CSM William Robinson
Unit : "B" Company, 2nd Battalion The South Staffordshire Regiment
Army No. : 4909235
Awards : Military Cross
William Robinson was the Company Sergeant Major of "B" Company. He flew with the First Lift in Major Cain's Horsa, which had taken off from Manston, however after a few minutes in flight they became separated from their Albemarle tug aircraft when the tow rope coiled up and lashed back at the glider, making a worrying rumbling noise along the length of the fuselage. Robinson and Cain were swearing with frustration as they buckled themselves in and prepared for the landing, which the glider pilots made a safe job of, in a field near Canterbury. One of the glider pilots was not happy, the same thing had happened to him during the Normandy landings. The party made their way back to their airfield and flew in with the Second Lift on the following day. The actions of Major Cain over the following days led to him being awarded the Victoria Cross, and the performance of his Company Sergeant Major did not escape Cain's attention, and as such he recommended him for the Military Cross. His citation reads:
Throughout the period 21st - 25th September 1944, CSM Robinson was in the Church area at OOSTERBEEK, near ARNHEM. During the whole of this time he exposed himself fearlessly and showed a complete disregard of his personal safety in carrying out his duties. On the 23rd September 1944, a German machine-gun was established within 40 yards of the position. CSM Robinson crawled out alone and silenced it with No.36 grenades, killing the crew of two. On the 24th September, a German sniper made his way into the upper storey of a house completely dominating the sector. His presence was a continual embarrassment to those soldiers manning positions in the vicinity and morale was in grave danger of dropping. CSM Robinson against went forward alone under heavy fire and despatched the sniper. The sector held by CSM Robinson's company was under almost continuous mortar and shell fire and attempts at infiltration were frequent. There was an acute shortage of NCOs but CSM Robinson seemed always to be just where danger threatened, commanding and cheering up tired groups of men and urging them to yet further efforts. His conduct throughout was magnificent and there is no doubt that his actions were very largely responsible for the successful defence of the OOSTERBEEK Church area.
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