Valentine Robbins was born 14 Feb 1882 in Bear River, Nova Scotia, the son of James Albert and Mary Etta (Berry) Robbins. On 13 Nov 1907, Valentine married Harriet Blanch Rice in Bear River. The couple had three children: Leland, born 1908 and died 1925 of valsemia; Joseph Clayton, born 25 Dec 1909; and Carlene, born 1915, and died 1922 due to head injury suffered from tobogganing. Prior to 1916, Valentine engaged in farming and logging, as had his father.
On 8 March 1916, Valentine joined the 85th Battalion, Nova Scotia Highlanders, in support of Canada and the Allied Forces. After his training as an infantryman, Valentine embarked overseas 18 Oct 1916 on the S.S. Olympic with the 85th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He survived many battles, including Vimy, before being killed in action on 21 Aug 1917. He was buried at La Chaudierre Military Cemetery in Lens, France.
Nicholas Robbins Family
85th Battalion, Nova Scotia Highlanders
Canadian Expeditionary Force
Valentine Robbins Memorial
La Chaudiere Military Cemetery
When Canada was asked to contribute to the war effort, one in 10 enlisted. Out of a country of 6 million at the time, more than 600,000 signed up and 67,000 did not return. The 85th Battalion earned a prominent place in history by capturing Vimy Ridge from German forces after French and British allies had been either unable to take or to hold the ridge and had incurred massive casualties. The Canadian Forces’ success in this battle is widely viewed as a demonstration of Canadian nationhood and identity.
Valentine's wife Harriet (Hatty) received his War Medal, Victory Medal, Silver Cross, The Memorial Plaque, and a small pension. At the Mount Hope cemetery in Bear River, there is a plot where Hattie, Carlene, and Leland are buried, as well as a granite memorial for Valentine.
Submitted January, 2015, by Ian Robbins, great grandson of Valentine Robbins.