A Poppy
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Biography -
- Alan Diarmid Campbell Robertson -

Unknown person Name : Alan Diarmid Campbell Robertson.

Son of Dr Robert Robertson and Mary Robertson (née Richardson), of St. Catharine's House, Ventnor, Isle of Wight.

Born 10 August 1899 Ventnor.

Educated at Cheltenham College, Stubbington House School, and the Royal Naval College, Osborne.
  Census Information :

1901 : Robert and Mary Robertson, with their children including Alan aged 1, are at the Capital & Counties Bank, Ventnor.

1911 : Alan Robertson, aged 11, is at Stubbington House Preparatory School for Boys.

  Service details :

Midshipman Alan Diarmid Campbell Robertson, Royal Navy, HMS Aboukir

Alan Robertson entered the RN College in May 1912, and left in August 1914 to join HMS Aboukir, which was lost to enemy action in the North Sea on 22 September 1914.
Casualty Details :

Died : 22 September 1914 aged 15

Commemorated at : Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent

CWGC record ...
A D C Robertson Commemorated on these Memorials :

Ventnor War Memorial
County War Memorial, Carisbrooke Castle
Robertson Memorial, St Catherine's Church

Although not mentioned by name, he is indirectly commemorated at Osborne House :

RN College, Osborne, Cadets 1913-14 Memorial
  Documents :


Friday, August 21, 1914

Several local medical practitioners have sons actively engaged in various departments of the public service at the present time. Dr. Robertson, we hear, has a son in the field ambulance, and another a Naval cadet, and Dr. Robert's son has been given important work for one so young on a vessel in the first battle Squadron. Captain Whitehead, son of Dr. Whitehead is leaving to take up his post with his regiment on the West Coast of Africa.


Friday, September 25, 1914 Page 1

The scourge of this terrible war has been brought to our very doors this week. It was well known locally that Diarmid Robertson, youngest son of Dr. and Mrs. Robertson, was a midshipman on board the Aboukir, and there were naturally many anxious and sympathetic enquiries when the loss of the vessel became known on Tuesday. Unhappily, the worst fears have been realised, and Midshipman Robertson has gone down with many of his gallant comrades. This terrible blow to our former chief magistrate will be shared with the deepest condolence by the whole of the townspeople. We hear that several other Ventnor families are bereaved as a result of the disaster to the three cruisers on Tuesday.

Friday, September 25, 1914 Page 4

ROBERTSON. - On 22nd September, lost in H.M.S. Aboukir, in the North Sea, Midshipman Alan Diarmid Campbell Robertson, R.N., aged 15, dearly-loved youngest son of Robert Robertson, M.D., J.P., of Ventnor, I.W.


Friday, October 2, 1914 Page 1

As was only to be expected, Dr. and Mrs. Robertson have received signal proof of the widespread sorrow which the death of their youngest son in the naval disaster last week has aroused. References to their bereavement were made during the sermon at both services at the Parish Church on Sunday last. In this connection we desire to call attention to an ably-written "In Memoriam" notice from the pen of the Vicar which appears in the current issue of the St. Catherine's Parish Church Magazine, which commences with the sentence "Probably never in the history of our Parish has there been a deeper feeling of sympathy exhibited than that which has been manifested towards Dr. and Mrs. Robertson in the sad and untimely death of their youngest son." The article goes on to review the life of Midshipman Robertson.

"As a child, and throughout his short but busy life, he showed an intelligence and ability conspicuous among his fellows. A cheerful, happy lad; never happier than when at work or doing something, enquiring, devising, or making something that quite engrossed him, or buried in a book in his leisure time. Always working with concentrated attention and energy; never needing to be entertained, never bored, always happy. And so his school life at Cheltenham College and at Stubbington was immensely successful. His masters were proud of his ability, perseverance and industry, and prophesied great things regarding the future. "In the larger and more strenuous life of the Royal Naval College at Osborne, which he entered in May 1912, he did equally well, and his tutor writes:- 'He was such a good boy here, very thoughtful, kindly and hardworking.' His final position on leaving the College in April last was second in the grand aggregate of marks, and he took first prize in Mathematics, Physics, and German. [...] Of the six midshipmen who were lost in the 'Aboukir,' three, Messrs. Stubbs, Robertson and Gore Brown passed out of Osborne April as 1st, 2nd and 3rd in 'final position.' " There are other interesting features of this notice which display that Midshipman Robertson had great love of his profession and the attributes of the true British sailor. It concludes:- "And in the future history will record the fact that those who perished on this fatal morning of September 22nd have laid down their lives for the honour of England and the freedom of mankind."

Page 4
DR. AND MRS. ROBERTSON AND FAMILY have been deeply touched by the very numerous kind letters and messages of sympathy which they have received, and hope soon to be able to answer.


Friday, October 16, 1914 Page 1

Last week's Graphic contained a photo - a remarkably faithful likeness - of the late Midshipman A.D.C. Robertson, of Ventnor, who was lost in H.M.S. Aboukir.
  Further Information :

The Archivist of Cheltenham College, Jill Barlow, writes -

Alan Robertson was in the Junior Department of Cheltenham College from September 1908 until December 1910. His brother Alister, who was 2 years older, was here for exactly the same period. Both brothers had been taught at home by a governess before coming here. According to his admission form, Alan's future career was to be the navy. Alister's was a question mark but he was in the Royal Marines during the war and survived.

Alan was the youngest of the 675 former pupils killed in WW1 and is indeed on the Roll of Honour.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheltenham_College mentions that the names of those Old Cheltonians killed in the first World War are recorded in the College Chapel

http://www.remembering.org.uk/college_memorial.htm photo of Roll of Honour but no transcription

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stubbington_House_School the school in Stubbington (closed 1997)

The two other midshipmen mentioned are - J D STUBBS CWGC record

Geoffrey Gore-Brown is commemorated at Brook Churchyard

  Acknowledgments :

Janet Griffin for newspaper research
Jill Barlow, Cheltenham College
  Page status :
Page last updated : 3 May 2012 - added link to Memorial in St Catherine's Church


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