Talk:Robert Henry Cain

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Good articleRobert Henry Cain has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
November 3, 2009Good article nomineeListed


Nationality[edit]

Can we really call him "an English recipient of the Victoria Cross"? He was from a Manx family and it seems like he spent much of his life in various far-flung parts of the Empire. Interesting though that he was buried in Sussex. — Trilobite (Talk) 01:26, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Further Information[edit]

Are we OK to include the piece entitled Further Information which is a straight copy/paste of the piece on both the South Staff's website, and the Arnhem Archive website? --Trident13 22:31, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

I should think it'd need a rewrite at the least. --Nucleusboy 18:21, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Temporary Major vs. Brevet[edit]

Is temporary correct or should it be brevet? What was his rank before and after? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.63.82.163 (talk) 15:49, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Copyright concerns[edit]

There are some lingering concerns about this text, although the point of origin is still a bit unclear. User:Woody has made a fabulous start, but if we can't verify permission or that the material belongs to us, we will need to revise further to avoid publishing a derivative work. See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history#Robert Cain. I understand that somebody has written the owner of the identified site, who may be able to help clarify ownership of the material or might be willing to donate it. In the meantime, perhaps material could be further revised in the now-linked temporary space and merged when completed? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:55, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

A review shows the entire article has been rewritten and any concerns about derivative text have been addressed. CactusWriter | needles 15:38, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I suppose we should have left a note here, Moonriddengirl knows it is free, she helped to clean it up. ;) Regards, Woody (talk) 15:41, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Gazette search results[edit]

Both of these contain a few false positives, and may still miss a few. David Underdown (talk) 10:13, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

German Surrender[edit]

Cain didn't take the German surrender, he would have been far too low-ranking an officer. That duty was given to Major-General Andrew Thorne in alliance with the Norwegian Resistance, whos name I forget. Unfortunately, Thorne's article is little more than a stub; I need to expand it at some point but don't have the materials. Skinny87 (talk) 09:33, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't say that he took the German surrender, it says "On 11 May 1945 Cain travelled to Oslo, Norway, with the 1st Airlanding brigade primarily to oversee the German surrender." The 1st Airlanding brigade where there primarily as "peacekeepers" in effect as far as I can work out. I don't think the article says otherwise, though I am sure we can reword it to make it utterly plain? Regards, Woody (talk) 09:39, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, probably just needs a bit of rewording; maybe 'with the 1st Airlanding Brigade, which was to aid in the surrender of German troops in Norway' or something like that? Skinny87 (talk) 10:28, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good, so done. Thanks, Woody (talk) 10:38, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

VC Citation Problems[edit]

From adding a few refs I've now gone and got myself fascinated with the article and ended up expanding the whole thing! There are several minor quibbles with the official citation for Cain's VC that don't match up with the history books, so I thought I'd better just put a note to explain why I'm directly contradicting it in a few places. As far as I can make out, Cain's action when he was nearly blinded took place on the 21st, not the 20th. Middlebrook and another book (so far unused as a ref) support this. I thought it could possibly be an error on their parts, but two refs mention the name of his spotter in the building above him, who was killed by the shot that showered Cain with masonry, and the Official roll of honour support this (just type Meikle into the search field and select surname).

Secondly, I can't find any evidence that the Staffords Battalion was ever cut off from the main division, or that Cain was ever cut off from his battalion, so I've removed all mention of that in the main text.

It'd be nice to try and acknowledge that the facts and the citation differ slightly in the article, but of course, no text I have actually says "Cains citation differs slightly...". Any thoughts? Cheers Ranger Steve (talk) 20:02, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Aha, check that. According to Waddy, Cain and Major Bush (3rd Battalion) held a section of the Oosterbeek perimeter where they were regularly out of touch with divisional HQ. This lasted for 5 days before a runner told them to withdraw that night (Operation Berlin). I think that's where it comes from, but out of contact and cut off are slightly different things.... Poor communication with HQ was a factor all around the perimeter at Oosterbeek. Ranger Steve (talk) 20:39, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps we could footnote individual instances in the main article text where there are disagreements between sources. It's unfortunate that the original recommendation for the VC doesn't survive as it would have been interesting to know who the witnesses were, and how long after the action the statements were made. David Underdown (talk) 08:57, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
That could work, although I think maybe just one footnote at the end. It would be nice to suggest why it may be different, but I don't think we're gonna find any refs for it. Ranger Steve (talk) 21:34, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
You can add in the text itself: In his book YYY says that the events took place on 00 September whereas the Gazette places it at 01 September." Then you reference each instance. It gives the reader all of the information, I don't think you need to make any particular reasoning as to why there is a discrepancy. Woody (talk) 21:44, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Done, feel free to improve if necessary! Ranger Steve (talk) 18:55, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

GA[edit]

I've put this article up for GA as I think it's ready, but of course improvements are always welcome! Ranger Steve (talk) 11:48, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I'll be glad to review it, but before I do the Later Life section needs more citations; most of it is uncited at the moment. Skinny87 (talk) 11:51, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Okey dokey, gimme a day to rework it. Ranger Steve (talk) 11:52, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
No problem; merging the sentence fragments into a couple of paragraphs would also be a good idea. Skinny87 (talk) 12:15, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

I don't think I've seen Cain referred to as Robert Henry Cain in any book I've read about him in. Having his full name in 3 places in the lead makes it look like that was the name he regularly went by, but I only ever see him referred to as Robert Cain. Does anyone have any thoughts about moving the article to Robert Cain (British Army officer) Ranger Steve (talk) 22:03, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

The name is no longer repeated three times in the lead, which is an improvement, but I don't see the problem with using his middle name to disambiguate in this case - I think its neater than Robert Cain (British Army officer) and it was after all his actual name. (The suggested title should however be a redirect if it isn't used).--Jackyd101 (talk) 23:37, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Think the correct disamb should be Robert Cain (VC) in line with all other British VC articles where a disamb name is used Kernel Saunters (talk) 07:15, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Sorry Jackyd, I should have said 'at the top' - I was thinking of the article name, bolded person name and name in the infobox. It's something I see in a few other articles - for instance John Dutton Frost, who again goes by that name 3 times at the top, although he is rarely (if ever) referred to in that way in any of my books. I will however put Robert into the first line after the contents box - that helps a little. Ranger Steve (talk) 10:30, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I have to say that to my mind Robert Cain (VC) looks worse than either of the other options (and over the years I have moved lots of articles from that to (British Army officer) or (Royal Navy officer) without really thinking about it I'm afraid).--Jackyd101 (talk) 16:54, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid I have to agree that Robert Cain VC wouldn't be my choice... Ranger Steve (talk) 17:05, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Disclaimer[edit]

Since this is now on the page including the middle name, I don't think we need the disclaimer saying 'for other people with this name' pointing to the Robert Cain disambiguation page, because those other people don't have Henry in their name, right? Tyciol (talk) 23:14, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Robert Henry Cain/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.
GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
The lede doesn't quite properly summarise the entire article; would suggest a few sentences on his early life and career before introducing the specifics of his VC action (although keep the introduction as a VC recipient, obviously)
Done. hope it's ok.
'After Arnhem he took part in Operation Doomsday, overseeing the German surrender in Norway and at the end of hostilities returned to his pre-war job at Royal Dutch Shell.' - Reword slightly please, makes him sound like he personally took the German surrender.
Done
'The 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment was part of 1st Airlanding Brigade which landed in Sicily in July 1943 as part of Operation Ladbroke. In the same month, Cain took command of the battalion's B Company' - Do we have any details on what Cain did during Labroke?
See below
'At Arnhem the British 1st Airborne Division and Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade were tasked to secure bridges across the Lower Rhine,' - Either 'tasked with securing' or 'were given the task of securing', I think.
Yep! Done
'In Arnhem the Allied plan quickly unraveled' - I don't it's clear why this was; although you mention the presence of extra German troops in the previous section, can you expand on why it unravelled, please. Just for context.
Done, I hope
'Lieutenant Colonel David Dobie of the 1st Battalion proposed a concentrated attack in a narrow pinch point between the Lower Rhine and the Arnhem railway line. The South Stafford would advance toward the bridge, with the remnants of the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the Parachute Regiment on their right flank, while the 11th Battalion remained in reserve.' - What is a 'narrow pinch point', please? And what is the 11th Battalion? Which unit did it belong to? And I think it should be' South Staffordshires', correct?
Done, edited and explained below.
You use the abbreviation of 'CO' several times; can you expand it and possibly link to commanding officer, if there's an article for it?
Reduced use and wikilinked
'Cain was one of three Majors defending the front line in Lonsdale Force's sector at the southern end of the eastern perimeter' - Do you mean all three defended the southern end, or that Cain was the only one? Rewrite and clarify, please.
Done
'decising that he "wasn't wounded enough to stay where [he] was".' - Little spelling error here.
Oops
'Working with the resistance' - Milorg is the name of the resistance, if you could add that in, and clarify it was Norwergian, that would be great.
It is now great
'Working with the resistance the British took the surrender of German troops in Norway without incident before returning to the UK on 25 August 1945.' - Need a comma after 'incident'
Another oops
  1. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    'and the Tiger tank he engaged was in fact a StuG III.' - I don't see any mention of a Stug III or a self-propelled gun being engaged by Cain anywhere in the text of the battle; it only mentions tanks. Can this be clarified in the text of his actions during the battle, please?
Yes it can
  1. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  2. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  3. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  4. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    VC image could do with a caption, and maybe ALT Text if you're feeling eager.
  5. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:

Good article, just needs some prose work and some expanding in certain areas. Skinny87 (talk) 15:31, 28 October 2009 (UTC)


Cheers Skinny. I think I've covered everything, but I might have missed something out so I'll have a look later on. In all of the refs I've used, South Staffords (with an s, that was a typo above) is used as a common abbreviation, so I've kept a few examples. I'm afraid I've been totally unable to find out anything else about Cain, especially his pre Arnhem career. None of the books I've checked regarding Sicily mention him by name and have precious little info about Ladbroke or the Staffs role in it. Don't suppose you've got anything have you? Only one other thing, but I'm happy to change it if you prefer; do you really think the VC needs a caption? I kinda like the way it's part of the citation rather than framed in a box, and I think it's clear what it is from the title on the left. Just a personal pref though, so not a biggy. Ranger Steve (talk) 13:33, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, a cursory look suggests nothing, but I haven't got Slaughter over Sicily with me, where Cain might rate a mention. I guess the VC is okay without a caption. So, I'll pass this now - congrats! Skinny87 (talk) 14:34, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Thankyou! Ranger Steve (talk) 11:43, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

robert henry cain was jeremy clarksons (top gear) father in law. he did a bbc documentary about him. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.4.27.44 (talk) 18:00, 7 September 2010 (UTC)