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Commemorative Flag

Contribution du public
Middlesex County, Ontario
Matériaux et techniques
Heavyweight cotton sateen; Machine-stitched
Numéro d'identification
Fanshawe Pioneer Village, 2013.720.21
Affectionately known as the “Farmer’s Colonel," Lt. Col. Bartholomew “Bart” Robson was held in high esteem by all ranks of the 135th Middlesex Battalion. Actively involved in the militia since his youth, he enlisted as a private with the 26th Middlesex Light Infantry and rose to become their commanding officer, a position he held when the Great War broke out in 1914.

In 1915 he was authorized to raise a battalion from Middlesex County, and according to a report in the March 30, 1916 edition of the Strathroy Age Dispatch “the recruiting record at the end of February, 3 months after the authorization of the battalion shows close to 1,000 men on the roll.” The article goes on to describe the character of the Lt. Col.:

Bart Robson is a farmer. He is a real son of the soil and his big farm at Ilderton is one of the best in the County of Middlesex. He is a soldier too, a real soldier in the words of his officers and men and the way he has brought the 135th to practically full strength is an indication of his ability. There is more real democracy in the 135th than in many of the Canadian battalions where democracy seems to be the keynote of organization, but there is strict discipline with it. There is no slipping up when decisive action is needed and no one tries to put one over the Colonel. The men of the 135th are to him the, “boys,” and they know and realize it.

To honour his efforts to recruit and train a local battalion, Middlesex County Council presented Lt. Col. Robson with a beautiful Union Jack flag, bearing the inscription “135th Batt. Presented by County Council of Middlesex 1916.”
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