Francis Humphry John Robilliard

Second Lieutenant
Lincolnshire Regiment
Date of death 
4 October 1917
Age of death 
2 Florence Villas
Chelmsford Road
South Woodford
E18 2PR
Address source 
1911 Census
Local memorial 
Cemetery / Memorial 

Born in 1896 at Woodford, son of Francis Arthur and Lizzie Robilliard. 1901: The family was living at Inmans Row, Woodford Wells. 1911: With his family at 2 Florence Villas, Chelmsford Road, South Woodford later number 97.

Although officially with 3 Lincolnshire which was then based at Grimsby, his medal card showed he arrived in France on 16th April 1917. On 3rd October 191917 Robilliard was in Belgium where 1 and 8 Battalions of the Regiment were preparing to attack the enemy line on a ridge to the east of Zonnebeke and to the south of the Menin Road, as part of the Battle of Broodseinde.
The Battle began at 06.00 on 4th October 1917, but 8 Lincolnshire advanced only some 100 yards before about 100 German defenders using intense machine gun fire and effective local counter attacks caused their advance to fail. Five Officers were killed, three wounded, with 176 other ranks killed wounded or missing.

1 Lincolnshire was a reserve Battalion, tasked with occupying the eastern corner of Polygon Wood. From 4/6 October 1917, they lost 16 of 22 Officers, and 227 other ranks killed wounded or missing.

Francis Robilliard was initially reported missing, and later Killed in Action during the first day of this battle, along with three other 2/Lts who are recorded as being with 3 Lincolnshire.  

He is also commemorated on his parent’s gravestone at Chingford Mount Cemetery.

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian