William Roberts was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Roberts, 45 Ewloe Place. The 1901 census records the family at Ewloe Place. Thomas was a 43 year old Collier Hewer. His wife Elizabeth was 55. Their listed children were Thomas J 19, Emma 17, James H 15, Albert 4 and William 12.
The census of 1911 records the family at 6 Ewloe Place. Thomas was a 55 year old coal miner working as a ‘Byeman underground’. His wife of 32 years Elizabeth had given birth to 7 children, two of whom had died. The only two ‘children’ listed at home, were James 25 and William 19. They were both miners.
From Emma’s great nephew, Mark Harding we know that James also served. He was injured in July 1916 and discharged in July 1917 but at that point the family lost touch.
William’s death was reported in two newspaper accounts:
County Herald, October 22, 1915
A number of Buckley soldiers have been reported killed or injured in recent operations. The following are stated to have been killed in action: Private Robert Davies. 9th Batt, R.W.F., 19 years of age who resided with his patents at Mill Lane, Buckley; Private William Roberts, 9th Batt. R.W.F., 23 years of age stated to have been killed in action on the 3rd inst in France, lived with his parents at Ewloe Place, Buckley; and Private George Tattum, 9th Batt. R.W.F., aged 19, whose mother resided at Padeswood Road, Buckley, is reported to have been killed on September 25th. All the above mentioned soldiers were colliers before enlistment.
County Herald, November 12, 1915
A touching memorial service was held recently at Congregational Church regarding the late Private William Roberts. The Reverend D. Evans preached a most appropriate sermon before a large congregation. We are met tonight to pay our tribute of respect and honour and love to our dear young brother, Mr. Wm. Roberts. He was a much beloved Sunday School Scholar, and a faithful attendant at the means of grace. It is very sad to think of these young lives that are cut down, the flower of their country. He has died for a noble cause. He died for his King and Country. His name will not be forgotten; it will be enshrined in our memories for many years to come. At the close of the service the whole congregation stood up while the organist (Mr. T. Cropper) played the Dead March.
William Roberts is one of four Buckley soldiers remembered on the Loos Memorial, the others being Joseph Evans, Robert Davies and George Tatum.
William is also named on the Hawarden Memorial.