Roberts, William Stanley

William Stanley Roberts was from Chester but he married Elizabeth Annie Ellis of Daisy Hill Buckley. William Stanley died at Ypres 16th November 1914 and was the first soldier with a Buckley connection known to have died. He is the only Buckley soldier known to have died in 1914. There is an index card with his name at the Flintshire Record Office with the address “5 Daisy Hill” but William Stanley has not been found on any memorial.

William Stanley was the son of Frederick and Elizabeth Roberts of 4 Charlotte St Chester, born in the last quarter of 1893. He had brothers Wilbraham, Frederick, Harold and Horace. In 1911 William Stanley age 17 was working as a servant at the Royal Hotel, Colwyn Bay. He joined the Cheshire Regiment 29th January 1912, age 18, when he gave his occupation as butcher.

William Stanley Roberts married Elizabeth Annie Ellis at the register office, Chester, on the 1st August 1914. The witnesses were Nellie Ellis, Harold Roberts. He shipped for France on 27 August 1914 and his daughter Florence May was born 14th September 1914 in Hawarden District. It appears that William Stanley never saw his daughter.

Elizabeth Annie Ellis was the daughter of Thomas and Martha Ellis of Holly Bank Villas, Daisy Hill, baptised at Bistre in February 1894. Thomas was a collier. Thomas and Martha had 10 children all alive in 1911, and all born Buckley: Elizabeth, Emily (Nellie), William, George, John, Joseph, Francis, Mary, Hugh and Janet.

William Stanley was a pre-war Regular soldier promoted to Corporal in 1913 who was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, which was in Londonderry, Ireland when war broke out. The battalion immediately mobilized for direct transfer to France as part of the 5th Division, disembarking at Le Havre on 16th August 1914. However it appears that William either received special leave to marry or was stationed at the regimental depot in Chester, because he and Elizabeth Annie married at Chester register office on the 1st August and William’s medal card shows that he caught up with his unit in France on 27 August 1914. He was killed in action 16 November 1914 and there is no indication in his service record that he returned home before he died. He was declared missing during the First Battle of Ypres and is remembered with others with no known grave on the Menin Gate Memorial. His widow received a pension of 15s/6d per week. In February 1916 the Army received a request for personal belongings to be sent to Mrs. Elizabeth A. Roberts, 28 Bold Square, Chester.

Elizabeth Annie Roberts married Redvers Baden Faulkner (born Northop) at a Hawarden Civil marriage in 1919. In September 1919 the Army received a request for personal belongings to be sent to Mrs. E. E. Faulkner, 14 Church View, Pentre, Hawarden. A later address was given as 5 Daisy Hill, Buckley, and a receipt for William Stanley’s Memorial Plaque was issued to, Elizabeth Annie Faulkner of Mount View Villas, Spon Green. Redvers Baden Faulkner of 24 Lyme Grove died in the Royal Infirmary, Chester in 1966. Elizabeth Annie died in 1971, 57 years after she was first widowed.

William Stanley’s daughter, Florence May married John Davies in 1934 and had four children, one boy (Tony), the eldest, and three girls Janet, Betty and Susan. Tony Davies lives in Buckley and places a cross on the Hawkesbury Memorial and at the British Legion very year in memory of his grandfather..

Post Script. Pleased to say that W. S. Roberts’s name has now been added to the Hawksbury Memorial (2020)

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Buckley Memorial

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