There are uncertainties about this soldier. This account is speculative.
There is an index card for an Edwin S J Roberts in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record office in Hawarden (Flintshire WW1 Index Card Connah’s Quay L341) but it is filed with the cards of ‘living’ servicemen. At the time of compiling the cards this particular man was still alive, and the card was filled in by William Michael Fitzpatrick who was a Custom’s Officer in Shotton at one time and his job was to give out and collect the cards mentioned, in fact he filled it in and signed it, so there is a good chance that he entered the wrong name i.e. Edwin instead of Edward. The card gives 115 High Street Connah’s Quay as an address. It says that Edwin S J Roberts was Private 240492 of The Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He served from August 1914 until May 1919.
The 1911 census includes an Edward S J Roberts18, a labourer at the ironworks. He had been born in Lancashire. He was living with his family at Northop Hall, Flintshire. The family comprised of head of household and mother, Mary Roberts who had been married for 23 years and had given birth to five children all of whom had survived. Also at home were two other sons John Henry 22 and William Charles 22 who were also labourers in the ironworks. There was a 70 year old ‘relative’ Samuel Hulse recorded on the census form.
There is a birth record for Edward Stephen J Roberts born Qtr June 1893 in Toxteth Park Liverpool, Lancashire Vol 8b page 177
There is a death record for Edward S J Roberts who died in June 1925 aged 32, registered at Hawarden Flintshire 11b 295
An Army Service Record survives for Edward Stephen Joseph Roberts and it is accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk but it is in very poor condition and only scraps are legible. There is a request for a reference about him which was made to someone in Connah’s Quay on 21st April 1914 but it is impossible to read who this was. There is a brief description of him which says he was 21, 5′ 6″ and had a dark complexion. An address given ‘for pay’ was 14 Salisbury Street Shotton. His year of birth was recorded as 1893 in Toxteth Lancashire. He attested on 11th April 1914 in Oswestry. He was embodied into the army on 5th May 1914. He was appointed Lance Corporal on 21st February 1916 but reverted to private at his own request on 29th August 1916. Then he seems to have been promoted again but it is difficult to read this part of the record.
One sentence that is clear is that he was awarded The Military Medal on 17th May 1917.
There is a medal Card for an Edward S J Roberts but the regimental details do not match the Flintshire index card. This medal card says that he served in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers as 21470. Then he was transferred to The Army Service Corps T/418901. He was awarded the Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals. This card says he first entered a Theatre of war on 14th July 1915. It dies not mention the Military medal.
The Connah’s Quay/Shotton Memorial was unveiled in 1927, two years after his death.So although he did not die within the designated war years, it was judged right and proper that he be included on the memorial.
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Somebody made an effort to ensure he was remembered, any help would be gratefully received.