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.
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.