Brothers in arms paid ultimate sacrifice



Brothers in arms paid ultimate sacrifice


John Robbie, Sergeant, 104th US Infantry.
William (Billy) Robbie, Private, 7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders, 51st Division.
Francis (Frank) Robbie, Lance Corporal, 41st Royal Army Medical Corps.


1. Transcription of the 1918 Dairy of John Robbie, World War 1. PDF file.
2. Extract from the Press and Journal, Monday, December 8, 2014. This tells the story of the three Robbie brothers and the ultimate price they paid. 2 images.
3. Forms indicating that A/L/Cpl Francis Robbie is entitled to the Victory Medal and British Medal. 2 images.
4. Forms indicating that Pte William Robbie is entitled to the Victory Medal and British Medal. 2 images.
5. Attestation form for Francis Robbie when he joined the Territorial Force and a second form which gives his agreement to serve outside the United Kingdom in the event of a National Emergency. Both forms are signed 17th November 1914 at Aberdeen. 2 images.
6. Forms relating to the service of Francis Robbie. 4 images.
7. Letter from R.A.M.C., Woking, to Mr Robbie, Manse Cottage, Drumoak, regarding a commemorative plaque. 1 image.
8. Army form with some details relating to Francis Robbie. 1 image.
9. Army form in which John Robbie, father, provides details of the relatives of A/LCpl F. Robbie of R.A.M.C. They are given as: John Robbie, Father; Mary A. Robbie, Mother; George Robbie, Age 15, Brother; Charles Robbie, Age 11, Brother; James Robbie, Age 4, Brother; Jeannie Robbie, Age 25, Sister; Lizzie Robbie, Age 8, Sister. The address for all of them is Manse Cottage, Drumoak, Aberdeenshire. 1 image.
10. Army form that accompanied articles of private property belonging to Francis Robbie being forwarded to Mr. J. Robbie at Manse Cottage. 1 image.
11. Memorial plaques for William Robbie and Francis Robbie. These plaques were issued after the war to the next of kin of those from Britain or the Empire who were killed in the war or who died from the consequences of their service in the war. 1 image.
12. Photograph of Frank Robbie (postcard format). 1 image.
13. Photograph of two soldiers with Billy Robbie on right (postcard format). 1 image.
14. Newspaper cutting from newspaper dated Monday, December 2, 1918. This is about Sergt. J. Robbie being killed in action and includes a photograph of him. 1 image.
15. Letter to Mrs. Mary A. Robbie. Manse Cottage, Drumoak from Paul Campbell, Hdq. Co. L. 104th U.S. Inf., France, dated Feb 7, 1919. This concerns the circumstances of the death of John Robbie. 2 images.
16. Part of a letter from John Robbie to his mother dated June 20 1918. The last page is missing. 2 images.
17. Letter to Miss Jeannie Robbie, Boston, Mass. [John's sister] from Privt. Peter Milne. It is about the death of John Robbie. 4 images.
18. Extracts from the diary of John Robbie with commentary and references to some letters. 4 images.


This story is about three of my uncles from Drumoak, John, William (Billy) and Francis (Frank). They were born to parents John and Mary Anne Robbie and brought up at Manse Cottage, Drumoak, Aberdeenshire.

John, William and Francis all died in the Great War and are buried in France. They are remembered together on the Drumoak War Memorial.

John, born 15/10/1892, was the eldest of 8 children. He emigrated to America on his 20th birthday and sailed from Liverpool aboard the Cunard Liner Franconia bound for Boston with the intention of studying to become a lawyer. When America got involved in WW1 in April 1917 he at once enlisted and came to France with one of the first contingents. He was in Co L, 104th US Infantry.

John was awarded the “Croix de Guerre” medal in April 1918 for great bravery. It was for voluntarily risking his life carrying wounded and helpless comrades who were lying exposed to the enemy's fire. He was originally a private, but became corporal and then sergeant.

John was killed in action on 26/10/1918 aged 26, just 2 weeks before the end of the war and is buried in Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, France. (Plot F, Row 6, Grave 18).

His diary starts on January 1st !918. The last entry is on the day before he died.

William (Billy) (7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders, 51st Division) was killed in action on 13/11/1916 aged 18 and is buried in Hunter’s Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel, France. The epitaph on his gravestone reads “One of the Best, Drumoak”. In November 1916, the 51st Division attacked Beaumont Hamel in the Battle of Ancre and captured it. Billy died during the offensive.

Francis (Frank) (RAMC) died in hospital on 26/11/1918 aged 22, very shortly after the war ended and is buried in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilly, France. (Plot 13A, Row BB, Grave 3). Towards the end of the war he suffered from pleurisy, thought to be a complication of Spanish influenza, and from this he died. He was a railway worker and was involved in the transport of wounded men to hospital.


1914-1918 (13/11/1916; 26/10/1918; 26/11/1918)


Drumoak, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Boston, Mass, USA. France. Meuse-Argonne, France. Beaumont Hamel, France. Fouilly, France. Pompierre, France. Liffol-le-Grand, France. Soissons, France. Linguok near Bar-eux-Arb, France. Sexfountains, France. Fremreville, France. Aulnois, France. Menil-la-tour, France. Raulencourt, France. Jaederes, France. Goudrecont, France. Beauconville, France. Xirray, France. Jouy, France. Corneville, France. Toul, France. Bruly, France. St Jermain, France. St Aigna, France. Chelles, France. Les Fertle, France. Toulport, France. Ligny, France. St Dizier, France. St Remy, France. St Maurice, France.


Mabel Stuart

Collection Day

27/02/2019, Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen.

This item was submitted on April 9, 2019