Roberts, John Edward

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Geoffrey Alexander Mitchell.

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Holywell War Memorial.

Name / Enw: Roberts, John Edward

Regiment/Catrawd: 10th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Corporal No. 23754.

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panel 22.

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

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Date of Death: 17th February 1916

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

He arrived in France with the Battalion on 28 September 1915 and was later Killed in Action on 17 February 1916, aged 23 at Ypres.

John Edward Roberts was born in Holywell, Flintshire during 1893.

The 1911 Census states that the family lived at 3 The Grove, Holywell, Flintshire.   The head of the family was John Roberts aged 41, a School Attendance Officer.   His wife Susannah Roberts aged 42, a Housewife and their three children, John Edward Roberts aged 18 who was employed as an Auctioneers Clerk, Caradoc Roberts aged 13 and Haydn Roberts aged 3.

On 8 September 1914 he enlisted as a Private with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Wrexham, aged 21 years 10 months.  His Short Service Records show that it was for the Duration of the War.  Within a month of enlistment he was promoted Lance Corporal on 6 October 1914 and six days later further promoted to Corporal.  He saw active service in France and Belgium.

1Menin Gate Memorial

Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium.

County Herald Friday 8 March 1916 – ‘Young Holywell Soldier Killed. Chaplain’s Touching Letter’.

Corporal J E Roberts of the 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, son of Mr John Roberts. The Grove, Holywell has been killed by shell fire ‘Somewhere in France’.  The sad news was conveyed in a letter from the Reverend David Cynddelw Williams, Chaplain attached to the Battalion in a letter received by the father of the unfortunate young man last Friday morning, in which the writer says – I am not sure whether you yet may have been informed that your dear son, Corporal J E Roberts was taken away on Thursday morning last.  I understand it was through shell fire and he could not have been concious of any pain.  I cannot express my deep sympathy with you as a family in losing a so happy and promising son.  I, as Chaplain came frequently into contact with him and I came to understand him very well.  Frequently did I hear your son sing ‘Lead kindly light’, when at Bournemouth and I should say, that light did not fail him.  Your son was buried in a little cemetery not far from the firing line.

He is also remembered on the North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales.

There is a Flintshire Roll of Honour card for John Edward Roberts at the County Archives Office, Hawarden.