Richard Roberts was born in Flint in 1890 and baptised on 13th June, 1890 at St Mary’s Parish Church. He was the fourth child of 10 children to Isaac Roberts and Hannah (Williams).
Isaac was born in Mold and Hannah in Northop and they were married on 30th June, 1884 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Birkenhead. Isaac was a self employed shoemaker.
At the time of Richard’s baptism they were living in the Post Office in Oakenholt. By 1901 they had moved to 7, Lower Brook Street, Connah’s Quay and 10 years later they had moved next door to No 9. Richard at this time was employed at Messers Summers Ironworks.
He enlisted at Connah’s Quay in August, 1914 and was subsequently posted to Suvla Bay, Gallipoli where he was wounded in action. He was being transported by sea on board the hospital ship Alaunia, probably to Malta, but died on route on 28th August, 1915. He has no known grave so was probably buried at sea.
The following report appeared in the Flintshire Observer on 23rd September, 1915.
Mrs Hurst, 43, Lancaster Street, Higham Ferrers, received a field postcard from Dick Roberts, 1/5th RWF, who was billeted with her, to say that he had been wounded and admitted into hospital but was going on well. Mrs Hurst has since received a letter from the soldier’s mother, dated 15th September to say that her son has succumbed to his wounds. Mrs Roberts writes: “You will be very sorry to know that Dick was wounded, and he has died of his wounds since. He must have been dead about three weeks when I received the news on Saturday. I had a letter from Ted and he told me in his letter that he was with Dick when he fell. He carried him to the nearest hospital and did all he could for him in his last moments. I must pray to God to send me Ted and Ellis home safe and sound. I hope your soldier sons are all right. I am sure all the friends round you will be sorry to know about poor Dick.” The late Private R Roberts during his stay in Higham Ferrers made many friends, and to these the news of his death has come as a great shock, especially as it was thought that he was progressing favourably towards recovery.
His medal card could not be found but in all probability he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
He is remembered on four war memorials – Helles Memorial, Turkey on Panels 77 to 80, St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint, Connah’s Quay Town and St Mark’s Parish Church, Connah’s Quay. He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor on the Connah’s Quay panel.
Ted and Ellis were Richard’s brothers. Ted returned home safe and sound but sadly Ellis didn’t. He was serving with the 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was killed in action in France on the 22nd June, 1916 aged 21.
Isaac received £2 11s 7d from Richard’s effects on 10th December, 1915, while on 30th April, 1919 Hannah received a War Gratuity of £2 0s 10d and on 15th April, 1920 she received a further £1 9s 2d.
It is not known what became of Isaac and Hannah after this date.