1498, Sergeant William Edward Roberts was serving in C (Henley) Squadron of the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars when he was killed, aged 30, on the 28th May 1915 near the Hooge, Ypres.
According to letters from his colleagues and commanding officers he had been hit in the head from a sniper’s bullet, and died on the way to the casualty clearing station.
He was buried at the nearby L’Ecole De BienfaIsance British Cemetery, before being re-interred in 1924 in the larger Bedford House Cemetery.
William had been baptised in Thame on the 16th April 1885, the son of William and Catherine Roberts. His father was a draper at 99-100 High Street and after his education at Lord Williams’s Grammar School, William went into the family business.
In 1909, he joined the Henley Squadron of the QOOH, the local Oxfordshire yeomanry, which at the time was commanded by Winston Churchill. The regiment was mobilised in August 1914, crossing to France on September 20th and became one of the first Territorial Regiments to engage with the enemy, at Messines on October 31st 1914.
William Edward Roberts is remembered in Thame on the War Memorial, as well as the honour boards of Lord Williams’s School, St Mary’s church and All Saints church.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to Bedford House Cemetery, Ypres, West Vlaanderen, Belgium on 21st May 2016 by Michael Hutson (Thame Remembers)