Roberts, William James

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William James Roberts

M/17128, Carpenter’s Crew, HMS Anchusa, Royal Navy
Killed or died as a direct result of enemy action, 16 July 1918, aged 23
Body not recovered for burial (Plymouth Naval Memorial)

CWGC registered (Son of Mr and Mrs John Elias Roberts, of Pen-Y-Ffrith, Gt. Orme, Llandudno)

William James Roberts was born on 26 December 1894 at Llandudno. He was the son of John Elias Roberts, a joiner, and his wife Ann Roberts (née Humphreys). William attended St. Bueno’s Infant School and in 1898 attended St. George’s National School. The family lived at 14 Pen-y-Ffrith Terrace, Great Orme though by 1911, William (16) was lodging with his uncle, also William James Roberts, at “Anglesey Villa”, Tyn-y-Coed Road, Llandudno and described as a grocer’s assistant.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, William Roberts joined the Royal Navy and his period of engagement began on 19 November 1915. His stated occupation was as a joiner – perhaps it was this trade that enabled him to join the Navy as a carpenter. His number was M/17128 and he trained at HMS Vivid II, a shore establishment at Devonport. He was transferred to HMS Anchusa on 30 May 1917. The Anchusa was a Flower Class sloop which had been recently built to resemble a cargo ship but was in fact a Q-ship. The ship was torpedoed by the U 54 of the coast of Ireland on 16 July 1918 with the loss of 79 lives.

Known memorials:

  • Plymouth Naval Memorial
  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Siloh a Hyfrydle, Llandudno

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