Roberts, Ellis

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Roberts, Ellis

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 2nd Bn.

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 12821

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Loos Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: 50 to 52.

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British War Medals and15 Star

Date of Death: 22nd June 1916

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Killed in Action Givenchy 22nd June 1916.

Ellis was a Brother to Richard Roberts who is also named on the memorial and has his own page on this website

Ellis & Richard’s parents Isaac Roberts and Hannah Williams had married in 1884 in St, Mary’s Church, Birkenhead.

This Flintshire  family appeared in the 1891 census. Isaac 29  was a Shoe Maker who had been born in Mold.  Hannah was  27 and had been born  in Northop.  They were living  near the Post Office in Pentre, Flint. Their 4 sons were Edward  6, born Joseph  4, Isaac  3 and Ellis’s brother in arms, Richard was 1. Ellis had not been born.

The 1901 census shows the family had moved to 7, Lower Brook Street, Connahs Quay.  Isaac 40, was still a Shoe Maker and Hannah was 37. Their family had grown.  Edward A  17 and Joseph E 15 were both  ‘Iron Works Labourers’. The other children were  Isaac 13, Richard age 11, Ann 9,  Ellis  6,  Deborah 3 and Hannah 3 Months.

They had moved 2 doors up by the 1911 census to 9 Lower Brook St., Connah’s Quay.  Isaac  48 was listed as a ‘Boot Repairer’ and his wife of 28 years, Hannah was 47. She had given birth to 10 children but one had not survived.    Edward A. had moved from home. Joseph 24,  Isaac  23, and Richard 21 were all single and all were Iron Workers, Ellis was  16  and  a ‘Labourer.   Deborah  14,  Hannah  11 and new brother William  7 were all at school.

Ellis is mentioned in the book ” Soldiers Died in the Great War   Royal Welsh Fusiliers Volume 28″. It confirms the regimental details above and adds that he enlisted in Shotton. This source tells us he was ‘Killed in Action’.

The Royal Welch Fusiliers Archives based at the Wrexham Museum is in possession of a  list of 54 names of soldiers who died in the action at Givenchy on the 22nd June 1916 which involved the 1st and 2nd Battalions. Pte Ellis Roberts 12821 is included on that list. The action in which he was involved was prompted by a huge explosion by the Germans beneath British front lines. This resulted in the crater which became known as ‘The Red Dragon Crater’,  so called because of the efforts and sacrifices of the Welshmen. The crater is no longer visible as it was filled in some years ago but the stories of heroism and courage have survived. Notably, the story of Sapper Hackett of  Tunnelling company 254 who gave his life for a comrade and was awarded the VC.  For more information follow the link. http://www.guidedbattlefieldtours.co.uk/red-dragon-crater/

(Thanks to Allan Poole at Royal Welch Fusiliers Archives for help with this story)

Ellis Roberts in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that on or since 22 Jun 1916 Death was presumed and the sole Legatee of his money was his father Isaac who was paid £1. 4s 8d on the 6th November 1917 and his mother Hannah was the sole Legatee of his £8 War Gratuity which was paid on the 30th April 1920.

There is an index card for Ellis in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden.Flintshire (WW1 Index Cards  (Connah’s Quay) F 58)   It too confirms the regimental details above. The address given is 9, Lower Brook street Connah’s Quay. It adds that he served from 1st September 1914 and was killed in Givenchy.

Ellis’s medal card  accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk , records his medal details but does not tell us where his first theatre of war was nor when  he entered it.

Ellis is named on the Memorial Plaque in St.Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay.

http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/welchfusiliers2-gw.php