2/Lt. Beltran Ford Robinson

Beltran Ford Robinson was born in Ashton under Lyne on June 19, 1886. His father, John Robinson, was a solicitor. The family lived on Taunton Rd in Ashton and Beltran lived there with his father, mother Alice (née Garside), his sister Vera Ford Robinson and a domestic servant. By 1911 Beltran was working as a Solicitor at Bromley, Hyde and Robinson in Ashton.

2/Lt. Beltram Ford Robinson

Shortly after the outbreak of war he was appointed as a Second Lieutenant in the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Territorial Force), along with 10 others, on October 12, 1914. Beltran joined the 2/9th at training in Southport and moved with them to Pease Pottage in June 1915.

On October 8, 1915 he boarded His Majesty’s Transport Ship Demosthenes along with two other Officers and 134 other ranks bound for Gallipoli. They arrived at Mudros on October 20th and joined the Battalion at Cape Helles on October 22, 1915. He served with the Battalion in Gallipoli for the remainder of the campaign and then sailed with them to Egypt where they arrived on January 16, 1916.

In Egypt he was promoted to Lieutenant on June 1, 1916. He left the Battalion for a three week course of instruction at Zeitoun on November 23, 1916 and on February 20, 1917 left them again for 38 days home leave in the UK. He rejoined the Battalion in France on March 30, 1917. Immediately upon his arrival he was detached to the dive school as an instructor and remained there for 12 days. Two weeks after he returned he was seconded to the 3rd Corps School of Instruction as an instructor where he remained for the duration of the war. On November 18, 1918 he was appointed temporary Captain. He left France for demobilization on February 19, 1919.

After the war, orders to reform the regiment were received in October 1920 and Lt-Col D. H. Wade was appointed Commanding Officer. A few weeks later the War Office confirmed the re-appointments of some old officers including Lt. Beltran Ford Robinson. He was promoted to Captain on June 21, 1921 and Major on January 31, 1929. On January 28, 1932 he took over command of the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, (from Lt.-Col. George William Handforth), and was simultaneously promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. He remained in command for 6 years, during which time he was awarded the Territorial Decoration, vacating command on January 28, 1938. He was appointed Brevet Colonel when he relinquished command and transferred to Territorial Army Reserve of Officers (TARO).

In his personal life outside the Regiment he continued his work as a solicitor and in April 1922 he married Elsie Blakely Holderness and they lived on Mellor Road in Ashton (across the road from Stamford Park and just a few doors down from his more senior brother Officer George William Handforth). He was awarded the O.B.E. in the 1938 King’s Birthday Honours List and made a Deputy Lieutenant of the County Palatine of Lancaster on January 15, 1946. On Mar 12, 1949, having exceeded the age limit, he relinquished his commission in the T.A.R.O. retaining the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and Brevet Colonel.

Brevet Colonel Beltran Ford Robinson, O.B.E., T.D., died in hospital on March 12, 1976 (he wife predeceasing him). He was 89 years old.