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.