Here’s the sixth of an eight-part series by Mark Stevenson looking at some of the real-life incidents behind the names on West Leeds war memorials, as we lead into the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Today we re-visit Calverley War Memorial …
When Gerald died on the 25th June 1944 during the Battle for Normandy he wasn’t the first son of Donald and Mary Roberts (who lived at Hazelbrae, on Calverley Lane, pictured above) to die fighting in Europe.
Just 24 days earlier they had lost another son, Edward, in the Battle of Anzio in Italy.
Major Gerald Philip Roberts and Captain Edward Simpson Roberts MC had followed in their father’s footsteps and joined the Army.
Donald was in the Great War and, like his son Edward, was awarded the Military Cross for Bravery.
Sadly Mary and Donald’s loss was not at an end. Flying Officer Donald Michael Roberts, of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves, died just 25 days before VE Day and, after surviving a raid on U-Boat pens, collided with another Lancaster while waiting to land.
All three of Robert’s brother’s names can be found on the Calverley War Memorial.
My thanks to Richard Hainsworth for pointing me in the right direction.