The 3 (Sheriff) Roberts soldiers, Alan, Frederick and Henry were brothers and were the sons of John Sheriff ROBERTS, the Wine Merchants in Watergate Street, Chester, the company trade as Quellyn Roberts. Please click on the links to read their stories.
They had lost 3 children before 1911 and were to lose another 3 in the 3 years before the end of the war. Alan being the first of the 3.
Alan Sheriff Roberts was born in the June Quarter of 1896, his birth registered in Chester, (Cheshire Vol. 8a, Page 426), and he was baptized on the 7th June 1896 at Lache-cum-Saltney. His parents were John Sheriff Roberts and Lydia Roberts (nee Roberts), they had married on the 9th April, 1885.(Chester Vol. 8a, Page 587) at St. Bartholemew’s Church, Sealand. John’s siblings, Quellyn & Martha Quellyn Roberts were witnesses. Lydia’s father John Roberts was a Farmer at Sealand.
The 1891 census shows the family living at 27, Hough Green, John Sheriff Roberts, 38, was a Wine Merchant (Employer) and had been born in Chester. His wife Lydia, 31, had been born in Shotton, Flintshire, their eldest daughter, Mary was 5 years old and their first born son was Henry, 3, both bortn in Chester. Also there was a visitor, Mary G. Ewing, 28 also born in Chester. There were 3 servants, Nurse, Cook and Housekeeper.
John’s father, Thomas Quellyn Roberts, a retired Draper and Wine Merchant, had married John’s mother, Martha Oakes in St. Peter’s Church, Chester, on the 25th February 1847, he was to die in 1897 age 87 years old and his death was registered in Chester, (Chester Cathedral, Cheshire West CAT/68/15).
The 1901 census tells us that the family had now moved to 28, Curzon Park, Chester. The family had grown, John Sheriff Roberts, 48, was still a Wine Merchant and employer and his wife Lydia, 41 had 3 more children, so now the family consisted of Henry Sheriff, 13, Quellyn Sheriff, 6, Alan Sheriff and Frederick Sheriff, 2 and they were all born in Chester. There was a Niece, Eleanor Sheriff Roberts, 9, who had been born in Mold, Flintshire. Lydia’s mother, Mary E. Fox, 67 had been born in Kinnerton, Flintshire. There were 4 servants in the household, Nurse, Cook, Waitress and Housemaid.
In the 1911 census, the family had moved to The Gables, 10, Curzon Park, Chester, (13 rooms) John Sheriff Roberts, 58 was still a Wine Merchant and Employer,he tells us that he had been married 25 years and Lydia, his wife, 51, tells us that 8 children had been born to them, but sadly they had lost 3 children. Mary Sheriff Roberts, the only daughter shown on the census, age 25 and their 3 sons, Alan Sheriff Roberts, 14, Frederick Sheriff Roberts, 12 and Herbert Sheriff, 8 were the only sons on this census. There were 3 servants , a Cook, Waitress and Housemaid.
Alan Sheriff Roberts in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 confirms his regimental information and tells his rank was 2nd Lieutenant.
Alan Sheriff Roberts in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 gives details of his medals and tells us his first Theatre of War was France and he entered it in April 1916. He was to die 3 months later, age 20. The Reverse of card :- 22nd April 1921 – Col. J. Sheriff ROBERTS makes app. For his three deceased son’s medals 6th August 1919. – Address:- The Gables, Curzon Park, Chester.
I cannot find any Army Service Records for Alan Sheriff Roberts, but he was the first of John & Lydia’s sons to die in the Great War.
Alan Sheriff Roberts in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 gives the date of death as the 11th July 1916, but in the write-up below, the date is given as the 10th July 1916 – ROBERTS, Alan Sheriff – of the Gables Curzon Park, Cheshire, second-lieutenant 14th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers died 10 July 1916 in France killed in action Administration London 19th December to John Sheriff Roberts, wine merchants. Effects £329 4s 4d.
Officers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 – Alan Sheriff Roberts is named in the book on page 98 – 14 – ROBERTS, Alan Sheriff 2/Lt. (Tp.), k.in a. 10/7/16. (www.naval-military-press.com)
Many thanks to Elizabeth Wood who kindly sent me this information:-
This is what is written about Alan in St Bees School Roll of Honour Book.: –
Second-Lieut. Alan Sheriff Roberts
Alan Sheriff Roberts came to Grindal House in 1911, from Arnold House, Chester, and remained until April 1914, when he left to join his father in business in Chester. In July 1915 he joined one of the service battalions of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and was sent out to France in March 1916 with the 14th Battalion. He was killed on July 11, in Mametz Wood, which the Welsh Division won and held at such terrible cost.