Roberts, David

David Roberts was born in Saint Asaph, Flintshire 1877.

The 1881 Census on shows that the Roberts family were living in Luke Street, Saint Asaph in the county of Flintshire. Head of the family David Roberts, born in Rhuddlan, Flintshire was 31 years of age and an Agricultural Labourer by trade. His wife Eliza age 33 was born in Saint Asaph as were all their children, Charles age 13, Elizabeth age 12, Ellen age 9, Bracilla age 6, David age 3 and Jane age 1.

Ten years on the 1891 census reveals that there have been quite a few changes to the circumstances of the Roberts family. David Roberts age 43 was Head and a Widower with a trade of General Labourer. Three children were still living at home, Elizabeth age 22, Jane age 11 and Hugh age 6 an addition to the family since the last census. David Roberts is no loger with his family and would be 14 years of age.

Attestation Records for Bandsman David Roberts regimental number 4791, Highland Light Infantry.

David Roberts enlisted into The Highland Light infantry on 29th December 1892 as a Bandsman, he was 14 years 7 months old. He enlisted in Aldershot and his medical examination was carried out in Dover. He was described as just under 6 St. in weight and just under 4ft 11 inches tall with a sallow complexion, grey eyes and brown hair, Distinctive Marks, Scar on right knee and also on left calf.

Bandsman David Roberts was posted as follows.

Home 29th December 1892 to 23rd November 1894.

East Indies 24th November 1894 to 4th February 1899

Ceylon 5th February 1899 to 17th February 1900

Home 18th February 1900 to 7th December 1905

India 8th December 1905 to 8th January 1914.

Home 9th January 1914 to 25th January 1914

A total of 21 years 28 days in Service. David was discharged at Gosport on 25th January 1914 and gave his sisters name and address as a point of contact. Mrs Jane Doyle, 3 Gemig Street, Saint Asaph.

David was awarded the King George’s Durbar Medal.


The official medal struck for the Coronation Durbar of KIng George V and Queen Mary. It is struck in silver and is of identical size to the earlier 1903 medal, 1.5 inches [38.5mm]. The obverse shows the conjoined busts of the King and Queen in their coronation robes. There is no English inscription on either side but the reverse [to be seen by clicking on the image] has a Farsi inscription reading: “The Durbar of GeorgeV, Emperor of India, Master of the British Lands. ” As in 1903 a gold issue of the medal was made and issued to high officials, royalty, and Indian Rulers. In this case 200 gold medals were awarded, the increase over the 140 of 1903 being accounted for by the much larger attendance at this occasion and the higher number of visiting royalty, etc. because of the presence of the King and Queen. The silver medal was struck in much greater numbers [about 30,000] and on this occasion about a third of that number was given to military personal of Indian and British forces for exemplary service even though they were not at Delhi on the occasion. As in the case of the 1903 medal they were all issued without naming although some were unofficially named later. The same obverse was used on the Coronation Medal although the reverse of that bore the royal cypher above the date on the reverse. In the event of someone having received the Coronation Medal and then being awarded the Durbar medal they in fact only received a bar DELHI to be worn on the ribbon. These bars are very scarce as only 140 were awarded.

I cannot find a Service Record for David Roberts showing his re enlistment in to The Highland Light Infantry during  WW1.

Soldiers who Died in the Great War on

This document clearly shows that David enlisted in Hamilton, Lanarkshire into the 17th Service Battalion (3rd Glasgow) of the Highland Light Infantry and was Killed in Action France/Flanders on 1st April 1917

From Forces War Records

16th (Service) Battalion (2nd Glasgow) and 17th (Service) Battalion (3rd Glasgow)
02.09.1914 The 16th formed by Lord Provost and the City at Glasgow the moved to Galies and then Prees Heath to join the 97th Brigade of the 32nd Division. 
10.09.1914 The 17th formed by the Chamber of Commerce in Glasgow and then moved to Troon.
June 1915 Both moved to Wensleydale and taken over by the war office, then moved to Codford by Aug.
23.11.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of the Ancre.
During 1917
Operations on the Ancre.

David Roberts was awarded The British War Medal and The Victory Medal.

David’s last Effects were left to his sister Jane Dyle and brother Hugh.

He was commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial.

The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 1 August 1932 (originally scheduled for 16 May but due to the death of French President Doumer the ceremony was postponed until August).

The dead of other Commonwealth countries, who died on the Somme and have no known graves, are commemorated on national memorials elsewhere.

Hugh Roberts (David’s brother) born 1885 and shown on the 1891 and 1901 Census living with his father David Roberts in Saint Asaph.

In November 1908 he enlisted into the 5th Battalion, Territorial Force of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers age 23 years and 7 months, he gave his address as Leslie Street, Saint Asaph and stated that he had previously served with 3rd Battalion RWF. He gave his father David Roberts, California Street St. Asaph as Next of Kin.

He was embodied on 14th July 1915 and served with the Mediteranean Expeditionery Force,   regimental number 502. He gave his sister Mrs Jane Doyle, Bryn Cottage, Saint Asaph as Next of Kin.

From Forces War Records

1/5th (Flintshire) Battalion Territorial Force & 1/6th (Carnarvonshire & Anglesey) Battalion Territorial Force.
04.08.1914 The 1/5th stationed at Flint and the 1/6th stationed at Carnarvon both as part of the North Wales Brigade of the Welsh division and then moved to Conway and then Northampton and then Cambridge.
May 1915 Moved to Bedford.
13.05.1915 Formation became 158th Brigade of the 53rd Division.
19.07.1915 Embarked for Gallipoli from Devonport, Plymouth via Imbros.
09.08.1915 Landed at Suvla Bay and engaged in various actions against the Turkish Army.
Dec 1915 Evacuated from Gallipoli to Egypt due to severe casualties from combat, disease and harsh weather. (The Division was reduced to just 162 officers and 2428 men, about 15% of full strength).
03.08.1918 Amalgamated with the 1/6th Battalion to form the 5/6th Battalion and engaged in various actions of the Palestine Campaign including;
The Battle of Romani.
The First Battle of Gaza, The Second Battle of Gaza, The Third Battle of Gaza, The Capture of Beersheba, The Capture of Tell Khuweilfe, The Capture of Jerusalem, The Defence of Jerusalem.
The Battle of Tell’Asur, The Battle of Nablus.
31.10.1918 Ended the war moving back from Palestine to Egypt.

After the war ended Hugh re enlisted in 1921 into RWF regimental number 4181781.

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