Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay
Name / Enw: Roberts, Richard (Dick)
Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 5th Bn.
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 526
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Helles Memorial
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panel 77 to 80.
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Turkey
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British War Medals and 15 Star
Date of Death: 28th August 1915
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Died of wounds, buried at sea, 28th August 1915
Richard was a brother to Ellis Roberts who has his own page on this website.
Richard & Ellis’s parents Isaac Roberts and Hannah Williams had married in 1884 in St, Mary’s Church, Birkenhead.
They appear on the 1891 census. Isaac was 29 and a Shoe Maker who had been born in Mold, Flintshire. Hannah was 27 and hailed originally from Northop, Flintshire. They were living near the Post Office, in Pentre, Flint with 4 sons.Edward 6, Joseph 4, Isaac 3, and Richard aged 1 who had been born in Flint.
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. was 17 and an Iron Works Labourer. Joseph E. was 15 also an Iron Works Labourer. Isaac was 13, Richard 11, Ann was 9, Ellis 6 Deborah, 3 and Hannah, Daughter was 3 Months.
They had moved 2 doors up by the time the 1911 census was completed. The family was living at 9 Lower Brook St. Connah’s Quay. Isaac 48 was listed as a ‘Boot Repairer’. Hannah was 47. They had been married 28 years and 10 children had been born to them, but 1 child had died. Son Edward A had left home, Joseph was 24 and single, Isaac was 23 and Richard was 21. All three were Iron Workers. Ellis was 16, single and was a Labourer. Deborah 14 Hannah 11 and new brother William 7 were all at School.
UK soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 -19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental information above and adds that Richard enlisted in Connah’s Quay.
There is an index card for Richard in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden (Flintshire WW1 Index Cards Connah’s Quay F59). It confirms the regimental details above. The address given is 9 Lower Brook Street, Connah’s Quay. It says he served from August 1914 and explains that he was Killed in Action at Suvla Bay on the 28th Aug 1915.
Richard’s medal card also accessible on ancestry, records his medal details and also tells us that his first theatre of war was the Balkans and that he entered it on the 8th August 1915. Richard was only there 20 days when he was killed.
Richard Roberts in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee of his effects was his father Isaac who was paid £2. 11s 7d on the 10th December 1915 and sole Legatee of his War Gratuity was his mother Hannah who was paid £3. 10s 0d in two payments, the first of £ 2. 0s 10d on the 30th December 1919 and the second of £1. 9s 2d on the 15th June 1920. This source also tells us that the Hospital Ship he died on was the “Alaunia.”*
*Please click on the link to find out about the Hospital Ship “Alaunia” and others in the Gallipoli Campaign.
I have the War Diary of the 8th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers for you to see the build up of the action, although Richard did not land until the 8th, it will perhaps help. If you would like to see it please contact the website and I will d it to you, or they can be seen on Ancestry.co.uk
Richard is also named on the Memorial Plaque in St.Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay.
Transcript of the newspaper cutting above
Died of Wounds
Private R Roberts
Mrs Hurst, 43, Lancaster Street Higham Ferrers, received a field post card from private Dick Roberts 1st 5th RWF who was billeted with her, to say that he had been wounded and admitted into hospital but was going on well. Mrs Hurst has since received a letter from the soldier’s mother dated September 15th, to say that her son has succumbed to his wounds. Mrs Roberts writes, ” You will be very sorry to know that Dick was wounded and he has died of his wounds since. He must have been dead about three weeks when I received the news on Saturday. I had a letter from Ted and he told me in his letter that he was with Dick when he fell. He carried him to the nearest hospital and did all he could for him in his last moments. I must pray to God to send me Ted and Ellis home safe and sound. I hope your soldier sons are all right. I am sure all the friends round you will be sorry to know about poor Dick. ” The late private R Robertsduring his stay in Higham Ferrers made many friends and to those the news of his death has come as a great shock especially as it was thought he was progressing favourably towards recovery.
Flintshire Observer 23rd September 1915