Historical information

Henry George Roberts was born in Lambeth, Middlesex, The United Kingdom on 17 June 1885. The son of Elizabeth and Corporal Thomas Roberts of 2/3rd Regiment of Foot, The Buffs. Thomas Robert died in 1893 and on 28 September 1894 Henry was admitted to the Royal Military School as an apprentice. He remained there until 7 July 1900 when he enlisted at Aldershot, in the 2nd Dragoon Guards as a boy soldier. The 1901 and 1911 Censuses record him as being a musician with the 2nd Dragoon Guard, (The Queen’s Bays).
Roberts married Lily Winterbourne Quinton in early 1912, a son Frederic was born on 1 February 1913.
By August 1914 Roberts has travelled to Australia where he was employed as a musician and residing at “Quamby” Royal Park, Melbourne. His wife and child remaining at Mellison Road, Lower Tooting, London.
On 8 September 1914 he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in Melbourne, allotted Regimental Number 42, the Rank of Trooper and allocated to A Squadron, 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment.
His enlistment papers raise a mystery. He stated that he and six years’ service with the Territorial Hampshire Carabiniers but made no mention of his eleven years’ service with the Regular 2nd Dragoon Guards. There is no clear answer as to why this misinformation was provided.
Roberts was promoted to Sergeant on 28 October 1914. His occupation and prior experience resulting in Roberts’ appointment to the leadership of the regimental band. After training in Australia, he embarked on the Star of the Sea at Port Melbourne on 25 February 1915 arriving in Egypt on 14 March. On 16 May 1915 he proceeded to Gallipoli where he was killed in action on 7 August 1915 during the attack on the Nek.
He has no known grave and is commemorated at the Lone Pine Memorial for the missing.
For his service in The Great War, he was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War, and Victory, Medals.

Physical description

Circular metal medallion with image of Britannia standing with a lion issued to NOK of No 42 Sergeant Henry Roberts 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment who was killed in action at the Nek 7 August 1915. The plaque about 120 mm in diameter, was cast in bronze, and came to be known as the "Dead Man’s Penny", because of the similarity in appearance to the much smaller penny coin. 1,355,000 plaques were issued, which used a total of 450 tons of bronze,Henry Roberts and continued to be issued into the 1930s to commemorate people who died as a consequence of the war.

Inscriptions & markings

Henry Roberts