William Roberts

Canadian Expeditionary Force

Personal Details

Born: 29 April 1889 in Moreton Say, Shropshire and baptised on 26 May 1889 in Moreton Say Parish Church.

Family: He was one of six surviving children born to Henry Roberts, an agricultural worker and his wife Martha. He married Mary Jane Stewart on 5 December 1915 in Gateshead, Co Durham. They had a daughter, Mary S, born in 1916 in Whitchurch, Shropshire.

Residence: In 1891 his family were living at New Street Lane, Moreton Say, Shropshire, but ten years later they had moved to Maerfield, Maer, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. In 1911 the family were living at Mossfield Cottages, Whitchurch, Shropshire. He enlisted in Edmonton, Canada in 1915 and there is an address of Torryburn, St John, New Brunswick on his records. On his discharge from the army in 1919 he gave  his address as Mossfields Cottages, Whitchurch, Shropshire. It would appear from his records that he did not intend going back to Canada. However he returned to Canada on 31 December 1919 and emigrated to the United States of America on 24 September 1922; his last address in Canada was in St. John. He became a naturalised American on 29 March 1941 and was living at 165 Elm Street, Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts in 1942.

Employment: On his Attestation documents he gave his occupation as a farmer; in 1925 he was a machinist.

Died: Not known

Military Details

Regiment: Canadian Expeditionary Force (Canadian Army Service Corps.)

Rank:  Private

Service Number: 436207

Date of Enlistment: 6 January 1915

Date of Discharge: 30 June 1919

Reason for Discharge: Not known

Other Information: He suffered severe gunshot wound to his back in 1915, whilst serving in France.

Medals and Awards

William was awarded the Campaign medals (1915 Star, Victory and British War Medals)

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The 1914 Star (also known as 'Pip') was authorised under Special Army Order no. 350 in November 1917 and by an Admiralty Fleet Order in 1918, for award to officers and men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces who served in France or Belgium between 5 August and midnight of 22–23 November 1914. The former date is the day after Britain's declaration of war against the Central Powers, and the closing date marks the end of the First Battle of Ypres.

The 1914–15 Star (also known as 'Pip') was instituted in December 1918 and was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served against the Central European Powers in any theatre of the Great War between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. The period of eligibility was prior to the introduction of the Military Service Act 1916, which instituted conscription in Britain.

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.


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