POW shot on "Death March" April 1945 - L/Sgt Hoodless Robinson 7th NF

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Ravrick, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Ravrick

    Ravrick Senior Member

    I am trying to research and peice together the POW life of L/Sgt Robionson.

    This is an extract from another thread about Dunkirk rearguard actions:

    Lance Serjeant Hoodless Robinson of the 7 Btn RNF served in France and was part of the rearguard action that enabled the bulk of the British Expeditionary Force to be evacuated from the beaches around Dunkirk.
    It was learnt in 1945 that he had evaded capture and was sheltered by a French family for 18 months before he was taken prisoner.
    After spending 3 years as a prisoner of war, the Germans began to evacuate the prison camps in the east away from the advancing Russian army and marching prisoners further west, these marches were known at the time as the "death marches" for conditions were far from good. It was late winter early spring, they had to sleep where they could, sometimes just in fields, living just off what they could obtain. It was at this time that L Sgt Robinson moved off the column to give assistance to someone when he was shot and killed by one of the guards, only three weeks before the end of the war in Europe. Having no known grave his name is engraved on the Dunkirk Memorial to the missing.

    Can anybody help with POW camp locations and the possible area he was shot? Any other peices of info that may solve the puzzle would be gratfully appreicated,
    Cheers, Rick
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  2. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member


    Found this in UK, British Army Prisoners of War, 1939-1945:

    Name:H. Robinson
    Rank:Lance Serjeant
    Army Number:2649264
    Regiment:Royal Northumberland Fusiliers
    POW Number:14
    Camp Type:Stalag
    Camp Number:VIII-C
    Camp Location:Konin Zaganski, Poland
    Record Office:Infantry and Army Educational Corps Record Office, York
    Record Office Number:20

    Have a look at the following links:

    Stalag VIII-C - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Panoramio - Photo of Stalag VIII C ruiny
    Stalag Luft 3 South of Sagan
    POW Stories

    brithm likes this.
  3. Ravrick

    Ravrick Senior Member

    Hi, very many thanks for the swift reply, I didn't think of checking the rolls because of his death (I asumed the rolls only contained repatriated POWs) and would this information have been the first or last camp he was in? I notice he has a very low POW number, which is strange given he was captured until late 1940/41?
    Thanks again,
  4. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Rick,

    The 7th Bn RNF were with the 51st (Highland) Division and went into the 'bag' with the bulk of them at St Valery on the 12 June 1940. Although not impossible, it is unlikely that L/Sergeant Hoodless Robinson was anywhere near Dunkirk or the fighting there.

    He would most likely have been heavily involved in the fighting in and around St Valery; and there is a separate thread which was started by a forum member intrested in the 7RNF about the action there; link:


    Good luck with your search.


  5. Ravrick

    Ravrick Senior Member

    I recently obtained a copy of Sgt Robinson's service papers, he is listed as "Died whilst a POW at the Royal Hungarian Military Hospital No 534 at Greig from heart failure due to gastric haemorrage 17.04.45. Buried on the 20.04.45 in the military cemetery at Greig"

    I have tried googling with no luck and even google earth won't reveal where "Greig" is!

    Can anybody give me any pointers? If I can locate a grave for Sgt robinson then it may be possible to change his CWGC status as he is listed as missing on the dunkirk memorial.

    Many thanks,
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Nothing listed under his name in the usual War Crimes files.
  7. Kbak

    Kbak Senior Member

    Could Grieg be the name of the Hospital before it was Royal Hungarian Military Hospital 534 such as the Hungarian for Grieg is Gergely so they may have translated it back to Grieg from Gergely in the file, worth a thought?


  8. chesterflyer

    chesterflyer Member


    I too have an interest in 7RNF at St Valery as my Grandfather was commanding D Company (Berwick) at the time
  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The cause of death may be dubious .The Germans were well known for attributing deaths in their records as causes such as "heart failure"etc ,where in many cases the victim died from violence.In this case,Sgt Robinson may have well died from gunshot wounds.

    As regards the location of the hospital,there were parts of the former Austro Hungarian Empire which were ceded to Poland from the couple of treaties which followed the Treaty of Versailles.With this in mind and the fact that the forced evacuation marches were westward,I would think that the location we are searching for would be former Austro Hungarian,which would now have a Polish name.

    I think that the territory ceded to Poland was referred to as Galicia,remembering that Auschwitz was a former Austro Hungarian Empire cavalry barracks prior to their defeat in 1918.
  10. Ravrick

    Ravrick Senior Member

    Hi, just refreshing this thread, I still haven;t had any luck on location any info on the hospital or location.
  11. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Don't know if you are aware his army service number denotes previous service with Coldstream Guards. Their 7 figure numbers started 2646??? in 1920. If MOD papers didn't cover his earlier enlistment - presume in 1920's - then you may wish contact RHQ Coldstream Guards, Wellington Barracks. They may have some papers retained there.

    If you haven't contacted Red Cross for his papers yet keep checking their website. Files are currently being digitised for free internet access sometime in 2016.

    Good Luck with your search.

    Steve Y
  12. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    Hi Ravrick. First time I have seen this thread, and now off to work so have not have had much time to investigate. As Sgt Robinson died on 17th April 1945. As this was near to the end of the march. I would have thought that he would be in Germany. So googled Grieg Germany. A few Griegstrasse came up, street names, so am wondering if the RHMH 534 was set up as a temporary hospital in one of these streets.
    I tried one it came up in Brunswick nr Hanover.
    If we can find the route of the march he was on, it just might reveal that it was near one of these streets
  13. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    Hi Rick.
    I’ve had a little more time to look at H Robinson.
    If being shot on the march under the circumstances would they have bothered to take him to a hospital?
    Maybe if they were close by.
    He died 17th April 1945. When most of those on the march were home.

    The following is an account by the late Mr. John Lesley Sorsby of the 1st Parachute Regiment of the march undertaken by 2000 troops from Stalag 8C near Breslau on the border with Silesia to freedom. This march took place between 8th February — 10th March 1945. Their march ended at a P.O.W. camp at Bad Orb. They were liberated by the Americans on 2nd April 1945. Mr. Sorsby arrived home at Orgreave, Yorkshire in the early morning of 13th April 1945.

    Earlier you said this.
    I recently obtained a copy of Sgt Robinson's service papers, he is listed as "Died whilst a POW at the Royal Hungarian Military Hospital No 534 at Greig from heart failure due to gastric haemorrage 17.04.45. Buried on the 20.04.45 in the military cemetery at Greig.

    Let’s look at his Father Christopher.
    Who joined the Northumberland fusiliers, aged 34 on 16th Nov 1914.
    Promoted corporal 23/11/14 and appointed L/Sgt 17/12/14.
    Served 79 days then discharged 2/2/1915. Reason for discharge.
    Discharged not likely to become an efficient soldier. Para392 (iii) kings regs.
    Eh, private to Sgt in a month and not an efficient soldier.
    Then I turned the page it was a medical reason abdominal scar is giving away under strain resulting hernia.
    So it looks like a hereditary complaint.

    Back to looking for Grieg, Now the Hungarian army were with the axis.
    "Unfortunately, very few people know that in the spring of 1945 the I/lI nd Tank Regiment of Jaszbereny - evacuated from Hungary to Germany under the command of Colonel Laszlo Bercsenyi, - changed sides, and joined the advancing English allied forces at the military camp of Bergen.
    The event is documented by the text of the agreement (read by me), which could be found among the records at the Archives of Hungarian Ministry of Defence, according to which (I quote): "The Hungarians are not prisoners of war, but soldiers in the service of the British"..
    It happened in April 13th of 1945, in Bergen, after Colonel Bercsenyi disobeyed the order for his regiment to dress in the uniform of the Hitlerite troops and fight against the advancing allied forces. I would like to point out that this army unit being in reserve, and completed mainly with just mobilised young soldiers like me (1042 men) never carried out other duties earlier in Bergen camp or elsewhere in Germany, than exercises and preparations for fighting. After changing sides, the Hungarian soldiers kept their weapons and tanks. With the help of these, they defended the army post and the British-Hungarian headquarters, the liberated by English forces Bergen - Belsen concentration camp, which was nearby (some 3 km away from our military camp), and which was immediately put under quarantine due to the large number of typhoid patients.

    Bergen Belsen is 369klms north from Bad orb.
    Now the route from Belsen to Hungary would cross the route from Stalag V111-C to Bad Orb. So is it possible that Sgt H Robinson was shot and left for dead and found by the Hungarians. So we could be looking for the hospital in Hungary.
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  14. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

  15. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    Well there was a hospital there. it also appears that the Americans captured Greiz the day L/Sgt Robinson died.

    The lost soldiers of Stalag Ix –b

    He is starving but can scarcely eat. He is free but can scarcely smile. He is a young man but scarcely more than a lost child. Who are you? Where have you been? The shoulder patch on his jacket tells the members of the 11th Armored Division who freed him that Shapiro comes from the 28th Infantry Division. But he seems unrecognizable, to them, to himself. Erwin Metz, the tormentor of the Americans, was at his home near Berga when American War Crimes Investigating Team 6822, headed by Maj. Fulton C. Vowell, arrested him on June 19, 1945. Vowell interrogated him that day. Dozens of G.I.'s died on the march, Metz conceded. Asked why, he said they were weak.
    "Were you in Greiz?" Vowell asked, according to a transcript.
    "Isn't there a hospital at Greiz?"
    "Yes, there is."
    "Why didn't you take them to the hospital?"
    "Because I did not have an order."
    "You knew they were dying, didn't you?"
    "They did die, didn't they?"
    "Do you have to have an order to put a dying man in hospital?"
    When the trial of Metz and Merz opened on Sept. 3, 1946, in Dachau, they both pursued the same line: they were mere pawns with no choice but to obey orders. None of the Berga survivors were present at the trial to rebuff them -- an astonishing aberration.

    89th Infantry division US.
    At Eisenach, numbers of prisoners taken were Company A 86 enemy with one truck and 9 machine guns knocked out. Company C 50 enemy and one anti-tank gun, Company B 10 enemy, and Recon. Company 7 enemy. On the 11 April Task Force Crater composed of Company A 602nd T.D. Bn., 707th Tank Battalion, a Battalion of Infantry and a company of 314th Engineers was formed to seize bridges over the Salle River, The 60200 took 28 prisoners and B Company had one jeep and one M-18 damaged by artillery, Task Force Crater was dissolved 14 April. Typical of the working relationship between the 602nd and 89th Regiment are events on 16 and 17 April. On the 16th Company A Headquarters Platoon moved from hla, while the CP moved from Triptis to Langen-Wetzendorf and each platoon was in position and supporting the 353rd Infantry Regiment on the drive. The 1st Platoon supported the infantry across the Weida River. A small amount of artillery was encountered, but many prisoners were taken without resistance. We took the village of Tries after firing a few rounds of 50-calibre and moved into Griez where we slept in a hotel there. On 17 April as the CP and Headquarters Platoon moved from Mehla to Reichenbach, cook Roy Barger captured 6 enemy. The 1st Platoon supported the infantry in an assault on the town and fired 10 76mm shells into enemy observation posts in a tower. At two p.m. the 1st Platoon crossed the Elster River, and at 3 pm. the town of Reichenbach surrendered. Regiment 353rd men were shuttled into town on our vehicles. Then we crossed the Autobahn to Waldkirchen where we liberated approximately 100 American and 70 British prisoners of war. On April 18, between 2 and 3 am in Unter-Heinsdorf,, a guard observed 2 enemy officers and fired on them hitting one the sitter downer. 70 British prisoners of war. On 18 April between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. in Unterheinsdorf, a guard observed 2 enemy officers and fired on them hitting one in the sitter downer.
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  16. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

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  17. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Great research RCG, well done.

  18. Ravrick

    Ravrick Senior Member

    my deepest apologies for not reading this thread for a couple of years! The information you found is priceless, I am contacting the CWGC to see what they can do because if it can be confirmed that he is buried in this cemetery then a headstone could be erected - possibly a known grave or the type with 'Known to be buried in this cemetery' or 'Believed to be buried in this cemetery'
    Very many thanks for your efforts...
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  19. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    ROBINSON, HOODLESS. Lance Serjeant. Service Number 2649264. Died 17/04/1945. Aged 43
    7th Bn. Royal Northumberland Fusiliers
    Son of Christopher and Margaret Ann Robinson; husband of Jane Alice Robinson, of Wideopen, Northumberland.

    The name "Hoodless" seems very unusual, so I checked if any oyjer "Hoodless" on CWGC.

    Imagine my surprise when this turned up
    MCINTYRE, HOODLESS ROBINSON, Lieutenant. Service Number 186410. Died 26/09/1944. Aged 23.
    35 Bty., 12 (11th Bn. The London Regt.) Lt. A.A. Regt. Royal Artillery attd. 6th Bn. Gordon Highlanders
    Son of John and Elizabeth McIntyre, of Bradford, Yorkshire.
    Not just Hoodless, but Robinson too......

    Can anyone explain the name, and is there a chance they might be related, possibly maternal sisters?

    PS: Superb bit of detective work, just shows that for whatever reason Ravrick had for missing it, this may lead to a successful conclusion..... perhaps in another 2 years??????
  20. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

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