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Charles Roberts was born in Kirkham on the 25th November, 1890 to Joseph and Ellen Roberts (nee Sharples). He was christened in St. John the Evangelist (The Willows) Catholic Church which is where his parents married on the 10th January, 1882.

Charles was the youngest of three children; he had a brother William (1882) and a sister Mary (1887). In 1891 the family were living at 39 Fylde Street in Kirkham where Joseph Roberts was working as a cotton weaver.

Two years later Charles` elder brother William died at the age of eleven and the following year his father passed away at the age of thirty six. In 1901 Charles, his mother Ellen and sister Mary had moved to Chorley, Ellen and Mary were both working as cotton weavers in one of the mills. At some point between 1901 and 1906 the three of them moved back to Kirkham and Charles` sister Mary married Fred Holden in Kirkham in September 1906.

In 1911 Charles and his mother were living at 108 Marsden Street in Kirkham. Charles had filled in and signed the census form himself and then he made a note on the form explaining that “mother can`t write”. At the time he was employed as a cotton spinner and his mother was still working as a weaver. Prior to his enlistment into the Army he left the mill and had found employment with the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company working at Kirkham and Wesham railway station.

After the outbreak of war he enlisted into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and at some point after January 1916 he was sent out to France with a batch of reinforcements and was subsequently posted to the 1st Battalion. As his service papers have not survived it is impossible to know when he joined the Battalion in France.

Sadly Charles was killed in action on the 25th July 1916 when the 1st Battalion were involved in the Battle of the Somme.

A brief article with a photograph of Charles appeared in the Preston Guardian a couple of weeks after his death.

Roberts 1

Charles` mother would later receive his British War and Victory Medals that he was entitled to. He was buried with honour at Becourt Military Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt on the Somme.

His mother had the following words inscribed on his gravestone;

“Pray for his soul, R.I.P.”

Charles’ name is also remembered on the War Memorial in his home town of Kirkham.

kirkham-wmroberts 2

Additional family information

The newspaper article refers to Charles being the only child of his widowed mother. Charles` sister Mary Roberts married Fred Holden in Kirkham in 1906. Mary died in 1912 and her husband Fred enlisted in WW1 as 13910 Private Fred Holden, 7th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. Sadly, Fred was also killed in action in October 1915.

Rank: Private
Service No: 23619
Date of Death: 25/07/1916
Age: 24
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.

Janet Davis
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