Published By John Davies
Isaac Roberts was born at Oswestry in 1879, the fourth child of Edward and Ann Roberts. His siblings were Edward (1872), William (1875), Elizabeth (1877) and Louisa (1879)/ There was also a step brother, John Tilley: Ann’s child from a previous marriage. Ann had been born at Berriew and was working in Oswestry as a domestic servant. The family lived at 7 Cambrian Square, Albert Road, Oswestry. By 1911 they were living at 3 Vine Cottages, Albert Road, there were 2 more children, Henry born in 1882 and David in 1887. Their father, Edward, worked as a labourer and in 1901 was employed at Oswestry Gasworks as a fitter. They were then living at Gasworks Cottages and later at Gasworks House and, by the end of the war were living at Meirion House at Ifton Heath. Isaac would also work at the gasworks as a labourer.
In 1908 he married Catherine Owen and they moved to Hugglescote in Leicestershire where Isaac began work as a coal miner at Ibstock Colliery. Issac and Catherine would have a baby girl, Louisa Mary, born in 1910 and would have 2 more children. They would later move to the Flintshire coalfield at Shotton where he enlisted probably around 1915 (he did not qualify for the 1915 Star) and most likely went over to France in 1916. It is possible he was a conscript under the. As a coal miner he was exempt from service in the forces so he must have been a volunteer. He served in 14 Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. His wife and children moved to Oswestry, probably after he had become a war casualty, they lived at 7 Gate Street.
Isaac is listed as KIA on 2 September 1917. The battalion War Diary records no casualties for this day. However, on 1 September 1917 at Langemark, Ypres a shell hit the battalion forward command post causing at least 15 deaths. The 1 September is the date given in the newspaper report of Isaac’s death. His body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.