The TCRC Remembers

This country was founded by, fought for, and is comprised of the working men and women who are the real backbone of Canada. This year, in appreciation for all of our Veterans, the TCRC would like to remember and share the story of the heroic efforts of Private James Peter Robertson.

In memory of Private Robertson V.C.

Photo of James Peter RobertsonRobertson was born in Abion Mines, Pictou New Brunswick, on October 26th 1883. Four years later his family moved to Springhill Nova Scotia, where he received his education. In 1889, the Robertsons moved to Medicine Hat Alberta. Signing Pete – As he was known – joined the Canadian Pacific Railway where he worked his way up to Engineer and earned his nickname for his cheerful singing and whistling whether in the cab or at the roundhouse.

In 1915, he joined the 13th Canadian Mounted Rifles and later, while in England, Transferred to the 27th BN. The bravery that earned him the Victoria Cross made him a legend among the Locomotive Engineers the world over.

“For most conspicuous bravery and outstanding devotion to duty in attack. When his platoon was held up by uncut wire and machine gun causing many casualties, PTE. Robertson dashed to an opening on the flank, rushed the machine gun and, after a desperate struggle with the crew, killed four and then turned the gun on the remainder, who, overcome by the fierceness of his onslaught, were running towards their own lines. His gallant work enabled the platoon to advance. He inflicted many more casualties among the enemy, and then carrying the captured machine gun, he led his platoon to the final objective. He there selected an excellent position and got the gun into action, firing on the retreating enemy who by this time were quite demoralized by the fire brought to bear on them.

During the consolidation PTE. Robertson’s most determined use of the machine gun kept down the fire of the enemy snipers; His courage and coolness cheered his comrades and inspired them to the finest efforts.

Later, when two of our snipers were badly wounded in front of our trench, he went out and carried one of them in under very severe fire. He was killed just as he returned with the second man.”

(London Gazette. No 30471. 11 January 1918)

Military Service

Award Citation – Personal Information SheetService Number: 552665

Age: 34

Force: Army

Unit: Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment)

Division: 27th Battalion

Citation(s):

Victoria Cross - An extract from "The London Gazette" No. 30471, dated 8th Jan., 1918, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and outstanding devotion to duty in attack. When his platoon was held up by uncut wire and a machine gun causing many casualties, Pte. Robertson dashed to an opening on the flank, rushed the machine gun and, after a desperate struggle with the crew, killed four and then turned the gun on the remainder, who, overcome by the fierceness of his onslaught, were running towards their own lines. His gallant work enabled the platoon to advance. He inflicted many more casualties among the enemy, and then carrying the captured machine gun, he led his platoon to the final objective. He there selected an excellent position and got the gun into action, firing on the retreating enemy who by this time were quite demoralized by the fire brought to bear on them. During the consolidation Pte. Robertson's most determined use of the machine gun kept down the fire of the enemy snipers; his courage and his coolness cheered his comrades and inspired them to the finest efforts. Later, when two of our snipers were badly wounded in front of our trench, he went out and carried one of them in under very severe fire. He was killed just as he returned with the second man. 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Honours and Awards: Victoria Cross 

Additional Information

A new Canadian Coast Guard patrol vessel has be named after Private Robertson. This particular group of vessels are described as "Hero Class". Born: October 26, 1883 Pictou, Nova Scotia

Enlistment: June 16, 1915 McLeod, Alberta

Son of Alexander and Janet Robertson, of Medicine Hat, Alberta. A new Canadian Coast Guard patrol vessel has be named after Private Robertson. This particular group of vessels are described as "Hero Class".

Commemorated on Page 317 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

James Peter Robertson is a recipient of the Victoria Cross. 
Complete list of Canadian Victoria Cross Recipients

Burial Information

Photo of James Peter RobertsonCemetery: TYNE COT CEMETERY , Belgium

Grave Reference: LVIII. D. 26.

Location:

Tyne Cot Cemetery is located 9 Km north east of Ieper town centre on the Tynecotstraat, a road leading from the Zonnebeekseweg (N332). The cemetery itself lies 700 meters along the Tynecotstraat on the right hand side of the road. Tyne Cot or Tyne Cottage was the name given by the Northumberland Fusiliers to a barn which stood near the level crossing on the Passchendaele-Broodseinde road. Three of these blockhouses still stand in the cemetery; the largest, which was captured on 4 October 1917 by the 3rd Australian Division, was chosen as the site for the Cross of Sacrifice by King George V during his pilgrimage to the cemeteries of the Western Front in Belgium and France in 1922. The Tyne Cot Cemetery is now the resting-place of nearly 12,000 soldiers of the Commonwealth Forces, the largest number of burials of any Commonwealth cemetery of either world war.