Roberts, John Edward

John Edward Roberts was born in Holywell, Flintshire during 1893.

The 1911 Census states that the family lived at 3 The Grove, Holywell, Flintshire.   The head of the family was John Roberts aged 41, a School Attendance Officer.   His wife Susannah Roberts aged 42, a Housewife and their three children, John Edward Roberts aged 18 who was employed as an Auctioneers Clerk, Caradoc Roberts aged 13 and Haydn Roberts aged 3.

On 8 September 1914 he enlisted as a Private with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Wrexham, aged 21 years 10 months.  His Short Service Records show that it was for the Duration of the War.  Within a month of enlistment he was promoted Lance Corporal on 6 October 1914 and six days later further promoted to Corporal.  He saw active service in France and Belgium.

County Herald Friday 8 March 1916 – ‘Young Holywell Soldier Killed. Chaplain’s Touching Letter’.

Corporal J E Roberts of the 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, son of Mr John Roberts. The Grove, Holywell has been killed by shell fire ‘Somewhere in France’.  The sad news was conveyed in a letter from the Reverend David Cynddelw Williams, Chaplain attached to the Battalion in a letter received by the father of the unfortunate young man last Friday morning, in which the writer says – I am not sure whether you yet may have been informed that your dear son, Corporal J E Roberts was taken away on Thursday morning last.  I understand it was through shell fire and he could not have been concious of any pain.  I cannot express my deep sympathy with you as a family in losing a so happy and promising son.  I, as Chaplain came frequently into contact with him and I came to understand him very well.  Frequently did I hear your son sing ‘Lead kindly light’, when at Bournemouth and I should say, that light did not fail him.  Your son was buried in a little cemetery not far from the firing line.

He is also remembered on the North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales.

There is a Flintshire Roll of Honour card for John Edward Roberts at the County Archives Office, Hawarden.

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