John Matley Robson was born on February 16, 1892 in Ashton-under-Lyne. His father, George Hudson, was headmaster of Christ Church (Gatefield) School in Ashton. George Hudson married Mary Dewhurst Matley on March 29, 1891 at St. Peter’s church. Their second son, Frederick Josiah Robson was born on March 23, 1898.
John Matley Robson was educated at Christ Church (Gatefield) School and later at Manchester Grammar School. After leaving school he joined Messrs. Bryce and Sons, chemical importers and shippers, of Manchester and was a member of Ashton Golf Club.
He was commissioned into the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment on November 14, 1914 and joined the 2/9th Battalion in Southport for training. He volunteered, along with 2nd Lieut. A.W.F. CONNERY and 2nd Lieut. ALLAN H. HUDSON, for active service with the 1/9th Battalion. On April 1, 1915 the three officers were sent to Egypt, where they joined the Battalion around April 13th.
After special service as Officer in Charge of the Base, at Port Said, El Kantara, and Alexandria, he joined the battalion at the Dardanelles on June 2nd as a platoon commander of “C” Company.
The following day, the 1/9th went into the line and remained there until they were relieved on June 22nd. “C” Company charged the Turkish trenches on June 7th losing two senior Officers and leaving 2/Lt. Robson as second in command. Shortly before the next major frontal assault that occurred on the 18th, 2/Lt. Robson was required to report to headquarters and subsequently attended a course of instruction in the Maxim gun down at the base behind the firing line.
Second Lieutenant John Matley Robson died of enteric fever in the 15th General Hospital, Alexandria, on July 17th, 1915 after leaving the peninsula on July 7th and being admitted to the hospital on July 10th. He was 23 years old. He was buried at the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery and is commemorated at the following places:
- Ashton-Under-Lyne Civic Memorial.
- Manchester Grammar School Roll of Honour.