years of World War II and the attendant emergency measures, he oversaw Q.T.T.C.'s expansion and relocation (1942) at Kelvin Grove. A one-year diploma of education was introduced (1937), establishing an important link with the university, entry standards were raised, and teacher-training methods improved. After retiring as principal in 1954, he continued to appraise and advise trainee-teachers until he was 68. Robinson was a man of conservative values and 'ramrod bearing'. Known as 'Rocks' to his students, he was sometimes eccentric and idiosyncratic in manner, but always energetic, fair and broad-minded. He served on the Queensland Institute for Educational Research, the senate of the University of Queensland (1953-60) and the Board of Adult Education (1957-60). In addition, he taught immigrants by correspondence, and English and mathematics to inmates of Boggo Road gaol until he was in his eighties. In 1966 he was appointed M.B.E. Survived by his wife, son and four daughters, Robinson died on 14 July 1971 in his home at Chelmer and was cremated with Methodist forms. A likeness (1981), sculpted in sandstone by Rhyl Hinwood, is fixed to the library wall at the Kelvin Grove campus of the Queensland University of Technology.

    • Robinson AWM E01431
    • Posted by blackboycreek, Thursday, 23 July 2015

    Informal portrait of Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Travers and staff of the 26th Battalion at Neuve Eglise. Left to right, back row: Lieutenant (Lt) G. W. Francis, Assistant Adjutant; Lt C. G. Holloway MC, Signal Officer; Lt H. F. Pearson MC, Intelligence Officer. Front row: Captain (Capt) Chaplain F. Humphery; Major J. A. Robinson DSO, Second in Command; Lt Col R. J. A. Travers DSO, Commanding Officer; Capt F. C. Lloyd MC DCM, Adjutant; Major F. L. Bignell DSO, Regimental Medical Officer.

    Robinson AWM E01431
    • AWM E04212
    • Posted by blackboycreek, Thursday, 23 July 2015

    Place made Belgium: Wallonie, Hainaut, Marchienne-au-Pont Date made 1 January 1919 Description An outdoor group portrait of members of the 26th Battalion in front of the Marchienne-au-Pont school. Identified is Major (Maj) James Alexander Robinson DSO (front row, sixth from the left), all other soldiers are unidentified. In the front row four officers (third, fourth, seventh and eighth from the left) are wearing Military Cross ribbons and two officers (second and third from the right) are wearing Military Medal (MM) ribbons. A soldier in the second row (third from the left) is also wearing a MM ribbon. As the Commanding Officer of the 26th Battalion Maj Robinson was instrumental in the planning and recovery of the German A7V tank Mephisto from the battlefield in July 1918.

    AWM E04212
    • The Men of "B" Company, 26th Battalion
    • Posted by jaydsydaus121, Monday, 5 July 2021

    Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld), Thursday 24 March 1932, page 15 BIOGRAPHIES IN BRIEF (No. 9) MR. J. A. ROBINSON, B.A. Every morning of the week, except of course, on holidays, a blue car comes slowly to a standstill outside the Rockhampton High School, and a tall, well-dressed man emerges. He walks briskly up the steps and enters the Principal's private office. All the children know who he is and smiles greet him as he passes down the vestibule. He is Mr. James Alexander Robinson, B.A., headmaster of the school — a man of many parts and places. Mr. Robinson is a Queensland native and proud of the fact. He was born in 1888 near Brisbane, where his father, who was engaged in active farming until 18 years ago, is still living. In 1901 Mr. Robinson entered the teaching service of the State as a pupil teacher at the New Farm School. When the University of Queensland was opened in 1911 he was enrolled as an evening student and in the following year resigned from the teaching service to become a day student. In March, 1913, he graduated in Arts. Young Robinson was a keen sports man — and still is. He captained the University first XI. from its formation in 1912 until 1915, played Rugby Union with the first XV, and took an active part in athletics and tennis. After his brilliant graduation, many fields for advancement were upon to him, but he heeded first his country's call for service and enlisted as a private in the 26th Battalion. A.I.F., on May 6th, 1915. His evident ability to command men was soon recognised and 11 days later he became Second Lieutenant J. A. Robinson, platoon commander. With others of the 26th Battalion he left Australia for the front on May 24th. In September he landed at Gallipoli and from this point his advancement was even more rapidly than formerly. Before the year was out he had been appointed adjutant and after February of the following year was mentioned in Orders as Captain Robinson. Lieutenant Robinson came through the Gallipoli campaign unscathed, although columns might be written about his adventures on the Peninsula. Into the hell that was France he led his men and on June 6th was the officer commanding the first raid under taken by Australians on the German trenches. On four occasions was the young officer mentioned in despatches — in November, 1916, January, 1917, April, 1917, and January, 1918. On February 23rd notification of his promotion to the rank of major was received. Two months later he led his biggest 'stunt' in the first capture of Lagincourt. For his bravery and resource in this action he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order and mentioned in despatches. From July 7th to September 30th, 1917, he attended the Senior Officers' School at Aldershot (England), after which he once more returned to his battalion. On July 8th, 1918, he became Temporary Lieut.-Colonel to command the 26th Battalion and on October 3rd was wounded in action. Because of his wound he automatically reverted to the rank of major, but at the beginning of 1919, after his return from Belgium, he was once more appointed to the rank of Temporary Lieut.-Colonel to command the 26th Battalion. He returned to his homeland in command of the troopship Port Macquarie. Back again in Queensland, Lieut. Colonel Robinson was appointed A.D.C. to His Excellency the Governor (Sir Hamilton Gould-Adams). He resigned from this position towards the end of 1919, intending to follow his father's footsteps on the land, but for several reasons this project was not carried out. In December, 1929, the soldier finally abandoned his military career and went back to his old profession of teaching. Until 1924 he was attached to the staff of the Teachers' Training College, Brisbane, as lecturer and officer in charge of evening classes. Early in 1925 Mr. Robinson came to Rockhampton as Principal of the High School and Technical College. Under his firm but tolerant discipline, both institutions have made marked progress. He has proved that his ability to teach and to lead is at least equal to his ability to command. Mr. Robinson is one of the best known clubmen in the city. He is president of the Rockhampton Golf Club, was for a few years a member of the Rotary Club and is a member of the Rockhampton Club. With other leading men of the city he is doing excellent work as a member of the Crippled Children's Committee. Rockhampton appreciates the work done by Mr. Robinson since he first came to the city and it is the sincere wish of all who have come in contact with him that he will long remain in charge of the Rockhampton High School and Technical College.