William Evan Roberts was born in Flint in 1894 and was baptised on 16th January, 1895 at St Mary’s Parish Church. He was the second of 10 children to William and Harriet Ann Roberts and was a brother to Private Edward George Roberts who also died in the war and is written about elsewhere.
He enlisted with the 5th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers Territorials on 30th January, 1913, for the term of four years, as Private No 1145. On his service record his age was given as 19 years and two months, his address as 8, Coleshill Street, Flint and occupation as labourer. His medical was given by Dr W A Twemlow of Flint on the same day who stated on the report that William was 5ft 7 ½ in with a 33 inch chest and his vision and physical development were “Good.” He was considered fit for the Territorial Force.
He remained at a Home base until the 30th January, 1915 and discharged on the 2nd February in consequence of “his being medically unfit.” His character was described as “Fair.”
He somehow managed to re-enlist that same year and on the 8th September he had landed in France where he was killed in action at Mametz Wood in the Battle of the Somme on the 7th July, 1916.
He has no known grave but is remembered on three war memorials – Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France (Pier and Face 4A); Flint Town and St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint. He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor.
He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.