Roberts, William (2)

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William Roberts

201605, Private, 24th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Died after discharge, 24 June 1921, aged 28
Buried at Llanrhos Churchyard

CWGC registered (Son of William Hope Roberts and Margaret Roberts, of 3, Victoria Terrace, Trefriw, Carnarvonshire. Born at Deganwy, Carnarvonshire)


A William Roberts is named on the Llandudno memorials (the Roll of Honour, the War Memorial, the Memorial Chapel) but that soldier was 13538 Private William Roberts RWF who was killed in action in November 1916. 201605 Private William Roberts RWF died too late to be mentioned in Soldiers Died in the Great War and to be included in the Llandudno Roll of Honour (1921). His name came to light whilst the CWGC records of Llanrhos Churchyard were being examined which showed that 201605 lived and died in Craig-y-don which was within the Llandudno Urban District and the then parish of Llanrhos (which explains why he is buried in Llanrhos Churchyard and why he is on the Llanrhos War Memorial). William Roberts is consequently considered as probably missing from the Llandudno memorials.

William Roberts, born at Deganwy on 26 September 1892, was the son of William Hope Bruce Roberts and his wife Margaret Roberts (née Roberts). In the Census of Wales taken the previous year, William (senior), his wife and two sons (John Richard b 1888 and Edward Robert b 1890) lodged at 8 Pleasant Terrace, Craig-y-don, Llandudno: William Roberts was a joiner. John, Edward and William are recorded in the admissions register of the National School, Deganwy in October 1897; their address was given as Marl Road. The Census of Wales for 1901 records the family living at 2 Sefton Terrace, Llanrhos; William (8) now had two sisters: Olwen Mary (6) and Elizabeth Anne (3). The family lived at the same address (now as Deganwy) in 1911; William Roberts (junior) had originally been written into the census return but his name was crossed-out; there is no clue as to William’s occupation and no other census return has been found for him.

It is known that William Roberts served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in the First World War. His only known regimental number was 201605. This number was issued in 1917 to the 4th (Denbighshire) Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, Territorial Force and replaced an earlier number which would have been between 9645 and 9699 – issued around 1 May 1916. It is possible that he may have enlisted earlier into another battalion and posted to the 2/4th at that time. William Roberts was posted to the 24th (Denbighshire Yeomanry) Battalion, Territorial Force. The 24th RWF started life as the 1/1st Denbighshire Yeomanry (Hussars) which was dismounted (effectively becoming foot-soldiers) in November 1915 and sent to Egypt in March 1916 to guard the Suez Canal. It was decided to convert the dismounted yeomanry battalions to full infantry battalions and the 1/1st Denbighshire Yeomanry reformed as the 24th RWF, TF on 1 March 1917, seeing action in Palestine. When William Roberts joined the 24th RWF is unknown though a soldier with a close number was posted from the 4th to the 24th in July 1917. In April 1918, the battalion received orders to be transferred to France and it was billeted near Abbeville by 18 May. William’s medal roll indicates that he spent three occasions at an infantry/yeomanry base depot indicating that he may have been wounded. His date of discharge is unknown.

William Roberts died of pneumonia and cardiac failure at 10 Pleasant Street, Craig-y-Don on 24 June 1921 aged 28. The death certificate describes him as a butcher’s manager. His father was present at his death. William Roberts was buried at Llanrhos Churchyard. His effects (£177 10s) were received by his father.

Known memorials:

  • Llanrhos War Memorial

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