Thomas Roberts was born circa 1889 in Chester, the son of Charles & Emily Roberts, and on the 1891 census the family were living at 11, Seaville Place, Boughton, Chester (St. John’s –part of), Charles Roberts, 43 was head of the household, he was a Mill Engine Driver born in Portsmouth and his wife Emily, 45 and the rest of the family had been born in Chester, Cheshire. Son Charles, 15 was a Locomotive Engine Cleaner, daughter Boysey(sic) was 12 and a Scholar. Thomas. 2, Nellie, 3 and Beatrice, 5 were the children of Emily & Charles, but I believe that Charles had been married before to a Frances, (possibly) Ledsham, as Charles and the children were with her on the 1881 census, living at 38, New Peploe Street, Hoole, Chester (All Saints), Charles Roberts, head of the household was age 36 and a Fireman at a Flour Mill and born in Portsmouth, his wife was Frances, 31, born, like the rest of the family, in Chester. Their son Charles, 5 and William, 4 were scholars, daughter Beatrice was 2, but I do believe that this is Boysey, (perhaps the enumerator didn’t believe the name?) as Boysey appears 10 years later age 12.
There is a birth certificate for Boysey Roberts (girl) born in 1879 and registered in Chester Castle (Cheshire West CAS/56/25).
The 1901 census sees the family had moved to 37, Seaville Street, Boughton, Chester. Charles,, 56 was now a Flour Miller, born at Bishop Waltham, Hants., Emily was 54. Daughters Boycey (sic) was now 22, Beatrice, 17, Nelli, 13. Sons Thomas 12 and Frank was 7 months old. They now had a servant, Sarah Lee, 30, born in Wrexham, Denbighshire,.
The family were still living at 37, Seaville Street, Boughton, Chester on the 1911 census, Charles, 65 was now a Night Watchman at the Flour Mills, Emily, 54 has her place of birth as Sealand Road, although this was crossed out and Chester written, which could have been done by the enumerator. They had been married for 35 years and 6 children had been born, all living. Son Charles, 35, states he was married 8 years,again the years were crossed out, again, probably by the enumerator. Daughter Boycey Roberts*, 32 also stated she had been married 2 years, this number had not been crossed out, with no children. Daughters Beatrice, 28, Mary E., 23 (was she Nellie?) were both single with sons Thomas, 22, single and a Striker at the Iron Works, and son Frank, 11 still at school.
* Boycey (sic) Roberts had married William Henry Smith in 1909 at St. John’s Church, Chester.(Cheshire West CE13/14/363).
I cannot find any Army Service Records for his attestation, but Ancestry shows a Thomas Roberts in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, which confirms his regimental details and tells that Thomas was born and resided in Chester and he enlisted in Wrexham.
Thomas Roberts in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 does not tell us where his first Theatre of War Was, nor when he entered it.
Thomas Roberts in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that he died of wounds in the 13th General Hospital in Boulogne and that the Sole Legatee was Father Charles Roberts who was paid on the 28th July 1915 – £7 10s 5d, but his War Gratuity was paid to Thomas’s sister Boysey Smith on the 25th November 1917 the sum of £5.0s 0d. I thought that perhaps Charles had died for Boysey to have been paid the War Gratuity, but I believe that Thomas’s father Charles may have died in 1919, age 73 (Chester City, Cheshire West CHC/2/5), but it would have to be purchased to be certain.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission additional Information: – Son of Charles and Emily Roberts, of 37, Leaville St., Boughton, Chester.. (The name of the road is a clerical error, it should be Seaville Road.)