Roberts, Arthur Owen

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Arthur Owen Roberts

145194, Acting Sergeant, Army Service Corps
Died of illness after discharge, 18 February 1919, aged 32
Buried at St. Tudno’s Churchyard, Llandudno

Not a war-grave (see note below)

Arthur Owen Roberts, the son of Richard Roberts, owner of the Royal Fish Stores, and his wife Jane Roberts (née Foulkes) was born on 21 January 1887 at Llandudno. Jane Roberts died the following December and the Census of Wales for 1891 records the family living at “Holyrood House”, Lloyd Street, Llandudno; John had three elder brothers Richard (b 1875), John (b 1878) and William (b 1884) and an elder sister Sarah Edith (b 1881). Arthur attended Lloyd Street School, transferring to John Bright County School in July 1899. In 1904, the local press reported that Arthur had received senior certificates in composition, English literature, history, arithmetic (with distinction), mathematics (with distinction), Latin (with distinction) and French (with distinction and conversational power). After leaving school, Arthur attended King’s College London and after passing his examination, was appointed in early 1910 to the Education Department of the London County Council. The Census of 1911 records that Arthur was a boarder at 61 Talfourd Road, Peckham and that he was employed by the LCC as a clerk.

Arthur volunteered to join the army on 1 November 1915 and he joined at Aldershot the following day. His home address was 18 Poynders Road, SW. An amazing the survivor in his army file is a 100%-correct arithmetic examination paper which is probably the reason why he was enlisted into the Army Service Corps as a supply clerk with a service number of S4/145194. Just a few weeks later on 16 December 1915 (and thus eligible to be awarded the 1914/15 Star), Arthur disembarked in France. He was appointed acting corporal on 13 April 16 and acting sergeant on 5 November 1916. In January 1917, whilst working in the Supplies Purchase Branch, Bouches-du-Rhône (Marseille), Arthur was taken ill after having had an operation for a hernia – he had also been exhibiting symptoms of dryness of mouth and thirst. He was evacuated to England and diagnosed with diabetes, his general condition being noted as bad. A medical board dated 28 December 1916 recommended his discharge. Arthur was medically discharged at Southport on 18 January 1917. His intended address on discharge was 8 Lloyd Street, Llandudno. Interestingly, his record indicates that his condition may have been due or partially due to the stress and strain of active service. Arthur was awarded a Silver War Badge number 45489.

Arthur Owen Roberts died on 18 February 1919 at Llandudno aged 32 from diabetes and heart failure. His brother William was present at the death. Arthur was buried at St. Tudno’s Churchyard. A local newspaper, reporting the funeral, revealed that Arthur was about to take his degree with the University of London.

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church
  • Ysgol John Bright Roll of Honour


Notwithstanding his condition seemingly being judged partially attributable to active service, Arthur Roberts’ grave is not registered with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Likewise, whilst he is mentioned in the London County Council’s Record of War Service (1915-17; Sergeant; RASC; France 1 year), his death is not recorded.

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