|Person Name||Robinson; Sir; Heaton Forbes (1873-1946); Lieutenant-Colonel; civil engineer, soldier, Deputy Director of Works (1920-1925), Director of Works (1926-1938)|
|Epithet||civil engineer, soldier, Deputy Director of Works (1920-1925), Director of Works (1926-1938)|
|Source||CWGC Archive, P 1, Lt. Col. Robinson H.F.; CWGC Archive, P 1A, Lunch to Colonel Robinson; CWGC Archive, WG 1831/171, 283rd COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES, 26/06/1939 – 11/10/1939; CWGC Archive, Add 10/1/09, NEW YEARS HONOURS – 1939; H F Robinson in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920. Accessed via Ancestry UK website.|
|Biographical Note||Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Heaton Forbes Robinson CMG M.Inst. CE ACGI was the Imperial War Graves Commission’s Deputy Director of Works after the First World War and later, Director of Works. |
Heaton Forbes Robinson was born on 30 July 1873. He was educated at Westward Ho City and Guilds Engineering College and then in Germany, qualifying as a civil engineer. He travelled widely throughout Africa, South America and the Middle East before the First World War.
During the First World War, Robinson served as a Lieutenant in the Army Service Corps, commanding various depots to keep supplies running to troops in the line. He was Mentioned in Dispatches in 1916 and completed his war service with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
In March 1920, Lt.-Col. Robinson joined the Works Department of the Imperial War Graves Commission. In September 1920, he was appointed Deputy Director of Works and then, on 1st January 1926, he succeeded Durham as Director of Works. His tenure was during the Commission's great construction phase after the First World War and he was called upon to adapt buildings to every variety of soil and climate. During the latter years of his tenure, Robinson concentrated on building up a system of structural maintenance which would ensure, in the most economical way, the preservation of the fabric for which the Commission is responsible. For his outstanding work, Lt.-Col. Robinson was awarded the status of Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1930 and later received a Knighthood in 1939.
Robinson retired from the Commission in December 1938 and, early on in the following year, the Commission organised a farewell lunch for him on 1 February 1939. The farewell lunch was attended by many past and present Commission staff members, including Sir Fabian Ware, Frank Durham, Sir Frank Higginson, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Frederic Kenyon.
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Heaton Forbes Robinson died in Victoria, British Columbia on 13 July 1946, aged 72.