Rank: Sergeant 1005
Regiment: 1st Bn., Royal Newfoundland Regiment
Died: 11 October 1917
Newton Poppleford War Memorial
Other Memorial: Dozinghem Military Cemetery [Google]
PDF Download: ROBERTS Francis (Frank)
Frank’s father was George Roberts who, in the 1891 census is shown as a corn dealer and, with his wife Francis, was living at the Turks Head Inn together with his large family of seven children. The Turks Head was next to the Oak Tree Garage and was levelled in 1978 to widen the road.
Francis, presumably named after his mother, was born in 1884 in Newton Poppleford. He went to school in the village along with his older brother, and his older and younger sisters. By 1901 Frank appears to have left home and was employed as a “Gentleman’s Assistant”, a valet, and was living as a boarder in the home of a widowed lady named Ellen Howerd in Well Street, Heavitree, Exeter.
We have not found him in the 1911 census so do not know what he was doing at the time. When he volunteered to join the army is unknown. His father died in 1915 and his mother in 1916 so it would seem that the inclusion of his name on the Newton Poppleford war memorial was instigated by one of his siblings, quite possibly his sister Ella.
Ella Roberts married, and became Mrs Harrison. It was she who played the organ in the Newton Poppleford village church of St Luke’s for many years. Francis is buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery in Belgium.
* Required fields