Memorial Cross to the 20th Canadian Infantry
Victory Medal (58090 PTE. D.M. ROBERTSON. 20-CAN.INF.); and Memorial Cross, George VI (58090 PTE D.M. ROBERTSON). Naming is officially impressed on the VM and officially engraved on the MC. Unmounted, original ribbons, extremely fine. Accompanied by a CD containing nineteen pages with copies of his Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Discharge Certificate and Will. Footnote: Donald McIntosh Robertson was born on August 16, 1873 in Blairgowrie, Scotland. He signed his Attestation Paper with the 20th Infantry Battalion "1st Central Ontario Regiment", on Mar 8, 1915 in Toronto, Ontario, naming his next-of-kin as his wife, Helen Robertson of Toronto, stating that he had ten years' previous service as a volunteer with the Imperial Forces, that he was married and that his trade was that of Plumber. The 20th Battalion was raised in Central and Northern Ontario and mobilized in Toronto under the authority of G.O. 36, March 15, 1915. The Battalion sailed May 15, 1915 aboard the S.S. Megantic, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel J.A.W. Allen, with a strength of 35 officers and 1,100 other ranks, including Private Robertson, arriving in England on May 24th. He was designated as a 3rd Class Cook at West Sandling and was later to see a number of transfers to various battalions: the 30th Reserve Battalion (September 14, 1915), the 35th Reserve Battalion (April 22, 1916), the 34th Battalion (May 9, 1916) and the 36th Battalion (July 6, 1916). He was transferred on December 14, 1916 and documented as on command to the Canadian Ordnance Corps Ashford, on guard duty. The following Spring, he was transferred to the 5th Reserve Battalion at the Central Ontario Regimental Depot on April 23, 1917. It was here that he signed his Will, dated May 19, 1917, leaving all of his estate to his wife, Helen Robertson. After five weeks at CORD, he was struck off strength of the 5th Reserve Battalion, returning to the 20th Battalion overseas in France, on May 27, 1917, leaving for his unit on August 20th. Three months later, during the Second Battle of Passchendaele, Robertson was in a trench, when the wall at the trench collapsed following a shell explosion. He was admitted to No. 16 U.S. General Hospital at Le Treport on November 12, 1917 with a gun shot wound to his head. Four days later, he was transferred to No. 3 Convalescent Depot at Le Treport on the 16th and was discharged to Base Details on November 27th. He was then placed with the Canadian Labour Pool on December 7, 1917 before being sent to No. 7 Canadian General Hospital at Etaples on December 17th, remaining there for the next fourteen months. He proceeded to England on February 13, 1919 and was admitted to No. 11 Canadian General Hospital, Moore Barracks at Shorncliffe on February 28th with a contusion to his back. In his Medical History of an Invalid, dated February 28, 1919 at Shorncliffe, it noted the "partial loss of function" of the muscles in his back, that he was able to move "from side to side readily without pain. Rotation of body causes pain in lumbar muscles on both sides", and that "if he draws a deep breath it hurts (his) back." It also forced him to sleep "on his face". The injury was traced to that fateful day at Passchendaele: "In Nov. 1917 at Passchendaele (he) was injured in (the) back by (the) side of (a) trench being blown in by (a) shell. Was admitted to No.16 Gen. Hosp. - returned to Base. Back has been weak and hurts if he has to lift any weight. Has improved considerably since discharge from Hospital." The medical authorities estimated that his back would require a period of six months for recovery. Two weeks after the report was issued, he was attached to Military District Wing No. 2, Canadian Concentration Camp at Kinmel Park for return to Canada on March 13, 1919. He was struck off strength of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada and sailed March 25, 1919 for Canada from Liverpool, England aboard the HMT Scotian, arriving in Saint John, New Brunswick on April 4th. Robertson was discharged upon demobilization at No. 2 District Depot in Toronto on April 6, 1919 and was entitled to wear the War Service Badge, Class "A", number 49742. He died on October 27, 1945, at the age of 72. His death was at least partially attributed to the wounds he sustained while at Passchendaele and therefore, his wife, Helen, received his Memorial Cross.