James Robertson died from pneumonia on 22 October 1918 while serving in France with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. He was aged 33. He is buried at the Ste Marie Cemetery, Le Havre, France.
James was born in Dunedin on 8 May 1885. His parents were Bridget and James Robertson. They had emigrated to New Zealand from Scotland.
Robertson studied law at Otago University. He was elected treasurer of the Dunedin Law Debating Society in 1911. After qualifying as a solicitor he went into partnership in Huntly, the firm being called Northcroft and Robertson. He married Ellen Francis Joyce on 26 January 1916 at Hampden.
Joining up in 1917, Robertson went to Trentham Camp. His medical examination report shows he was 5 foot 5 tall (1.65 metres) and weighed 144 pounds (65.3 kg) with blue eyes and brown hair. He embarked from Wellington on 23 April 1918 with the 36th Reinforcements, A Company, arriving in Suez, Egypt on 31 May 1918. After further training in Egypt he was sent to Southampton in England on 10 July 1918, proceeding to Brocton where he was promoted to Corporal.
Robertson was sent to France on 10 September 1918, joining the 4th Battalion of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade on the front line on 27 September. He was admitted to hospital, sick, on 11 October, sent to Le Treport on 12 October and Le Havre on 22 October, the day he died of lobar pneumonia.
Corporal Robertson is remembered on the Hamilton District Law Society memorial bronze tablet which was unveiled in Hamilton in March 1921.
Sources: Otago Daily Times, 6 November 1909, page 9; Otago Daily Times, 27 January 1910, page 4; Otago Daily Times, 18 May 1911, page 11; New Zealand Herald, 8 October 1915, page 3; Waikato Times, 14 October 1916, page 1; Otago Daily Times, 13 November 1918, page 4.
This obituary has been prepared by the New Zealand Law Society to preserve the memory of members of the legal profession who died while serving in World War I.
By Geoff Adlam, New Zealand Law Society. Further information is welcomed: firstname.lastname@example.org.