Lance Corporal Vincent Henry Roberts Royal Engineers
The Man Vincent Henry Roberts was born on 19th May 1920 in Fratton, Portsmouth, son of Charles Albert Roberts and Eva Allen nee Quinnell and was one of six children, Charles William, George Edward, Elizabeth Allen, Harold Frederick and Bertie Arthur. His religion was Church of England. After schooling Henry became an Acetalyne Cutter and enlisted into the Territorial Army at Portsmouth on 2nd May 1939 aged 18, his approved Society being the Ancient Order of Foresters and his service number 2071104. He was described as 5’.6” tall, weighing 126lbs with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. Vincent was called up on the day World War II began, 3rd September 1939 as a Sapper his trade being a Pioneer DII. He was embodied into 577 Field Company RE, 13 Corps. He married Ethel Grace Collis during the 2nd quarter of 1942 and they had one son, David Vincent and lived with his parents at 10 Burleigh Road, Buckland Portsmouth. Vincent was posted overseas in late 1942 seeing action in North Africa as part of the 8th Army followed by the Italian Campaign, during which he was confirmed by the ‘Bishop in North Africa’ at Vasto on 12th February 1944. On 1st February 1946, Vincent was discharged from the Army and his Commanding Officer said of him ”A dutiful and conscientious worker, he could always be relied upon to carry out any job efficiently. Always got on very well with the other men in his platoon.” He transferred to the Reserves having completed 6 years 296 days embodied service with the TA. For his war time service, Vincent was awarded the 1939-45 Star, Africa Star with 8th Army clasp, Italy Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45 and the Efficiency Medal ‘Territorial’.
Sadly Ethel died during the third quarter of 1946 aged just 25, and a year later during the last quarter Vincent re-married Winnifred M Kidd and they lived at Flat 25 Burlsedon House, Church Road, Portsmouth and later 7 Stanford Close. On 3rd July 1950 aged 30, Vincent re-enlisted into the Territorial Army RE at Hilsea, Portsmouth, with a new service number 22521475 for a period of four years, signing on for a further two on 3rd July 1954. He was now described as 5’10” tall, weighing 143 lbs with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 1st March 1951. Henry was awarded the Coronation Medal 1953 following Her Majesty the Queen’s Accession to the Throne and was discharged from the TA on 2nd July 1956 on termination of his engagement aged 36 and awarded the first clasp to his Efficiency Medal. Vincent died on 31st October 2003 aged 83.
The Story The medal group awarded to Vincent Henry Roberts was acquired from E-Bay on 1st February 2016 and were of interest because of the Efficiency & Coronation Medal 1953 combination, together with the paperwork that came with the group. A brief biography was built up from Ancestry.UK and the information contained within Henry’s surviving paperwork.
- 1939 - 45 Star: Unnamed as issued.
- Africa Star: Unnamed as issued.
- Italy Star: Unnamed as issued.
- Defence Medal: Unnamed as issued
- War Medal 1939-45: Unnamed as issued.
- Coronration Medal 1953: Unnamed as issued.
- Efficiency Medal : 2071104 SPR. V.H.ROBERTS. R.E.
This page last updated 7 Mar 16