A set of Second World War period ephemera, equipment and photographs relating to Major W.A. Keith-Robinson, The King’s Own Royal Regiment, who was wounded in Malta during the siege, and saw service apparently with both the Long Range Desert Group in North Africa and then with Special Operation Executive’s Force 136 in India.
A set of Second World War period ephemera, equipment and photographs relating to Major W.A. Keith-Robinson, The King’s Own Royal Regiment, who was wounded in Malta during the siege, and saw service apparently with both the Long Range Desert Group in North Africa and then with Special Operation Executive’s Force 136 in India. 1) Officer’s Record of Service Book. 2) Application form for a Short Service Commission in the Regular Army, appointing him a War Substantive Captain, dated 1st March 1941. 3) Silver presentation cigarette case, hallmarks for London with date letter ‘m’ for 1927, the outer case engraved: ‘To Our Skipper Capt. W.A. Keith-Robinson from the lads of D. Coy 1941’, contained inside are a number of the recipient’s visitor cards, made out to him in the rank of Major - King’s Own. 4) a collection of 23 original photographs, relating to his military career, mostly wartime images, some annotated, covering services with the King’s Own Regiment, and the Indian Army. One of the images is annotated: ‘My Desert Rats 1942, Long Range Desert Reconnaissance Group’. 5) Recipient’s spirit’s bottle, housed in its leather cover, this inscribed in ink: ’116610 Major W.A. Keith Robinson The King’s Own 6/L.R.D.G.’ with the reverse inscribed: ‘if you find this, drink my health. I shell no longer need it.’ Signed Keith-Robinson. 6) Brass and electro plated nickel silver beer tankard engraved: ‘Presented to Major Keith (Sod’em) Robinson By Officers of Force 136 Disbanded Nov. 1946’. 7) Japanned metal tin for equipment, this inscribed on the lid: ‘Major. W.A. Keith-Robinson W.A.K.R. The King’s Own.’ William Arthur Keith-Robinson was born on 28th November 1902 in Liverpool, Lancashire, and was educated at Shrewsbury School. With the outbreak of the Second World War, Keith-Robinson was granted an Emergency Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant (No.116610) on 20th June 1940, holding the War Substantive rank of Lieutenant from the same date, and having been posted to No.1690 Officer Cadet Training Unit from 4th September 1940, was then appointed to Acting Captain on 9th December 1940. On 5th July 1941 he was posted to the 8th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Regiment, and then embarked for service in Malta on 12th July 1941, being appointed to Acting Captain again on, he relinquished the rank of Temporary Captain on 20th October 1941, and is recorded as having been wounded by gunshot wound whilst still at Malta. On 12th June 1942 he was posted to the Middle East for training, and after being handled through the Royal Army Service Corps Depot, was attached to the Middle East Training School on 22nd August 1942. From various evidence supplied with the ephemera offered above, it would appear that Keith-Robinson saw service with the Long Range Desert Group, however this has not been confirmed, despite a number of hints from the recipient. What is for certain is that Keith-Robinson emplaned for Karachi in India on 13th January 1944 and then assumed the appointment of Camp Commandant at Meerut. Keith-Robinson was appointed to War Substantive Captain and Temporary Major on 15th September 1944, being promoted to full Captain backdated to the same date in 1947. From the presence of the engraved tankard, it would appear that Keith-Robinson had also seen service with the Special Operation Executive’s Force 136 fighting the Japanese, however unfortunately his records do not mention this. Further research would be required to confirm. Keith-Robinson was posted home to the North West Primary Training Centre at Carlisle in May 1947m and then resigned his commission on 16th November 1949 in the rank of Temporary Major, but was then apparently out in Kuala Lumpur in Malaya in June 1950. According to a copy of his service records which come with the group, the recipient is entitled to the 1939-1945 Star, Africa Star with 8th Army Clasp, Defence Medal and War Medal.