Article type Event
Published 6th March 2015
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The stone is the first in Greenwich to honour service personnel from the First World War
The first of many commemorative stones have been unveiled in Greenwich to honour servicemen and women who gave their lives whilst serving their country.
Rear Admiral Eric Robinson VC, OBE is the first veteran to be honoured at a ceremony, which took place at his birth place on Diamond Terrace.
Members of the family attended the unveiling - on the 100th anniversary of his heroic actions - which is part of a government-led initiative to honour all 1,357 holders of the Victoria Cross. The unveiling was held by the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Guests at the ceremony also included Mayor of Greenwich, Councillor Mick Hayes, and Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Cllr Denise Hyland, Lord Lieutenant of Greenwich, Dr Pieter van der Merwe MBE DL, representatives from Greenwich community groups and representatives from the Armed Forces.
Born in Greenwich on the 16 May 1882, Robinson was the son to the chaplain of the Royal Naval College. Having won a Victoria Cross for his valiant efforts during the Gallipoli campaign in the First World War, Robinson remained a highly regarded officer who had served through four wars including The Boxer rebellion in China, The Russian Civil war fighting the Bolshevic forces and WW2 - and amassed a large collection of awards and honours. Throughout his long career, he was bestowed with numerous awards and medals including an OBE in 1919.
Rear Admiral Eric Robinson VC, OBE died on 20th August 1965 having served his country in 4 wars. At his eulogy Admiral Derek Reffell stated: “The admiral was a hero, but more importantly he was a naval man from the finest mould.”
Existing memorials are also being restored as part of a four-year investment programme. The investment – which will continue as further conservation work is undertaken - reflects a commitment by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to renovate and conserve war memorials across the borough – especially those dedicated to local servicemen who lost their lives during the First World War.
The Royal Borough’s plans - developed with the War Memorials Trust, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and the Royal Borough of Greenwich Heritage Trust - will ensure that the remaining memorials are renovated and remain as a lasting tribute to local servicemen and women who lost their lives while serving their country. Funding for the conservation work will come from a number of sources, including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and other external bodies.
Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said: “Residents living in the Royal Borough of Greenwich are rightly proud of our historic links with the Armed Services. The freedoms that we often take for granted only exist because these people made the ultimate sacrifice for future generations.
"We recognise that for many people, War Memorials not only provide an opportunity for quiet reflection but they also act as a landmark of civic pride. That is why we are committed to ensuring all our War Memorials are renovated and conserved as a lasting tribute which forms an important part of the borough’s heritage.
"It is also why we are putting in place new commemorative stones like this one today for Rear Admiral Eric Gascoigne Robinson – a hero in every sense of the word.”
Rear Admiral Matthew Parr CB, Commander Operations and Rear Admiral, Submarines who attended the ceremony said: “It is most appropriate that we honour the memory of Lt Cdr, later RADM, Eric Robinson VC OBE on the 100th anniversary of his selfless actions during the Gallipoli landings. His courage, determination and fortitude in the face of overwhelming enemy action remain an example to us all; I am delighted that this commemorative stone will serve as a permanent memorial to a remarkable man.”