Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Location: near Arbroath Angus
|Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:54 pm Post subject: Lieut John Ross Robertson **Photos required**
|The Robertson Cross of Lieutenant John Ross Robertson, Fife & Forfar Yeomanry attached to the RFC was donated during November 2009 by family members to the Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre , Montrose , Angus as Lieut J Ross Robertson had his first RFC flight at RFC Montrose on 13 January 1917 .
At the point of his death on 12 May 1917 when killed in action in France and Flanders he had only got 46 hours flying time including 9 on Sopwith Pups .
The wooden cross with the metal plaque bearing his name , rank and regiment and Corps and date of death , the original grave marker is now part of the Memorial to his bravery in the field in the Great War .
Information from the
COURIER & ADVERTISER Monday 9th November 2009 ( Angus and Mearns editions)
Poignant Relic of War Unveiled :
An authentic relic of the First World War battlefields of France , and a powerful symbol of remembrance and recognition was presented to Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre at the weekend.
LIEUTENANT JOHN ROSS ROBERTSON, was one of the many young men who came to Montrose during the First World War to learn how to fly.
Within weeks of his posting in France he was killed in action and buried by his enemies.
The Cross that marked his original grave has now been presented by his family to the centre.
Montrose had an important role in the expansion of the air power that took place after 1914 in training pilots and forming new squadrons .
Lieutenant Robertson was already and experienced soldier when he arrived at 39 Reserve Squadron , Montrose , in December 1916 , having served in Gallipoli with his cavalry regiment , the FIFE AND FORFARSHIRE YEOMANRY .
He made is first solo flight at Montrose on January 13, 1917 and after further training in England he was sent to France.
Bloody April was the name given by the Royal Flying Corps to April 1917.
The Germans had developed new and better aircraft and the British squadrons suffered huge losses.
New Pilots were urgently needed and Robertson joined 66 Squadron RFC on April 21.
His logbook shows he had 42 hours and 30 minutes solo flying .
His First Operational flight in a Sopwith Pup was on May 7th
he was killed on his fourth mission on May 12th , shot down by Adolf Von Tutschek, a German"Ace" and commanding officer of Jasta 12.
Robertson fell behind the German lines and was buried by his enemies with full military honours as the cemetery in Marquion and his grave was marked by a large wooden cross , six feet high .
Some time after the war ended in 1918 his body was re interred in a British War Cemetery.
His family travelled to France and obtained the cross from his original grave and it has been kept by them all these years.
Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre has said it is an honour to accept the Robertson Cross along with the picture and documents , including Lieutenant Robertson's Flying Logbook.
The Cross has been placed on display clsoe to a replica Sopwith Camel , similar to the Sopwith Pup in which he was killed .
It will become a Memorial to the Men who served at RFC /RAF Montrose in both World Wars , who died in training , by enemy action or on active service.
Their names and details wil be inscribed in a book of remembrance which will be placed next to the Cross .
The Robertson Cross was unveiled at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre at 12noon on Saturday in the presence of the Robertson family and invited guests .
Newpaper photographs show (1) an SE 5 biplane which did a fly past after the unveiling of the Robertson Cross and (2) photograph of mebers of the Robertson family at the Centre standing at the side of the Display including the wooden original Cross with the details of Lt John Ross Robertson , Fife & Forfars Yeo att RFC and Poppy Wreath .
patrick w anderson