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The Life of William Roberts

William was the first child born to the marriage and he was followed by John Thomas born in 1900. In 1901 the family were living in London Road, Spalding, and William was working as a general labourer. Charles was born in 1903, he was followed by Nellie in 1904, Alice in 1906 and Henry in 1908. In 1909 a daughter May was born, sadly she died an infant.

In 1911 the family were living at 20 Little London, Spalding, his father William is working as a brewer’s labourer. The house consisted of 4 rooms and this included the kitchen.

In July 1911, William Roberts, 20 Little London, was summoned as a parent of William Roberts, absent from school on the 3rd of July – Henry Baker gave evidence, saying defendant had been absent 39 times out of 118 – Defendant had alleged the boy had been playing truant – the case was adjourned for three months.

In August 1911, William was charged with stealing a boy’s bicycle, value 35s, the property of J.J Chilvers. Chilvers had said William could ride the bike up the road but William ended up riding the bike to Long Sutton, some 13 miles away!

In October 1911 William Roberts was fined for not sending his child to school – it was stated this was the lad who recently stole a bicycle for which offence he was birched – the father was now fined 5s.

In December 1911, William Roberts was summoned as the parent of William Roberts, absent from school on the 14th of November – defendants wife appeared – Mr Baker, school attendance officer, said the child lived 1 mile from the school and had been absent 99 times out of 129. Defendant had previously been summoned, the case being adjourned and ultimately struck out. For a further offence had been fined. Numerous notices had been served. Mrs Roberts said the boy would not go to school, stopping away from school all day. He had been to all the schools in the town. The officer added he thrashed other boys – The mother : they called him Kruger. – fined 5s., including costs

A son Edward was born in 1911 and a daughter Elizabeth in 1914. Unfortunately, Edward died in 1916, aged only four.

William joined the army in 1917. In 1920 William married Mabel Hurling in Spalding. Mabel had lived all her life in Spalding, the family lived on Cowbit Road and her father Richard worked as a general labourer. They had their first child Catherine in 1921, and she was followed by William in 1922, Alfred in 1923, Thomas in 1925, Derrick in 1926, Doreen in 1927, Louisa in 1929, Ralph in 1932, and Sheila in 1933.
On the 30th of September 1934 William’s mother Alice passed away at her home at 20 Little London at the age of 55 years.

Two years later more sad news hit the Roberts family as Sheila died in 1936, aged three. A daughter Phyliss was born in 1936, Patricia in 1937, who died an infant, and June in 1939.

At the outbreak of the war in 1939 the family were living at 119 Spalding Common, William was listed as a Corporal in the 6th Lincolnshire regiment. Their daughter Catherine was working as a bottle washer at a brewery and Alfred was a wood worker at a saw mill.

William and three of his sons, William, Alfred and Thomas all served during World War 2. During his time in the military Wiliam served in America, Cape Town, and Free Town on convoy duty and also through Holland, France, Belgium and Germany.

William died in 1952 from TB aged 53.

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