THE last member of the Tank Corps to be killed in the First World War has been identified by the Tank Museum.

Frederick Robinson – known as Eric – died at the age of 26 on November 4, 1918, just days before the Armistice in the very last tank battle as the tanks were withdrawing.

He trained as an engineer and at the outbreak of the war joined the Royal Naval Air Service.

A keen motorcyclist, he moved to the RNAS Armoured Car Division and then the Army’s Motor Machine Gun Service (MMGS) where he was commissioned as an officer before training as a tank commander.

He and his crew fought in the first ever tank battle at Flers-Courcelette in France in September 1916.

Despite a friendly fire incident, he was awarded the Military Cross for bravery in command after his crew had to dig out their tank.

He returned home for Christmas in 1916 and married his sweetheart Elsie Mapley.

In 1917 Robinson led three tanks at the Battle of Arras and also fought at Passchendaele.

During the German Spring Offensive in 1918 he was wounded, but returned to be awarded a Bar to his MC at the Battle of Amiens, for moving on foot under heavy German shellfire to direct his tanks.

He was buried where he fell, but his body was later re-interred at the Highland Cemetery, Le Cateau.

Historian Stephen Pope said: “I think that the lesson of Eric's death, as with Wilfred Owen and all those who died in November 1918, was that the British Army and its Allies were committed to the defeat of the German Army in the field and bringing the war to an end, whatever losses were required.”

David Willey, curator of the Tank Museum, said: “Eric Robinson’s story is sad but not untypical, dying as he did just days before the end of the war."

He added: “He typified the bravery of these often very young men who were the pioneers of tank warfare.”