Henry Howie Robson, VC

Section B, Lot 302
York Cemetery


Henry Robson, VC was born in South Shields, England on May 27, 1897. He died in Toronto on March 2, 1964 at the age of 69. Henry Robson was awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous gallantry on December 14, 1914, while serving in France with the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Scots. The most coveted and rare of all valour awards, the Victoria Cross was founded by Queen Victoria at the close of the Crimean campaign in 1854. It is described as a Maltese cross, made of gun metal with a Royal Crest in the centre and underneath it an escroll bearing the inscription “For Valour.”  It is awarded, irrespective of rank, to members of any branch of Her Majesty’s services, either in the British Forces or those of any Commonwealth realm, dominion, colony or dependency, the Mercantile Marine, nurses or staffs of hospitals, or to civilians of either sex while serving in either regular or temporary capacity during naval, military, or air force operations. It is awarded only “for most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.”  For additional conduct or similar bravery, a Bar is added. The ribbon was formerly red for the Army and blue for the Navy, but it is now red (a dull crimson) for all services. The first Victoria Cross was awarded on January 29, 1856 to a 20-year-old Irishman in the Royal Navy named Charles Lucas who, when a bomb landed on his ship, threw it overboard thus saving the lives of his fellow crew members. The first Canadian to be awarded the Victoria Cross was a 21-year-old lieutenant in the 11th Regiment of Hussars, named Alexander Dunn, who took part in the legendary Charge of the Light Brigade. As of 2017, a total of 1,358 Victoria Crosses have been awarded in 136 years — 94 of them to Canadians.