Roberts, William (1)

If you can add any information about this soldier, please use the comment form at the bottom of this page.

If you would like to be informed of any additions or amendments to The Great War Project, please join our Facebook group.

The Great War Project navigation

Overview   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   R   S   T   W

William Roberts

53834, Private, 1st Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Killed in action, 2 November 1916, aged 20
Buried at Berks Cemetery Extension, Ploegsteert, Belgium

CWGC registered (Son of Griffith and Elizabeth Ann Roberts, of 12, Tyn-Y-Coed Terrace, Great Ormes Head, Llandudno)


Born at Bangor on 1 April 1896, William Roberts was the son of Griffith and Elizabeth Ann Roberts. The Census for Wales of 1901 records the family including “Willie” (5) and his two sisters living at 2 Pen-y-Ffrith, Ormes Head, Llandudno; Griffith Roberts was a joiner. In September 1904, William transferred from the Great Orme Infants’ School to St. George’s National School. In 1911, the family was living at the nearby 5 Pen-y-Ffrith. William was described as an errand boy for a chemist. Griffith Roberts was not recorded at that address, Elizabeth being described as head of the family and married. (A record in the same census for Aberfan has a Griffith Roberts [b. Bangor 1869, married] boarding in the town, employed as a colliery repairer.)

William Roberts’ service record no longer exists and it is necessary to construct a likely scenario from the fragments of information that are available. Since he enlisted at Caernarfon and had a regimental number of 2342, then he probably signed up for the 6th (Caernarvonshire and Anglesey) Battalion of the Territorial Force around November 1914. The first line 1/6th RWF went to Gallipoli in July 1915 and the second line 2/6th RWF, to which William would have been posted, moved to Northampton in April 1915 and to Bedford in July 1915.

William Roberts transferred from the Territorial Force to the Regular Army in mid-1916, possibly on compulsion as a result of Army Order 204 where members of the TF were deemed to have agreed to serve overseas. On arrival at an infantry base depot in France, in around August 1916, William still retained his old TF number but this was changed to 53834 and he was posted to the 1st Battalion RWF. This was in the same draft of reinforcements that included Percy Thomas (qv) on 10 August 1916. He was killed in action on 2 November 1916, aged 20 and buried at Berks Cemetery Extension, Ploegsteert, Belgium. The plot in which he is buried is contemporary with the date of death and not a reburial. There was no major action at that time in that area.

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Eglwys Ebenezer Lloyd Street, Llandudno
  • Siloh a Hyfrydle, Llandudno

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>